Scheme aimed at ensuring leaseholders do not bear brunt of remediation costs

The government has officially opened its cladding safety scheme (CSS), which provides funding for remediation to fix dangerous cladding.

The initiative, announced by housing secretary Michael Gove earlier this week, will mean leaseholders in at-risk buildings over 11 metres will be protected from costs where the responsible developers cannot be made to pay.

It will be available for all medium-rise buildings between 11 and 18 metres across England and high-rise buildings taller than 18 metres outside London, where fire safety professionals have recommended that work is needed.


Housing secretary Michael Gove wants developers to pay for repairs to dangerous cladding

Thousands of mid-rise buildings are estimated by the government to qualify for the CSS, which will be funded both by the £5.1bn allocated by government to fix the most dangerous buildings and through revenue from the Building Safety Levy on new development.

Eligible building owners can apply through the Homes England Cladding Safety Scheme application portal, while leaseholders or residents living in a building they think is eligible for funding can provide information through the body’s ‘Tell Us tool’.

Peter Denton, chief executive of Homes England, said: “The Cladding Safety Scheme pilot was an important step in removing the cost burden on leaseholders trapped in unsafe homes and built on the progress made on building safety.

“The full rollout of the programme allows us to go even further. Our team is ready to go, and we expect thousands of buildings to benefit over the next decade.”

It comes as the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) publish a joint statement with regulators committing to working together to enforce the remediation of fire safety defects.

The statement, co-signed by the Building Safety Regulator, the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “Where funding for remediation work has been agreed by the government, some building owners are still stalling – preventing vital safety work from starting and damaging residents’ quality of life. 

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“Whilst we are pleased that a number of landlords have done the right thing and remediated their buildings, it is unacceptable that too many are still failing to make their buildings safe.

“We are united in our determination to ensure building owners comply with the law and remediate their defective buildings without delay.”

They stated that the Building Safety Regulator would begin enforcing building safety in tall residential buildings in spring 2024 and promised that those who had yet to remediate could “expect early attention” from the regulator.

“Building owners who are continuing to stall should know they are running out of time if they are to avoid being forced to act,” the statement said.