At the start of this week, MPs had a chance to vote on an action plan to address the cladding scandal. Since the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, Ministers have promised to take action to get dangerous cladding off buildings no less than fifteen times.
But so far, they have left the people who own the buildings to foot the bill for this rather than the developers who are responsible for these design flaws. Labour put forward a proposal to kickstart remediation work and pursue developers for the costs of the cladding scandal.
It took the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick less than 24 hours to intervene and get approval for a Conservative donor’s £1bn development. Almost four years on from Grenfell, there are up to 11 million people living in homes with unsafe or unsuitable cladding. He didn’t even show up to vote or discuss this at Monday’s debate.
Leaseholders have been hit by profiteering at every stage of the cladding scandal. As well as having to pay to remove dangerous cladding at their own expense, they are now being hit by sky-high insurance premiums and extortionate waking watch costs.
There are an estimated 12,000 people across Lambeth in this situation. Towards the end of the week, I visited some of them at Courtenay House in Brixton Hill to talk to them about their experiences, which I will continue to raise in Parliament. The Government must provide upfront funding to make these homes safe and be clear that neither interim and remediation costs will fall on leaseholders.