Theresa May announces plan to remove cladding at cost of £400m

Theresa May’s £400m to rid fire-risk tower blocks of cladding			
				 
   by Gavin Cordon 
  Published

Theresa May’s £400m to rid fire-risk tower blocks of cladding by Gavin Cordon Published

"I've worked closely with my right honourable friends, the chancellor and the housing secretary, and I can today confirm that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of risky cladding by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400m".

"I can today confirm that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding, by councils and housing associations, estimated at £400 million (458 million euro, $539 million)", May told lawmakers at the House of Commons.

Her spokesman said it would take two years.

The funding pledge comes on the eve of the publication of the Hackitt Review into the Grenfell Tower disaster, which is widely expected to recommend a new regulatory system for tower blocks, but will not call for a sweeping ban of all combustible cladding and insulation materials.

Only buildings owned by councils and housing associations will qualify for funding, the government has said.

It comes after concerns were raised about the combustible nature of tower block cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in June past year, which killed 71 people.

In another part of her answer to Blackman, May said that of the 210 Grenfell households in need of rehousing after the blaze, 201 had accepted an offer of temporary or permanent accommodation.

When asked why private landlords would not be receiving any cash, the spokesperson replied: "We expect private building owners to take responsibility themselves for removing and replacing cladding and not pass those costs on".

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: "More than 11 months on, the time for warm words is long past, and people are rightly asking why so little has changed since the Grenfell Tower fire".

"A series of commitments made by ministers up to and including the Prime Minister have not been honoured".

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