Our Statement on Labour’s Manifesto

Since the Grenfell catastrophe in 2017, we have welcomed the support from Labour MPs – whether that given to individual leaseholders or the Shadow Housing team’s ongoing engagement with our campaign. This included commitments made by Sir Keir Starmer in 2021 and the plan to create a “Building Works Agency” to solve the building safety crisis if Labour was re-elected – a plan which we helped to shape.

In October last year, Labour’s full final policy platform explicitly stated that “Leaseholders should be protected from the costs of remediating cladding and non-cladding defects in all buildings irrespective of circumstances.” Labour’s manifesto now only states that it will “review how to better protect leaseholders from costs and take steps to accelerate the pace of remediation across the country” and that there must be a “renewed focus on ensuring those responsible for the building safety crisis pay to put it right.”

We expected Labour’s manifesto to be high level; however, we are disappointed to not see more than this.

Labour may wish to restore the dream of home ownership to 1.5 million people across the country. But, right now, an estimated 600,000 people are trapped in unsafe flats with their dreams and futures ruined. The pace of remediation remains glacial with millions of leaseholders unable to sell and move on with their lives. Buildings insurance is also still a mess. Last April, Shadow Housing Minister, Matthew Pennycook recognised that ordinary people “have been struggling with the eye-watering cost” for years and that we “need ministers to act decisively to drive those costs down not yet more procrastination and tinkering around the edges.” He said that Labour would “look to quickly establish a risk-pooling scheme with government backing” – will a Labour government back the ABI’s Reinsurance Facility in the first 100 days if it wins the election?

We want, need and deserve to have firm commitments with a clear timeline to fix all buildings, ensure residents are and feel safe, and protect all leaseholders – all of whom are innocent and are still shouldering a desperately unfair burden. We have shown Labour how to do this at a meaningful pace and with visible grip in our manifesto.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 2 Report will be published on 4th September and we expect this to spell out how successive governments played a huge part in causing this crisis by focusing on the interests of industry over residents and enabling decades of bad practice across the construction sector. We note that the National Audit Office is due to report on the pace of remediation in Autumn and this should add pressure on the next government to get a grip of this unrelenting horror show.

In recent years, we have worked with the Government, the Health and Safety Executive’s Building Safety Regulator, Homes England, the Leasehold Advisory Service, and many other stakeholders to hold them to account and set out how the building safety crisis can be fixed. Whichever party forms the next government must show the political will to deliver a much fairer and faster end to the building safety crisis. Labour’s manifesto is titled Change – we need details on how they will change the current ineffective approach to making homes safe. Fire won’t wait and neither can we.

We are determined to see justice and we are ready to work with the next government and ensure they deliver a permanent solution to this nightmare that has blighted our lives for years. We will not stop campaigning until this crisis is fixed, for good.

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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