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To help put an end to the building safety crisis in England, the government has announced its largest building safety intervention to date.
In a speech, Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced the full opening of the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS), which means that costs associated with removing dangerous cladding from mid-rise buildings will now be covered by government funding, shielding leaseholders from costs in situations where the responsible developer cannot be made to pay.
Tens of thousands of residents across England will have a pathway to a safe home thanks to the estimated qualification of thousands more mid-rise structures, all at no cost to the building's leaseholders.
For the most hazardous structures, the government has set aside £5.1 billion, and the Building Safety Levy on new construction will fund the CSS.
The programme will be open to all high-rise buildings over 18 metres in height as well as all medium-rise buildings outside of London that are between 11 and 18 metres tall. The programme will be available to the market for social housing as well.
The Homes England Cladding Safety Scheme application portal is where all building owners who think they qualify for funding must submit their applications. Using Homes England's "Tell Us tool," leaseholders or residents of buildings they believe qualify for funding will be able to share more details about their residences. Peter Denton, Chief Executive of Homes England, said:
Building on advancements in building safety, the Cladding Safety Scheme pilot was a critical step in relieving the financial burden on leaseholders confined to unsafe homes. We can advance even further once the programme is fully implemented. Over the following ten years, we anticipate helping thousands of buildings, and our team is prepared.
In order to protect the millions of people whose lives have been impacted by unsafe cladding, we will keep working with DLUHC to ensure that the pace at which we're working is maintained. With the launch of the CSS, all buildings in England that are over 11 metres in height will now either receive government funding or be paid for by the developers who constructed them. The Secretary of State took a significant step towards resolving the building safety crisis earlier this year when he obtained the developer remediation contract's signatures from 49 of the largest homebuilders in the nation.
On the legally binding document, the developers all agreed to make repairs to unsafe structures they had built or renovated in England over the course of 30 years, ending on April 5, 2022.
The eligible developers have now received letters from the government inviting them to sign up for the Responsible Actors Scheme, with 60 days to respond. Eligible developers won't be allowed to carry out major development or receive building control approvals if they decide not to join or join the Scheme but later break their promises.
While funding is crucial to resolving the crisis, it is also crucial that residents witness quick results once work is determined to be necessary. The government has made it abundantly clear that leaving unsafe cladding unmanaged is not an acceptable option. Building owners must meet their legal obligations to fix fire safety defects in their buildings and make homes safe quickly.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, the Building Safety Regulator, the Local Government Association, and the National Fire Chiefs Council today released a joint statement pledging to collaborate in order to enforce the remediation of fire safety defects, highlighting their commitment to seeing buildings made safe more quickly.
Regulators will take strong enforcement action against building owners who refuse to move forward, and the government will be fully behind them. additional information Through the Building Safety Fund, the Greater London Authority will keep providing remediation for 18-story buildings in London. The progress of buildings in England already being funded by the Building Safety Fund will not be carried over to the new CSS, but it won't have any impact on it.
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04 October 2023