Government on course to fix cladding scandal…in the next 400 years

Research by StripeHomes has revealed that at its current pace, the government will take almost 400 years to rectify the nation’s homes that are currently a danger due to unsafe cladding.

In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy in June 2017, the spotlight has been firmly fixed on the issue of unsafe cladding and the government’s monumental failure in addressing it.

Hopes were raised in July 2020, when the government announced a £5m building safety fund to help tackle the issue.

However, those to have applied say they’ve faced a bureaucratic nightmare and of the 3,191 buildings with non-composite material cladding to have been registered with the fund, just 3% have seen the work started and less than 1% (12) have seen it completed.

It’s been approximately 18 months since the fund was set up and, with just 12 properties rectified, the government are working at a rate of fixing eight properties per year. With 3,179 left to rectify, they should be on course to solve the national cladding scandal in the next 397 years.

Last week, Michael Gove announced yet another initiative to address the issue, pledging a £4bn fund for homes affected between 11 to 18m, with the nation’s big housebuilders set to foot the bill. An announcement that has been met with scepticism.

Managing Director of StripeHomes, James Forrester, commented:

“We currently have thousands of homeowners living in fear due to the unsafe cladding on their buildings, some of whom are expected to pay considerable sums to have it rectified themselves, while others have no other choice but to sit tight until the government decides to pull its finger out.

The chances are they will be waiting a while as in the 18 months since the building safety fund was announced, the government’s efforts have been woeful and so the further pledge of £4bn announced last week will bring little reassurance. As if that wasn’t bad enough, those without an EWS1 are effectively trapped in their homes unable to sell due to mortgage companies rendering their homes worthless.

It’s a dire situation and we need action, not PR spin and promises. It’s also highly unlikely that the nation’s biggest housebuilders will simply roll over without a fight and so the only ones likely to benefit from Gove’s latest announcement are the legal teams representing the parties in question.”

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