Rules for £1bn cladding-replacement fund revealed

Rules outlining which residential buildings will be eligible for the government’s new £1bn cladding-replacement fund have been published.

A prospectus was released today ahead of the fund opening for applications next month. The scheme was designed to cover the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on private and social housing where leaseholders face significant bills. Residents of high-rise towers have faced bills of tens of thousands of pounds to replace the cladding on buildings. Many have also had to bear the cost of waking-watch guards.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said all residential buildings in the UK now had a funding path to replacing unsafe cladding. “This is work that must take place as an absolute priority to keep residents safe and brings total funding for remediation up to £1.6bn,” he said. “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.”

Five building owners that had yet to put replacement plans in place were publicly named by the government earlier this year.

Applicants for the new fund can register from the first week of June until the end of July. Once problem buildings have been registered with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the department will work with owners on detailed applications.

The funding, which was announced in March, comes on top of a £600m provision previously made by government.

As of 30 April, remedial works had yet to start on 131 private residential buildings and nine social residential buildings with unsafe cladding. Building owners that had already started work will not be immediately eligible for the scheme. In a statement released alongside the prospectus, the MHCLG said: "They should explore every opportunity to fund this work before seeking funding from government or passing on costs to their leaseholders."

Owners of non-residential buildings with unsafe cladding cannot access the fund. Remedial work on hotels, student accommodation, private rental buildings and other commercially operating high-rise buildings is expected to be covered by owners.

Balfour Beatty and Travelodge were locked in an £800,000 dispute over the cost of remedial work on hotels. It is one of a raft of cases covering millions of pounds worth of replacement costs currently playing out in the courts between contractors and hotel operators.

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