Building Safety Fund reopens for new applications

28 July 2022

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced that the Building Safety Fund has reopened for new applications.

From today, ‘responsible entities’ will be able to apply for funding for the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding, or for other works and mitigation measures that could be identified as a more effective route to making a building safe.

The Fund, now worth £4.5bn, is again open for buildings 18m and over, to include the additional £3.5bn announced by former Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick MP, last year. Building owners, landlords and leaseholders can check their eligibility for the Building Safety Fund using new guidance published by DLUHC.

Decisions to allocate funding for new applications to the Building Safety Fund will be based on new criteria to make sure any works required are "proportionate" to the level of risk posed. To apply for the Fund, new applicants must have a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Wall (FRAEW) undertaken by competent professionals, using the new PAS 9980:2022 code of practice.

The FRAEW will be used by fire safety professionals to determine the safety of a building’s external wall system and determine what, if any, work is needed.   

For buildings 11-18m in height where the original developer or building owner cannot be identified or held responsible, the government will also launch a new scheme to cover the costs of remediating unsafe cladding. We await further details of this scheme, but we understand it will include buildings that have been developed as part of section 106 agreements. For buildings commissioned by housing associations, the housing association is considered the developer and therefore responsible for funding remedial works.

Buildings already registered for the Fund can continue using the existing criteria, while those in the earlier stages of the process can choose whether to switch to the new, risk-based approach set out in PAS 9980.   

The closing date for applications has not yet been set, but the government says that it will give reasonable notice before a date is agreed.

The NHF welcomes the reopening of the Fund which will help to make more homes and buildings safer for residents. However there are still hundreds of thousands of social housing residents living in buildings with unsafe cladding, for which housing associations are picking up the cost. The government must negotiate with contractors alongside developers to ensure they too pay to make the homes they built safe.

Who to speak to

Victoria Moffett, Head of Building and Fire Safety Programmes