Shabana has written to the Secretary of State at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding the Building Safety Fund.
The Government recently announced that landlords and leaseholders affected by the cladding scandal will not be eligible to draw from the fund if remedial works started prior to 11 March 2020.
In her letter to Robert Jenrick MP, Shabana outlines her belief that it is morally unjustifiable for the Government to exempt those who have already taken steps to make their properties safe from the support available through the Building Safety Fund.
Shabana had urged the Secretary of State to to look into this matter with urgency.
You can read her letter in full below.
Letter to the Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State,
Further to the cross-party letter I sent to you last month with regards to the ongoing issues with non-ACM flammable cladding in my constituency, I would be grateful if you could clarify several urgent issues in relation to the Building Safety Fund.
While I am pleased that your department has recently published the prospectus for the Building Safety Fund, I am extremely disappointed that neither social nor private landlords will be eligible to draw from the fund if remedial works had been committed to or started prior to 11 March 2020. Since the details of the prospectus were announced, deeply worrying media reports have already emerged of circumstances where leaseholders are set to be left in financially ruinous situations because of this unjustifiable caveat to the fund.
Next Sunday will mark 3 years since the Grenfell tower fire tragically caused the deaths of 72 innocent people. For the entirety of this period, many leaseholders have been left in a perilous limbo, being unable to meet the costs of remedial works to make their properties safe while watching their insurance premiums rise exponentially. The snail’s pace with which the government has acted to support leaseholders whose properties are cladded with non-ACM flammable materials has inevitably resulted in a proportion of those affected seeking to draw from alternative, high risk sources of funding to commence remedial works to protect themselves and their loved ones.
I strongly believe that it is morally unjustifiable for the government to now exempt these people from the support available through the Building Safety Fund. In doing so, the government risks sending a dangerous message that people living in potentially unsafe properties should simply wait indefinitely for government support to become available. I would therefore urge you to review this decision and put the welfare and financial stability of the individuals affected by this decision first.
A large number of my constituents in Birmingham Ladywood have been affected by this issue since the harrowing events at Grenfell Tower. Given what we now know about the causes of this tragedy, I firmly believe that it is the government’s responsibility to provide equitable support to all those who have been affected by the issues which have emerged as a result.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these issues in greater depth.
Thank you for looking into this matter – I look forward to hearing from you.
Shabana Mahmood MP