Landlords are today welcoming a call by a Parliamentary committee for the Government to fund certain fire safety improvements in privately owned residential blocks.
In it’s response to the Hackitt Review, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee recommends that the government should pay for the replacement of any cladding on existing buildings which had been permitted, but has been subsequently banned following the Grenfell Tower fire.
It argues that this funding should be made available to both public and private sector landlords.
Low-interest loan scheme
Earlier this month, the RLA’s Policy Manager John Stewart gave evidence to the HCLG Select Committee on the Hackitt report, in which he described the report as an overall ‘missed opportunity’ due to its ‘narrow focus’ looking at high rise residential buildings.
During this evidence session, which you can watch again here, Mr Stewart, speaking on behalf of the RLA, also called for a low cost funding option to be made available in the first instance.
In the report published today, the committee also agrees with the RLA’s proposal for the Government to introduce a low-interest loan scheme for private sector building owners. This is so that remedial work is carried out as quickly as possible, where unsafe cladding is found and needs to be removed.
Commenting on the report published today, David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said: “We welcome today’s report. Its pragmatic approach to the financing of the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding would ensure vital improvements are made quickly whilst legal debates continue about who should be responsible for replacing cladding found to be unsafe.
“We urge also the Government to take seriously the Committee’s call to take a more holistic approach to fire safety. For all the focus on high rise buildings, we need to learn from the tragedy at Grenfell to ensure the right safety regime is in place whatever size or shape of housing people live in.”
In today’s report, the Committee urges the Government to “take as wide an approach as possible to the applicability and implementation of the recommendations in the Final Report.”