Robert Jenrick – 2021 Statement on Building Safety

The statement made by Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 11 March 2021.

I have undertaken to provide the House with a monthly building safety update.

On 10 February I announced my five-point plan to bring an end to unsafe cladding:

1. The Government will pay for the removal of unsafe cladding for leaseholders in all residential buildings 18 metres and over (six storeys) in England

2. Generous finance scheme to provide reassurance for leaseholders in buildings between 11 and 18 metres (four to six storeys), ensuring they never pay more than £50 a month for cladding removal

3. An industry levy and tax to ensure developers play their part

4. A world-class new safety regime to ensure a tragedy like Grenfell never happens again

5. Providing confidence to this part of the housing market including lenders and surveyors

We have committed an unprecedented £5 billion investment in building safety. This will ensure taxpayer funding is targeted at the highest-risk buildings in line with long-standing independent expert advice.

Remediation statistics

Today we have published the February 2021 data release on the remediation of unsafe cladding and the monthly building safety fund registration statistics.

These data releases show we are continuing to make good progress on the remediation of unsafe cladding, with around 95% of all high-rise buildings with unsafe ACM cladding identified by the beginning of last year now either remediated or started on site. Also, 100% of social sector buildings and 84% of private sector buildings have now started or completed remediation. Overall, 74% of all identified buildings have removed their ACM cladding, an increase of 17 since the end of January.

Our expectation is that unsafe ACM remediation should be completed as soon as possible and by the end of 2021 at the latest. Full details of our progress with cladding remediation can be found in the Department’s monthly building safety data release, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-february-2021.

As at 11 March 2021, the building safety fund registration statistics show that 978 decisions have been made on the basis that sufficient supporting information has now been received. Of these, 624 registered buildings are proceeding with a full application and 354 have been shown to be ineligible. The total amount of funding allocated is £226.8 million (including social sector) correct at 05/03/2021. Full details can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics.

Enforcement

I am also today informing the House of a change to the contingent liability for the provision of an indemnity for the joint inspection team (JIT), as was previously set out in my Department’s statements and associated departmental minutes, Official Report, 11 December 2018; Vol. 651, c. 9-10WS. and Official Report, 25 June 2019; Vol. 662, c. 28-29WS.

The purpose of the JIT has been to provide support to local authorities in making hazard assessments of high-rise residential buildings with unsafe aluminium composite material cladding and then to provide advice to local authorities on enforcement action. The change extends the cover provided by the indemnity to advice to local authorities on high-rise residential buildings with all other types of unsafe cladding too.

I am laying a departmental minute providing further detail of the change to the contingent liability.