Michael Gove’s plan to end the building safety crisis does not protect all leaseholders from paying to fix cladding on their homes, according to MPs.
The housing secretary this week gave housing developers a final deadline of the end of March to come up with a funding plan to pay £4bn to remove dangerous cladding from buildings between 11 and 18 metres in height.
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But MPs from the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee warned Gove’s plan will not protect all of the leaseholders facing bankruptcy or homelessness over bills to fix their homes or social housing residents at risk of rising costs.
Committee chair Clive Betts said: “Leaseholders should not be paying a penny to rectify faults not of their doing in order to make their homes safe. Nearly five years after the tragic Grenfell fire, it is shameful this situation is yet to be properly resolved. While we welcome Michael Gove’s commitment to fixing these issues, we are concerned there are gaps in the secretary of state’s proposals which risk leaving leaseholders to pick up the bill.”
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In a report released on Friday, MPs called for Gove to compensate leaseholders for money already paid out to fix their homes and to set up a building safety fund to cover costs for remediating properties where the original “polluter” cannot be traced.
The housing secretary was also urged to go beyond developers and manufacturers in covering costs – seeking cash from product suppliers, installers, contractors and sub-contractors – as well as scrapping the cap on non-cladding costs. Under plans announced by Gove in January, leaseholders will not pay more than £10,000 out of London and £15,000 in the English capital to fix fire defects on their homes.