Thank you to those who have contacted me about cladding and affordable housing.
While I understand your concerns regarding the perception that remedial cladding work could affect affordable housing supply, please allow me to assure you that the Government’s recent decision to fund cladding removal will not reduce the number of affordable homes built between now and 2022.
The Government has announced it will meet the costs of remedial cladding work on social housing high rise buildings, estimated at £400 million. With remediation work already begun on 76 per cent of buildings in the social sector identified as having Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding, I am confident that the Government’s funding will speed up this important work. This will help to prevent another tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire from happening again.
While the £400 million will come from the Affordable Homes Programme in the short-term, I am encouraged that the Government has been clear that this temporary withdrawal from the fund will be fully reimbursed for the 2021-2022 financial year. This will ensure that no money will be lost from the Affordable Homes Programme, which remains at over £9 billion. As such, the Programme will provide the same number of affordable homes and will continue to build on the Government’s success of delivering 357,000 affordable homes since 2010.
I am pleased that this decision will help speed up essential fire safety work on high rise buildings whilst protecting the over £9 billion in funding allocated for affordable homes.