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Building Safety Fund

Volume 677: debated on Monday 15 June 2020

The eligibility criteria for the building safety fund are set out in the prospectus that was published in May—as Members know, the fund was launched on 1 June. Where buildings are not eligible, our guidance is clear that building safety is the responsibility of building owners, and we have given expert advice on a range of safety issues and measures that can provide clarity.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield South East (Mr Betts) has explained, the fund is not big enough for the demand, and many buildings in Manchester are ineligible for it. Last week, I met residents of Skyline Central 1, whose building will not be eligible because the freeholder has already begun works on the property, yet the freeholder is passing all those costs on to leaseholders, to the tune of £20,000-plus each. So what more will the Government do to ensure that leaseholders are not bearing the brunt of removing dangerous cladding from their buildings?

I am obliged to the hon. Lady for her question, and I know she is campaigning doughtily on behalf of her constituents. As I have said, we have been absolutely clear that where those buildings are already being remediated—where remediation was under way before 11 March—residents, leaseholders, should first seek to recover the costs from the owner, and the owner should do this from the developer of the buildings where the defects are found. The point of the fund is to get the remediation work under way quickly. I can quite understand the points she has raised and I am happy to talk to her further about that case.