We have written to Mr Gove to ensure he is fully aware that little has changed on the ground for the majority of leaseholders impacted by the building safety crisis and that his government must do much more to help leaseholders, all of whom are equally blameless, so that they can finally move on with their lives.
Dear Mr Gove,
Six years after Grenfell, and over one year after you changed the law and told MPs and the public that leaseholders were now protected, hardly anything has changed on the ground. Our recent survey has only confirmed that the vast majority of us are still trapped in unsafe homes, still unable to sell, still without any clue when this nightmare will end. We are still going to have to pay to fix issues we didn’t create and some people, who have been horribly labelled as ‘non-qualifying’ leaseholders, face ruinous bills because the Government has decided some leaseholders are more innocent than others.
Nowhere near enough has been done to hold the companies that caused this mess to account despite your promises this would happen. You reset the Government’s approach to building safety in January 2022. Unfortunately, that is not delivering results, and buildings are not being made safe at any discernible pace. Today, we are resetting our campaign to give a clear focus on what needs to happen next to end this scandal for good.
We recognise that yours was a major intervention and we have engaged repeatedly with the Department over the last year, setting out the many ways in which your leaseholder protections can be improved, and detailing these in our recent letters to you and the Chancellor:
EOCS Letter to Michael Gove 15062023
EOCS Letter to Jeremy Hunt 15062023
Our campaign has been fighting for a just and long-lasting solution for over four years, and we have seen some steps forward in that time, but it has all been too slow, and the protections in place are too piecemeal and too complicated. They are only adding to the anxiety and uncertainty we face.
We will continue to work with the Department over the coming weeks and months. This crisis has stolen six years of our lives, but we are still here. We will not stop until all leaseholders are protected, and buildings made safe.
We all know that the building safety crisis is complex; however, it is solvable if the political will is there. You have acknowledged the force of the arguments we have made; therefore, we need and expect to see material improvements to your current approach to building safety. To help you, we have the following Asks, which are detailed further on our website here:
Comprehensive risk assessment standards: Definitive, holistic and risk-based guidance is essential for buildings of all heights and for both external and internal defects, so that safety assessments and the remediation required will be absolutely clear and consistent.
Make our homes safe at the pace we need and deserve: There must be robust, meaningful oversight of the developer contracts; funding from government schemes must match risk; all industry stakeholders must be held to account; there must be clear deadlines for remediation with all buildings having a plan in place by June 2024; and social landlords must have the same access to government funding as the private sector.
All leaseholders are 100% innocent and must be protected: Every leaseholder must have equal protection from the cost of fixing building safety defects. We are all blameless and must be treated as such.
Leaseholders must be protected from further financial penalties: The Government must go beyond the current leaseholder “protections” and address other financial losses being incurred and ensure that leaseholders are not further penalised by an onerous lending process and exorbitant building insurance premiums.
Urgent action to give us our lives back now: The forthcoming Code of Practice for Works in Residential Buildings must be made binding; leaseholders and residents must be able to obtain accurate information about their homes; and better mental health support must be made available to those affected by the crisis.
Alongside our sister group, the Non-Qualifying Leaseholders, we are now looking ahead to the next general election. Our survey spells out the clear failure of the Government to protect ordinary people across the country. Your government can and must do better. As manifestos begin to be drawn up, and promises are made, think of our Asks as our programme for this or any future government. When we meet over the coming weeks, we will ask you to pledge to work to implement our Asks. If this Government continues to refuse to protect us and ensure buildings are made safe quickly, we will keep fighting until we have one that understands fairness and what “doing the right thing” actually means.
End Our Cladding Scandal and The Non-Qualifying Leaseholders Group
The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign calls on the Government to lead an urgent, national effort to fix the building safety crisis.
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