Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:11 am on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:11 am, 24th September 2020

My hon. Friend raises an important question. The Government are certainly looking at it and have appointed an adviser, Michael Wade, to accelerate the work on developing financing solutions to ensure that leaseholders are protected from unaffordable remediation costs while also ensuing that costs do not fall unreasonably on the taxpayer. We will provide an update on this work when the building safety Bill is introduced to Parliament.

To tackle historical safety defects, we have provided £1.6 billion in remediation funding, £1 billion of which, through the building safety fund, is specifically to address unsafe non-aluminium composite material forms of cladding systems. The objective of the building safety fund is to make homes safer faster, which is why funding is targeted at remediation costs of high-rise buildings.

We recognise that many leaseholders are anxious about potentially increasing costs from interim measures such as waking watches. We are keen to support leaseholders so that such interim measures are used in the short term and are not a substitute for remediation, and we are urgently investigating what can be done to reduce the costs of waking watches. For information, a waking watch is having people physically walk around the building to see that it is not at risk of catching fire. We are gathering evidence on cost data and will publish this information shortly.