Government Funding To Remove Grenfell-Style Cladding Approved For Just One Privately Owned High-Rise

Government funding to remove dangerous Grenfell-style cladding from privately-owned tower blocks has been approved for just one building, official figures show.

The Labour Party questioned the ability of Tory ministers to fix the “crisis” as it was revealed 315 high-rise buildings are still covered in flammable aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding more than two years after the west London disaster.

The government announced it would step in after people living in private blocks of flats were left helpless by a refusal of some landlords to pay to get rid of ACM. The cladding has been blamed for the rapid spread of the Grenfell blaze.

But the £200m Private Sector Remediation Fund faced criticism as soon it was announced in May last year. Some argued not enough cash had been allocated and that buildings wrapped in other flammable cladding were not included.

Figures published on Thursday show funding has been granted for the full costs to remediate just one building out of 82 that had submitted applications by the deadline last month.

Latest government figures on its Private Sector Remediation Fund. (Photo: MHCLG)

The statistics also reveal a total of 315 private and public high-rise buildings remain covered in ACM.

A Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government spokesperson renewed the government’s threat to “name and shame” building owners who do not have a plan to protect residents. The department did not explain why only one building had been fully approved.

One campaigner who lives in a block in south London that has ACM cladding told HuffPost UK last year about how their homes remain are unsellable and it has caused anxiety, illness and financial pain.

Sarah Jones, Labour’s shadow housing minister, said: “Tens of thousands of people are going to sleep in flammable buildings and hundreds of thousands still do not know if their home is safe to live in.

“And with deadly tower blocks still being discovered two and a half years after Grenfell, there are serious questions about the government’s ability and willingness to fix this crisis.

“It shames Conservative ministers that after promising to pay for flammable cladding removal nine months ago, the government has only funded a single private block, leaving hundreds still covered.”

An MHCLG spokesperson said: “Residents’ safety remains our utmost priority and it is completely unacceptable that people are having to live in buildings with unsafe ACM cladding.

“We have written to building owners to reiterate their responsibility in keeping residents’ safe and we will not hesitate to name and shame those who do not have a clear plan to safeguard their residents.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.