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Government unveils fund for building owners to replace dangerous cladding on tall buildings

Posted on 17 June 2020

Registration has opened for the Government's £1 billion fund for the removal and replacement of unsafe non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems on residential buildings of 18 metres and over. The fund, which was initially announced in the Budget on 11 March 2020, is in addition to the £600 million made available to ensure the remediation of the ACM cladding of the type that was in place on Grenfell Tower.

The Building Safety Fund is intended to support the remediation of non-ACM cladding systems, such as unsafe types of high-pressure laminate (HPL), wood and other class C /D cladding and will be available to remediate buildings in both the social and private residential sectors of 18 metres or more in height that have such cladding systems. In the private sector, this funding will be for the benefit of leaseholders and in the social sector, it will focus on those landlords who are unable to pay (although the criteria for determining this has not yet been determined), ensuring the necessary works take place and cost is not a barrier to remediation. Although the government expects building owners who have already committed to fund remediation works without passing on the costs to leaseholders to honour those commitments.

As a condition of funding, building owners must pursue warranty claims and appropriate action against those responsible for putting unsafe cladding on these buildings, with any damages recovered paid to Government once recouped.

Building owners who will now need to urgently review the eligibility of their buildings and the building’s external wall systems and register their interest in the fund by no later than 31 July 2020.

In order to be eligible for the fund, building owners are expected to commence the remediation works in the 2020/21 financial year. The fund will only cover the capital costs associated with remediation of non-ACM cladding systems in buildings over 18m that are found to be unsafe.

We are expecting further guidance and an application process for buildings that meet the technical criteria to be released in July. Funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis therefore applications will need to be made promptly. Once the funding has been utilised new applications will not be considered.

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