The government has announced £248 million of funding for social housing landlords to fit new cladding to high-rise residential buildings to replace aluminium composite material (ACM) used on them and the Grenfell Tower.
Following the recent announcement of a ban on flammable cladding on buildings of 18 metres or higher, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has released the cash from the £400 million fund announced earlier this year for re-cladding by prime minister Theresa May. The money has been set aside so that it does not have to be taken out of existing council or housing association budgets.
Applications were made for 159 buildings, of which 135 have been approved. This includes 12 councils and 31 housing associations. Of the remaining applications, 12 were rejected because they did not meet the criteria and another 12 are under review pending the provision of further information by the applicants.
The deadline set for applications was August 31st, but the ministry said: “There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their homes and so applications received after the … deadline will still be reviewed.”
Under the terms of the funding plan, 80 per cent of the cash will be paid upfront, with the last 20 per cent being contingent on the final cost and paid retrospectively. This enables some flexibility, so nobody is either overpaid or left short of money.
The ministry noted that 75 per cent of the buildings containing social housing that have had unsafe cladding are presently in the process of having it removed and replaced, with the other 25 per cent all planning to do so.
According to the government’s figures, there are 468 buildings of more than 18 metres in height that have ACM cladding. Apart from the 159 social housing buildings, there are 295 in the private sector, plus 14 public buildings, including schools and hospitals.