The MHCLG has clarified its position on financial aid to sites under 18m high: funding will apply to buildings “just below 18m”.
LKP was contacted by telephone by the MHCLG press office to remove reference to the funding not applying to buildings under 18 metres tall. But there was no reference to this applying to buildings only “just below 18” metres.
This has now been clarified by the MHCLG in writing: “The details of the new scheme are being worked on and we hope to publish further information very soon …
“In the debate following his oral statement on 12 March the Sec of State said that he would like some flexibility to include those buildings that are just below 18m to access the fund.”
So – for the moment – if you live in a building 11 metres tall with dangerous cladding there will be no funding, while neighbours opposite in buildings above 18 metres – or “just below” it – will get funding.
Here is what Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said in the debate following the Oral Statement on 12 March:
“We will publish shortly the exact details of the new scheme, but it is our intention that it will be available for both the private and social sectors and that this will encompass all unsafe materials above 18 metres for what are commonly considered high-rise buildings.
“I would like it to include those buildings that are just below 18 metres, because there are some buildings where there has been a gaming of the system by some developers, such as the building in Bolton, for example, that was 17.8 metres.
“There will be a small degree of flexibility to resolve that issue, and this should enable no leaseholder to be trapped in their building.
“The funding should be available for all who require it, and, as I say, in the social sector it will be available to the relatively small number, but an important number, of housing associations and councils that do not have the resources available to do the work themselves.” (Hansard 12 March 2020, Volume 673, column).”