Its little over two years since the Grenfell fire and the risk remains with many buildings yet to have the flammable cladding replaced. According to the BBC the government has sais it needed an extra four billion pounds to cover the replacement and will look to house builders to recoup the investment.
The deadly fire that killed more than 70 people back in 2019 highlighted the need for flammable cladding to be replaced in council owned blocks, however much of the work has yet to be undertaken leaving many at risk.
To date the government has committed around five billion pounds for replacement, as well as placing a levy on house builders in an effort to raise a further two billion towards. However leaked documents by the BBC show that the government will be seeking a further four billion from house builders to fund repairs to a wider range of apartment blocks and reduce costs for the apartments’ leaseholders.
Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is said to have written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Housing stating: “You may use a high-level ‘threat’ of tax or legal solutions in discussions with developers as a means to obtaining voluntary contributions from them.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had no immediate comment, however it is believed that Clarke told Gove that if the property developers would not pay up, he would have to find the money from the existing housing budget.
It is understood the additional funds are sought to fund repairs for blocks with a height of at least 11 metres (36 ft). Previously only government loans had been available for blocks that were less than 18.5 metres high.
Although the government is said to be asking house builders for the extra four billion pounds that is needed, it is thought that the request is unlikely to be successful with legal liability for the repairs under dispute. In the past leaseholders of individual apartments have often faced bills for tens of thousands of pounds each for repairs from the owners of the apartment blocks.
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