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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

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Government offer 100% grants to remove and replace dangerous cladding 23/05/2018 Labelled as Regulation

In a surprise announcement the government said it will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400 million.

 

The announcement was made jointly by Chancellor Philip Hammond and Housing Secretary James Brokenshire on the 16 May - the day prior to the publication of Dame Judith Hackitt's report into the review of building regulations and fire safety.

 

Local authorities and housing associations will be given access to the money to help with the reasonable costs of removing and replacing unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from buildings which they own.

 

Until now the Government had refused to offer any form of grant for this work saying only that they would only consider, in exceptional circumstances, the offer of financial flexibilities to assist local authorities with essential fire safety work.

 

Senior officials at the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) have been in touch with ARCH following the announcement and we understand that this grant will only be available to meet 100% of the reasonable costs of removing and replacing unsafe ACM cladding and will not be available for other essential fire safety measures for which the possibility of financial flexibilities will remain open.

 

Ministry officials have told ARCH that they will set out further details shortly about how councils and housing associations can apply for funding, including conditions attached to the grant, although ARCH has been assured that the application process will be simple and straightforward.

 

ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby welcomed this announcement saying:

 

"ARCH has always been of the view that the Government has a shared responsibility for the systemic failings in the construction industry and the system of building regulation that have led to the need for councils and other landlords to carry out essential fire safety works identified following the Grenfell fire and that the government should therefore assist councils in meeting the costs of such works through some form of grant funding.

 

We have lobbied for the offer of grant assistance with essential fire safety works and we very much welcome this announcement of a fund of £400million to meet the cost of removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding and we hope the government will also now consider offering grants for other essential fire safety works to high rise residential buildings identified by local authorities following the Grenfell fire." 

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