By Harry Scoffin
Shadow housing minister Mike Amesbury has warned government of the disaster facing a generation of young home buyers owing to cladding bills.
Coming on top of post-Covid 19 job uncertainty, bills for waking watch fire wardens or cladding remediation of blocks lower than 18 meters, which are to receive no government handouts, could end the dream of home ownership for thousands of young buyers.
“In the months ahead they face loss of their homes on a major scale,” writes Mr Amesbury, the Labour MP for Weaver Vale who took over the housing and planning brief from Sarah Jones last week.
“This situation is hitting leaseholders in buildings with dangerous cladding hard.”
The letter is addressed to Christopher Pincher, the MP for Tamworth who replaced Esther McVey as minister of state for housing and planning in February.
Mr Amesbury asks his counterpart whether MHCLG, the ministry of housing, has made any assessment of whether the coronavirus emergency is aggravating the financial position of cladding leaseholders.
The shadow housing minister also references Leasehold Knowledge Partnership over Islington Gates, a cladding site in Birmingham set to be decanted because leaseholders are unable to give confidence to a consortium of jittery insurers.
The Labour politician then calls on government to intervene in the insurance market by underwriting the policies of troubled cladding sites.
His move follows LKP’s plea to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick last month to take decisive action to prevent Islington Gates leaseholders from being evacuated amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Amesbury goes on to highlight the troubles of shared owners at an A2 Dominion scheme in Hoxton, east London, who have been told they may have to shoulder the full cost of cladding removal despite having a 25% stake in the lease.
Shared owners are often assured tenants and therefore have fewer protections than leaseholders.
LKP reported the City Wharf Hoxton story here:
Mr Amesbury’s cladding crisis intervention has been warmly applauded on social media, where many leaseholders in dangerously-clad blocks under 18 metres have responded.