On Thursday 20th January 2022, the government announced a new service which aims to protect leaseholders and force developers to make their high-rise buildings safe.

This new online service will allow leaseholders living in high-rise residential blocks to track their building’s application to the Building Safety Fund, with the use of a unique code. The aim here is to apply pressure on building owners to take action, if they have not already done so. Leaseholders will receive a unique code from their building owners and are encouraged to contact owners if they do not receive their code.

The Building Safety Fund was launched in May 2020 and is a fund, provided by the government, for the removal of dangerous non-ACM cladding on buildings over 18 metres tall. In 2021, it was further announced that the government would be increasing this fund after it was argued that the initial amount of £1bn was nowhere near enough to cover the costs.

The tailored service is designed to speed up the process of removing unsafe non-ACM cladding from the highest risk buildings, forcing building owners to be more transparent.

This is just one of a number of steps announced by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities this month to apply pressure on industry and protect leaseholders from unnecessary costs and delays. On Monday 10th January the Secretary of State announced that leaseholders would no longer be responsible for the costs associated with the fixing or removing of unsafe cladding on their blocks, with building owners and industry footing the bill instead.

The new service will expose those building owners who are failing to take action. The Minister of State for Building Safety and Fire, Lord Greenhalgh has said that “It is unacceptable that four years after the Grenfell tragedy innocent leaseholders are still living in buildings with unsafe cladding…

“…today’s launch is a key step in providing them with both the service and the peace of mind that they deserve.”

While the majority of building owners are already engaged with the Building Safety Fund, a £5.1 billion fund targeted at remediating unsafe non-ACM cladding on residential buildings 18m and over, a minority have yet to come forward and provide building information.

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, says:

“Greater transparency over the progress of Building Safety Fund applications is a positive move, providing welcome information to residents in buildings across the country who have been living with uncertainty about their safety and their future.”

Read the full update here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-online-service-to-track-remediation-of-high-risk-buildings

Categories: FireNews