Building Safety

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:46 pm on 29th June 2021.

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Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 6:46 pm, 29th June 2021

May I begin by putting on record my thanks to all hon. and right hon. Members who have contributed to today’s debate? It has been a passionate and extremely well informed debate. I know that everybody here agrees that we all want every home built in this country to be decent, to be safe and to be secure, and that has been echoed right across the House today.

It also feels especially poignant to be speaking on this subject shortly after the fourth anniversary of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. No community should ever have to go through what victims and their families have suffered. That is why we have been taking action to ensure that remediation takes place as fast as possible, with funding targeted to where it is needed most. It is why we are taking action not just to make existing homes safer, but to fix the system to ensure that new homes are designed, built and kept safe to ensure that a tragedy such as Grenfell never happens again.

I thank the Chairman of the Select Committee for opening the debate in such a rounded and informed manner. He did so in comprehensive style, providing a long list of questions, which he very kindly suggested that he might put to me in writing. I will try to address some of them in the course of my response, but if I do not catch all of them, I will ensure that they are answered in writing.

A number of colleagues raised the issue of cladding remediation. We believe that it is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the unaffordable cost of fixing unsafe cladding systems, which, through no fault of their own, were put on their buildings. That is not proportionate and it is not fair. I understand the frustration, the worry, the heartache and the anger that the issue must cause to so many people. Wherever we are able, we will provide support to protect leaseholders from large-scale cladding and remediation costs. It will protect them from the costs of replacing unsafe cladding and make sure that people are safe and feel safe in their homes.