The Government has announced that it will 'fully fund the replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding on high-rise private residential properties where building owners have failed to do so'.

Around £200m will be made available for the replacement of cladding on around 170 privately owned residential buildings.

In announcing the funding, the Government said that it had 'stepped in to speed up vital cladding replacement by fully funding the work, eliminating excuses used by some building owners and protecting leaseholders from the costs. In some cases leaseholders have received demands of up to £80,000 per flat as a service charge.

In response the shadow housing secretary John Healey asked “why on earth” has it taken the Government two years to announce this action.

Whether the Government has delayed or not (and lets face it they've had Brexit to contend with) this is good news. Residents living in these buildings are trapped in worthless flats, making it impossible to sell and facing the fear of a devastating fire. 

Building owners will have 3 months to access the fund and can register for the fund in early July. It will be a condition of the funding that the building owner takes reasonable steps to recover the costs from those responsible for the presence of the unsafe cladding.

It remains to be seen of course whether £200m will be sufficient and the funding is limited at present to ACM cladding but fire safety goes further than that with issues with compartmentalisation, fire doors and insulation.