Shabana Mahmood MP calls for a Building Works Agency to protect leaseholders from footing the bill for remediation works
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, has called on the Government to establish a new Building Works Agency.
This proposed agency (consisting of government appointed engineers and experts) would be directly in charge of resolving the cladding crisis going block by block; assessing the problems; commissioning remediation works; paying for them and signing off buildings as safe and sellable so that leaseholders can get on with their lives.
This follows years of failed promises by the Government to make buildings safe and protect leaseholders from the crippling costs of remediation works. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in unsafe blocks of flats four years on from the tragic Grenfell fire and millions caught up in the wider building safety crisis.
The deadline for the Building Safety Fund on 30th June is set to be missed, and as it stands only 10p in every £1 of the Building Safety Fund has been allocated. Working at this rate it would take until 2028 to fully allocate the fund. A tough new approach is needed quickly. As well as establishing the extent of dangerous cladding and prioritising them according to risk, a body of experts is needed to actually commission the works and pay for them using the existing Building Safety Fund so that this money doesn’t go to waste.
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said:
“For too long the Government’s approach to the cladding issue has been piecemeal and plagued by delay. Hundreds of leaseholders in Birmingham Ladywood are still trapped in dangerous flats four years on from Grenfell, and we do not have the luxury of time to fix this crisis.
“We need a central body to take on responsibility for deciding what works are needed, commission and pay for them, sign blocks off as safe and pursue those responsible for putting unsafe materials on homes so that progress can finally be made. Labour’s proposals for a Building Works Agency would achieve this. It would also get the housing market in flats moving again, enabling leaseholders to finally move out of the unsellable flats they have been trapped in for years.
“Government Ministers need to stop sticking their heads in the sand and take action to safeguard lives and livelihoods, otherwise the work will never get done. I will continue to do all I can to secure the reform we desperately need and make homes safe again.”
Notes to editors:
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