- Building owners urged to register for the government’s £1 billion fund to remove and replace unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings.
- Fund takes total government funding for cladding remediation to £1.6 billion
- Sprinkler systems to be provided in all new blocks of high-rise residential buildings over 11 metres.
Building owners have been urged to act and put the safety of residents first as the government’s £1 billion Building Safety Fund to remove dangerous cladding was launched today by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP.
It comes as the government has today (26 May 2020) published the prospectus for the fund which will meet the cost for remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on residential buildings in the private and social sector that are 18 metres and over and do not comply with building regulations.
This fund is predominately targeted at supporting leaseholders in the private sector facing significant bills. However, the government is clear that for leaseholders living in buildings owned by providers in the social sector, it will provide funding to meet the provider’s costs which would otherwise have been borne by leaseholders. The government expects landlords to cover these costs without increasing rent for their tenants.
The government’ is already providing £600 million for the replacement of ACM cladding systems bringing total funding for remediation up to £1.6 billion.
Ministers have been clear that they expect building owners who are already remediating their buildings should continue to do so. They should explore every opportunity to fund this work before seeking funding from government or passing on costs to their leaseholders.
The fund’s application process has been designed to enable projects to proceed at pace with building owners, freeholders or others responsible for the building urged to register for the fund on Monday as applications can be progressed alongside the development of the remediation project.
It comes as the government has also published an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations – otherwise known as Approved Document B. These changes will ensure sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 metres tall when they come into force.
The Housing Secretary, mayors and local leaders have also pledged to ensure vital building safety improvements continue during the coronavirus pandemic.
This will ensure the safety of those living in high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding or insufficient fire safety measures is prioritised.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:
Today I am launching our £1 billion fund to remove unsafe non-ACM cladding from buildings. This is work that must take place as an absolute priority to keep residents safe and brings total funding for remediation up to £1.6 billion.
I will not accept any excuses from building owners who have yet to take action and those responsible should register for the fund so that they can start the remediation process immediately. I have also reached an agreement with local leaders so that this important work can continue safely during the pandemic.
New statutory guidance published today also means that all new residential buildings over 11 metres tall will be fitted with sprinkler systems. This is another critical part of our commitment to delivering the biggest changes to building safety for a generation.
Building Safety Minister Lord Greenhalgh said:
Now that this additional £1 billion funding is in place, building owners must crack on with removing flammable cladding on all high-rise residential buildings that are over 18 metres.
The government will work with the Mayor of London and our Metro Mayors as well as local councils to ensure that these vital building safety works are finally carried out, so that people are safe in their homes.
Our Fire Safety Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last month, will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they do not comply with law.
The Building Safety Pledge has been agreed by the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) and the following local leaders:
- Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester)
- Kate Henderson (Chief Executive, National Housing Federation)
- Dan Jarvis (Mayor of the Sheffield City Region)
- Peter John (Chair of London Councils and Leader of Southwark Council)
- Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London)
- Steve Rotheram (Mayor of the Liverpool City Region)
- Andy Street (Mayor of the West Midlands)
- Cllr Daniel Thomas (Leader, Barnet Council)
- Cllr Muhammed Butt (Leader, Brent Council)
- Cllr Colin Smith (Leader, Bromley Council)
- Cllr Georgia Gould (Leader, Camden Council)
- Cllr Tony Newman (Leader, Croydon Council)
- Cllr Julian Bell (Leader, Ealing Council)
- Cllr Danny Thorpe (Leader, Greenwich Council)
- Philip Glanville (Mayor of Hackney)
- Cllr Joseph Ejofor (Leader, Haringey Council)
- Cllr Damian White (Leader, Havering Council)
- Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE (Leader, Hillingdon Council)
- Cllr Richard Watts (Leader, Islington Council)
- Cllr Elizabeth Campbell (Leader, Kensington and Chelsea Council)
- Cllr Jack Hopkins (Leader, Lambeth Council)
- Cllr Debra Coupar (Deputy Leader, Leeds City Council)
- Joe Anderson (Mayor, Liverpool City Council)
- Sir Richard Leese (Leader, Manchester City Council)
- Rokhsana Fiaz (Mayor of Newham)
- Paul Dennett (Mayor, Salford City Council)
- Cllr Julie Dore (Leader, Sheffield City Council)
- Cllr James Swindlehurst (Leader, Slough Council)
- John Biggs (Mayor, Tower Hamlets)
- Cllr Andrew Western (Leader, Trafford Council)
- Cllr Ravi Govindia (Leader, Wandsworth Council)
- Cllr Rachael Robathan (Leader, Westminster Council)
In the private sector, the Building Safety Fund for the remediation of non-ACM cladding systems will meet the capital costs of removing and replacing unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings.
Funding will also be provided for mixed use residential and commercial developments in both sectors.
It will not apply to buildings under 18 metres in height and other non-residential buildings, such as hotels, hospitals and buildings where there are no residential leaseholders.
Where remediation work has started on buildings with non-ACM cladding systems in scope or where work had been previously committed to, prior to the Budget announcement of the fund on 11 March 2020, these works will not eligible for the fund.
We have also appointed Faithful + Gould to address gaps in our data on the systems with buildings owners encouraged to register their buildings so the organisation can assist the government in driving forward the pace of remediation.
The registration process will open on 1 June 2020 and close on 31 July 2020. Full application guidance will be issued in July after the registration phase is complete.
Approved Document B
The government has today published our response to our consultation on Approved Document B, which covers building regulations for fire safety.
It has also published an amendment to Approved Document B, that extends the provision of sprinklers in blocks of high-rise residential buildings to those buildings with a top floor height of 11 metres above ground level.
It also contains new guidance on consistent wayfinding signage for Fire and Rescue Service personnel in the same buildings.