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Government announces fund to replace unsafe non-ACM cladding on high-rise residential buildings

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Following its announcement in the March 2020 budget, on 26 May 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced the availability of a £1 billion Building Safety Fund (fund) in 2020/21, for the remediation of unsafe non-aluminium composite materials (ACM) cladding systems on residential buildings 18 metres and over. The fund will cover qualifying buildings in both the private and social housing sectors in England.

The scope of the fund and other details, such as the registration process, are set out in its prospectus.

The fund is designed to address the financial obstacles currently preventing or slowing remediation of buildings with unsafe non-ACM cladding systems. This fund is predominately targeted at supporting leaseholders in the private sector facing significant bills, although leaseholders themselves cannot register for the fund. Applications to the fund should come from building owners or other entities legally responsible for making buildings safe. Registered providers of social housing are also eligible.

Funding will also be provided for mixed use residential and commercial developments in both the private and public sectors. Funding will not be available for buildings under 18 metres in height or purely non-residential buildings, such as hotels, hospitals and other buildings where there are no residential leaseholders.

Before registering for the fund, the government expects all potential applicants to have exhausted funding sources other than leaseholders and other government funding. To facilitate eligibility, potential applicants are asked to register their buildings ahead of the opening of the full application process so that assessments may be carried out of both the height of the building and the non-ACM cladding system. The registration process will open on 1 June 2020 and will close on 31 July 2020. Following registration, the MHCLG will work with building owners to complete any technical assessments necessary to determine eligibility. Full guidance and an application process for buildings which meet the technical criteria will be available by the end of July 2020.

This is a welcome development. The government is already providing £600 million for the replacement of ACM cladding systems.

The MHCLG has also published its response to its consultation on Approved Document B (Fire Safety), which covers building regulations for fire safety and an amendment to Approved Document B.

See the full announcement here 

Tom Warrender

Posted:

Tom Warrender

Partner

Tom is a Solicitor and Partner with 14 years + experience advising clients in relation to commercial property matters. A Legal 500 recognised lawyer, Tom is a member of SHLA and CRELA, sits on our Board of Management & Heads our Social Housing Team.