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Response to The Sunday Times article on the cost of cladding remediation

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The Sunday Times has today published an article titled “‘Footing the bill for the cladding crisis will cost more than my flat’”.

The article uses figures on the cost of remediation from Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM). These figures are misleading and we do not recognise them.

The Government has set aside an unprecedented £5 billion to remediate unsafe cladding in the highest risk buildings, those over 18m. This funding covers all costs associated with replacing unsafe cladding systems – including costs of access and replacement and missing or defective cavity barriers and insulation where it is part of the unsafe system. The costs of works to balconies may also be covered if they are integral within an unsafe cladding system. This is not reflected in the figures used in this report.

The figures given for buildings under 18m are based on a small survey of just 28 buildings. These figures are therefore not representative of all buildings of this kind.

Our priority is making sure residents are safe by removing dangerous cladding from the highest risk buildings as quickly as possible. Work is completed or under way in 95% of buildings identified by the start of 2020 as having ACM cladding and we expect this work to be completed at pace in the coming months.

Our progress relies on building owners, who are responsible for the safety of their buildings, to provide the correct information so we can quickly approve eligible applications. So far we have had 2820 applications to the Building Safety Fund – we have verified 685 as eligible and we are considering 134 more.

A further 692 or 25% of applications have either not provided any supporting information or insufficient information, despite numerous follow ups and prompts to provide it.

In addition, 491 or 17% of applicants did not meet the eligibility criteria and 492 or 17% registrants withdrew their applications.

Building owners and managers have a statutory obligations to get on and make their buildings and residents safe and they have had plenty of advice and time to enable them to do this. They should not delay any further in meeting those obligations.

We have made clear our expectation that building owners applying to the Building Safety Fund (BSF) should start works on site by the end of September 2021.

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