Thursday 11 February 2021

Cladding: Help or Betrayal?


 Before Robert Jenrick's announcement yesterday on cladding, local #EndOurCladdingScandal campaigner Lucie Gutfreund asked on Twitter whether it would be 'Help or betrayal?'

For many it looks like betrayal for those living in blocks of under 18 metres in height who will be faced with 50-60 year loans to pay for remedial works.

Lucie said on Twitter:

Apart from the cost not being affordable, what is important to also raise is that the £50/mth loan for 30-60 years will make their homes devalued and unsaleable and wipe out the leaseholders' equity if they need to sell their home, and many do need to!

She said she felt disgusted by Jenrick's treatment of leaseholders and his brazen claim that he understands the plight of leaseholders.


Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council Lead Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning  tweeted:


The government  announcement is simply not good enough. Leaseholders should not bear the costs.


The monies made available for higher blocks is only for cladding and not for the many other safety faults that have been found including lack of fire breaks, cavity wall insulation and of course the cost of waking watches.

The Fire Brigade general secretary Matt Wrack said: 

From the very start, firefighters and residents have warned that the building safety crisis goes far beyond the flammable cladding that was on Grenfell Tower.

This funding falls far short of the estimated £15bn needed to end the crisis. The government’s piecemeal and patchwork approach – designed to shield itself from responsibility – is wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of innocent people.

The government has sent a clear message that it cares more about their friends and donors in the housing and construction industry than residents trapped in dangerous buildings below 18m or the tens of thousands more with other serious fire safety defects.

A number of new build residential blocks across Brent are affected along with student accommodation in Wembley Park. Forum House owners have been told  by First Port that assessors have found it is eligible for funding for remediation work including render finishes and insulation layers as well as ACM cladding.

Quadrant Houseowners have been told that the report by an independent engineer found that the building can only be granted a B2 EWS form at present which would not satisfy mortgage lenders. Further remediation work may be needed on the external wall in order to gain a full EWS form acceptable to them. Meanwhile the engineer has said further fire alarm installations and a waking watch are not required.


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