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Government launches pilot to help mid-rise buildings with ‘extortionate’ cladding bills

  • 30/11/2022
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Government launches pilot to help mid-rise buildings with ‘extortionate’ cladding bills
The Department for Levelling Up has opened a pilot for medium-rise buildings between 11 and 18 metres that will fund building improvements and protect leaseholders and residents from “extortionate cladding repair bills”.

The department said that the pilot was opened from today and would be more widely rolled out next year. It added that it would be the “biggest” building safety scheme in operation.

It said that improvements would be funded by the £3bn Building Safety Levy, and aims to cover buildings between 11 and 18 metres tall where a developer “cannot be traced or held responsible for remediation works”.

The levy was announced in February last year and aims to “ensure the taxpayer and leaseholders do not pay for the necessary remediation of building safety defects”. The consultation for proposals for the levy opened last week.

The department said that 60 buildings across England have been invited to apply for the pilot from today.

Homes England will run the pilot and ensure that building owners and freeholders in the building “get the help they need to assess and fix fire safety defects”.

Minister for local government and building safety Lee Rowley said: “This is an important step forward for leaseholders who have been trapped in unsafe, unsellable homes with unfair costly repair bills for far too long.

“Building owners have the responsibility to get essential cladding repairs done and this scheme will help ensure this happens.”

He added: “We are taking action to protect innocent leaseholders and ensure they are safe and secure in their homes. I will be monitoring progress very closely as we work towards the launch next year.”

The department said that the scheme builds on “significant progress” made on building safety and protecting leaseholders from “unfair costs”. It pointed to the Building Safety Fund for 18 metre-plus building, the ACM funds and pledges by developers of at least £2bn to fix their own building defects.

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