After joining a rally on the Building Safety Bill, organised by End our Cladding Scandal and other groups, I challenged the Housing Minister Stuart Andrew today on failings in the Bill and the Government’s response to the cladding and building safety crisis, by highlighting the position of two Sheffield buildings.
I urged him to set out a way forward for residents of Mandale House who have received a £3.4 million grant from the government’s Building Safety Fund, but the builders contracted to undertake the remediation work have since pulled out because of uncertainty over payment for those works not covered by the grant. This leaves no foreseeable prospect of the buildings being made safe as the remaining amount would have to be funded by leaseholders – and a risk that the grant will be lost.
Wicker Riverside is being excluded from financial help offered to other leaseholders because they have exercised their legal ‘Right to Manage’ and taken over responsibility for maintaining their building after the landlord failed to do so properly. It means their costs won’t be capped as with other buildings where the owner manages the building. I would like the Government to go further and provide zero liability for leaseholders, but the fact remains that the cap is there for some and is not there for those in Wicker Riverside. They should qualify for the same protection as others, because without it they will face unmanageable costs, and as a result the building will not be made safe.
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