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Local Government Finance

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Labour, Poplar and Limehouse

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, further to the Written Statement of 29 November 2018, Official Report HCWS1126 on Grenfell update, how much money has been allocated to local authorities for remediation; what discussions he has had with the Local Government Association on the issue; and what legal powers local authorities have to recover costs.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

My Department has so far allocated £248 million to remediate 135 high-rise (over 18 metres) social sector residential buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems owned by housing associations and local authorities. We have committed to meeting these costs fully and we will still accept applications from social sector building owners who require funding.

The Local Government Association is a member of the ministerially-chaired taskforce which oversees the remediation of private sector buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems, which includes establishing a joint inspection team to support local authorities in ensuring and, where necessary, enforcing remediation of private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems.

The Housing Act 2004 allows local authorities to take enforcement action on buildings which have not yet completed remediation and to recover reasonably incurred expenses, with interest. If local authorities need to take emergency remedial action but are unable to fund this work up front, we will consider requests for funding which would be repaid once the local authorities recover the costs from the building owner.

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