High Rise Flats: Insulation

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 1st September 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe is for the completion of (a) fire safety assessments and (b) the removal of unsafe (i) ACM and (ii) non-ACM cladding systems from residential buildings 18 metres and over in (A) Birmingham and (B) the West Midlands.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

This year the Government has provided £10 million of additional funding to improve inspection capacity and capability on high-rise residential buildings. This is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council to establish a new national infrastructure to support frontline protection work and the Fire and Rescue Services to conduct a Building Risk Review of all high rise residential buildings over 18m by the end of 2021.

Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner, and we expect remedial works to progress at pace. Remediation works to remove and replace unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems have either completed or started on over 70 per cent of all identified high rise residential buildings. We have made clear that we expect the rest to have started work on site before the end of the year and for all to have completed by the end of 2021.

Government has recognised that finance can be a barrier to remediation and has made significant funds available to speed up the remediation of buildings while protecting leaseholders from significant costs. For the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding we have made £1 billion available to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding in 2020/21. This is in addition to the £600 million made available already to ensure the remediation of unsafe ACM cladding. Government funding is not and should not be the only source of funds and for over half of private residential buildings with ACM claddings, the ACM remediation is being funded from other sources without falling to leaseholders to pay.

The Building Safety Programme Monthly Data Release includes an appendix on ACM remediation in local authority areas. The latest data release, covering the period up to the end of July was published on 13 August and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-july-2020.

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