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Landlords welcome calls for safety measure funding

Friday 27 July 2018

Landlords have welcomed a Parliamentary committee’s call for the Government to fund some fire safety improvements in privately owned residential blocks.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee has recommended that the government fund the replacement of any cladding on existing buildings which had been permitted, but has been subsequently banned, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It argues that this funding should be made available to both public and private sector landlords.

The Residential Landlord Association’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.

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 will enable remedial work to be carried out as quickly as possible, where unsafe cladding is found and needs to be removed.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “We welcome the 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.”

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.”

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