G15 responds to Select Committee inquiry into building safety

 

10 February 2022


We're part of the G15, the group of London's largest housing associations. The G15 has responded to the Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Select Committee inquiry into building safety: remediation and funding.

Geeta Nanda, G15 chair and chief executive of Metropolitan Thames Valley, gave oral evidence to the committee on 2 February. She appeared alongside Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation and Councillor Rachel Blake, representing the Local Government Association. You can watch the session here. Or read the transcript of the session here.

The G15 members have also supplied written evidence to the inquiry, which can be accessed here.

The Select Committee is scrutinising the package of measures announced by Secretary of State, Michael Gove, on 10 January 2022. These included:
  • A promise to protect leaseholders from paying any building safety costs, rather than just those associated with replacing combustible cladding. This will be achieved by enshrining protections for leaseholders in law through the Building Safety Bill

  • Scrapping Government’s proposed loan system for mid-rise blocks. Instead, the estimated £4bn cost of removing cladding from buildings 11 to 18m tall will be borne by developers and cladding manufacturers

  • The establishment of a new team ‘Operation Apex’ to pursue and expose companies at fault, making them fix the buildings they built and face commercial consequences if they refuse.

The announcements were a welcome step in the right direction. Optivo and the G15 have been calling for much greater protections for leaseholders and these measures go some way to achieving that. However, as the Secretary of State acknowledges, they're not a complete solution for the building safety crisis. In particular, uncertainty remains over how the cost of fixing non-cladding issues such as missing firebreaks will be funded. 

To ensure we can continue to build the homes so desperately needed across the country, as well as investing in existing homes and services for our residents, a truly comprehensive solution to this crisis is required. This must ensure that those responsible for causing it meet the costs of resolving it.

Read the full response by clicking here.