Shabana has written to the Chancellor in advance of the Spending Review, calling upon him to offer further support to victims of the cladding scandal.
In the run up to the Chancellor’s statement, campaigners are highlighting the delays to remediation funding from the Building Safety Fund, and the lack of support for interim costs such as waking watch.
Shabana has campaigned alongside those affected by the cladding scandal for more than a year, and has previously written to the Government calling for an urgent intervention to support leaseholders.
In her letter, Shabana asks the Chancellor to commit to increased funding for remediation works and interim costs, and seeks his support for regulation of the insurance industry.
You can read her letter in full below.
Letter to the Chancellor
I am writing regarding the plight of residents in Birmingham Ladywood and across the country affected by the cladding scandal.
Over the last twelve months I have campaigned on behalf of constituents affected by the cladding scandal, where leaseholders in buildings clad in combustible materials are facing bills of tens of thousands of pounds for remediation works.
More than three years on from the tragedy at Grenfell, hundreds of thousands of leaseholders are suffering through no fault of their own.
I welcomed the Government’s initial response in the Budget earlier this year, when over £1bn was announced for the Building Safety Fund to address remedial works for affected buildings. However, it is now clear that this action does not go far enough, and the Government should act immediately to further support those trapped in unsafe leasehold properties.
In light of the planned Spending Review this week, I am asking you to increase the speed at which funding is made available to remediate buildings. Since the announcement of the fund addressing ACM cladding on private blocks, launched in May 2019, less than 10 per cent of buildings have completed remediation or had their ACM cladding removed.
Those living with unsafe non-ACM cladding on their buildings face even longer waits as the initial application period for the Building Safety Fund is yet to close. In the meantime, leaseholders face bills of thousands of pounds for interim measures to secure the safety of residents and their properties.
I ask that you also consider increasing the amount of funding which is available. A recent Select Committee report indicates existing funding simply isn’t enough to address the issues with high rise and high risk buildings. A new settlement for leaseholders must include funding for other fire safety defects and costs for interim measures. In addition, any plans to regulate the insurance sector to provide affordable premiums would also reduce the burden on leaseholders.
It is certainly not in the interest of the Government to have buildings condemned and leaseholders made homeless through no fault of their own, which in addition to the real human cost, would also create a larger financial burden that will ultimately fall upon the Treasury. I urge you to use the forthcoming Spending Review to provide vital support to those affected by the cladding scandal.
Shabana Mahmood MP