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Chair writes to Secretary of State on building saftety scandal

20 April 2022

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State, DLUHC, following the Department’s announcement on 13 April of an agreement with the housing industry to contribute £5bn to address the building safety scandal.

The correspondence asks a series of questions in relation to the Government’s announcement, including whether the funding and building safety levy will cover non-cladding as well as cladding issues, how social housing providers will be affected, and the steps being taken by the Government to make other sectors, beyond developers and construction manufacturers, contribute.

The LUHC Committee published their Building Safety: Remediation and Funding report on 11 March and made a series of recommendations to Government to ensure leaseholders did not pay to rectify faults to make their homes safe.

On Wednesday 20 April, the House of Commons undertakes consideration of Lords Amendments to the Building Safety Bill, (see House of Commons Library research briefing).

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, said: “As a Committee, we welcome the Government’s announcement of an agreement that will, at long last, see the housing industry contribute £5 billion to help address the building safety scandal. Leaseholders should not be paying a penny to put right faults not of their doing to make their homes safe.

“I hope the Secretary of State is able to provide clarification around what is covered by the funding announcement and the building safety levy, including whether it will apply to non-cladding as well as cladding issues, and the total expected amount that industry and Government will together spend on remediation.

“As we recommended in our recent Committee report, social landlords should have full access to funds for building safety remediation and be exempt from the Building Safety Levy. More detail from the Secretary of State on how social landlords will be affected would be welcome.

“It is disappointing the Construction Products Association continues to drag its feet and is yet to make a public funding commitment. We welcome the further steps the Secretary of State indicates he is taking in this area. All relevant parties to the building safety crisis should be required to contribute to the costs of fixing these issues. We hope the Secretary of State will set out what further steps are being taken to make sectors who have not made a public funding commitment, such as construction manufacturers, contribute.”

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