New £1 billion building safety fund announced

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has launched a new £1 billion Building Safety Fund to remove dangerous cladding and encourage building owners to put the safety of residents first.

The government has published the prospectus for the fund which will meet the cost for remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on residential buildings in the private and social sector that are 18 metres and over and do not comply with building regulations. This fund is predominately targeted at supporting leaseholders in the private sector facing significant bills.

The government’ is already providing £600 million for the replacement of ACM cladding systems bringing total funding for remediation up to £1.6 billion. Ministers say that building owners who are already remediating their buildings should continue to do so and should also explore every opportunity to fund this work before seeking funding from government or passing on costs to their leaseholders.

The government has also published an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations, which will ensure sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 metres tall when they come into force.

Jenrick said: “Today I am launching our £1 billion fund to remove unsafe non-ACM cladding from buildings. This is work that must take place as an absolute priority to keep residents safe and brings total funding for remediation up to £1.6 billion. I will not accept any excuses from building owners who have yet to take action and those responsible should register for the fund so that they can start the remediation process immediately. I have also reached an agreement with local leaders so that this important work can continue safely during the pandemic. New statutory guidance published today also means that all new residential buildings over 11 metres tall will be fitted with sprinkler systems. This is another critical part of our commitment to delivering the biggest changes to building safety for a generation.”