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The government has announced a £1billion building safety fund (the Building Safety Fund) to enable building owners in the private and social sector to ensure the safety of their residents by removing unsafe non-ACM cladding systems.
This fund will be in addition to the £600million that the government has already allocated for the replacement of ACM cladding systems taking the total funding the government has allocated for cladding remediation to £1.6billion.
The Building Safety Fund will meet the capital costs of removing and replacing unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings (over 18 metres) and provide funding for mixed use residential and commercial developments.
Buildings that will not be eligible for the fund include those under 18 metres in height and other non-residential buildings such as hotels, hospitals and buildings where there are no residential leaseholders. In addition, funding will not be granted where remediation works had either started or works were committed to prior to the budget being announced on 11 March 2020.
Building owners are being urged to continue any building works that they have already initiated and explore all possible funding opportunities before looking to take advantage of the building safety fund or seeking contributions from their leaseholders. To ensure that ongoing remediation works are not halted, the application process has been designed to enable such works to continue while applications progress.
The Housing Secretary has made it clear that excuses from building owners who have yet to take action in respect of un-safe cladding will not be accepted and he is making every effort to ensure that essential works are made possible and moreover safe during the pandemic.
Registration for the fund opened on 1 June 2020 and close on 31 July 2020 following which, full application guidance will be issued.
Written by Mackenzie Burnet and Matthew Phipps