Lobbying the government

We want to reassure you we’re continuing to vigorously explore all options to recover fire safety remediation costs from third parties involved with the development and construction of external wall systems and warranty providers.

We’ll continue to lobby government to make funding available to protect leaseholders from these costs.

We’ve always been clear Optivo will only pass on costs to leaseholders as a last resort, if all other options have been exhausted.

We completely understand this situation continues to cause concern and we apologise for any distress caused.

However, we want to let you know we’re working hard to push for more government support for leaseholders and housing associations to get through this funding crisis.

What is Optivo doing to lobby the government?

We’re dedicating large amounts of senior staff time to raising this issue at the highest levels.

We’ll continue to push for the financial support that leaseholders and housing associations need.

To have the biggest influence, we’ve joined with other housing associations to lobby government.

We’re an active member of the G15 Building Safety Group, which is engaging with government on funding and proposed legislation. The G15, of which we’re a member, is the group of London’s largest housing associations.
We’re also working with housing associations from across the country in the National Housing Federation (NHF) Building Safety National Group. This group is also pro-actively lobbying government, including meeting officials to discuss the need for more funding.

What are you saying to government?

Through the G15 and the NHF we’ve been asking government to:
  • Provide funding for fire safety remediation, so neither leaseholders nor charitable housing associations have to bear the cost
  • Ensure existing funding pots cover as many buildings as possible, by reducing restrictions on the Safer Buildings Fund
  • Provide greater clarity on fire safety regulations
  • Help tackle the skills shortage in fire safety engineers and other professions which is causing major issues, for example in issuing EWS1 certificates.
Do you support the Liberal Democrat amendment to the Fire Safety Bill in the House of Lords to ban leaseholders being charged for fire safety works?

We’re really grateful to all parliamentarians who are supporting the housing sector’s campaign on this issue.

While the amendment is a welcome attempt to protect leaseholders, it doesn’t solve the main problem we all face, which is who should pay for remediation work.

We’ve been clear through the G15 and NHF that what’s needed to solve the funding crisis once and for all is proper government funding.

If housing associations had to bear the full cost, we’d have to make cuts to vital services elsewhere. This would have a big impact on the tens of thousands of low-income tenants we support.

Are you engaging with the national leaseholder campaigns?

We’re an active member of the National Housing Federation, which is meeting regularly with UK Cladding Action and other leaseholder groups on behalf of all housing associations.
 

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