Funding for remediation

There are currently two main government funds open to housing associations to fund the remediation and replacement of unsafe cladding systems, summarised below.

Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, housing associations have undertaken significant remediation and mitigation works to buildings that need them. However, money spent on remediation means less to spend on building much needed new affordable homes or improving existing homes.

Our research shows that more than 1 in 10 (11%) new affordable homes to rent and buy in England can no longer be built due to the costs of making buildings safe following the Grenfell Tower fire. And that three quarters of all MPs support government paying for all building safety costs.

That’s why we’re asking the government to cover all building safety costs upfront and claim the costs back from those responsible for the defects. We have been making this call through our political engagement and through various media stories.

Social Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund

The government announced on 16 May 2018 that it would fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on social residential buildings of 18m or over, making £400m available. This is part of an overall £600m pot of funding available to both the social and private sectors.

98% of buildings in the social housing sector that are eligible for the fund have either started or completed remediation. However, the government has kept the fund open, as it reduced the height threshold for eligible buildings to 17.7m to bring it in line with the Building Safety Fund.

Read the government’s guidance on how housing associations can apply for this funding.

Building Safety Fund

In 2020, the government announced a new £1bn fund for the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on buildings that are 17.7m and over. The prospectus for the Fund was published in May 2020, confirming – following the NHF’s engagement with the government – that costs would be covered for leaseholders in both the social and private sectors.

In February 2021, the government increased the Building Safety Fund to £3.5bn. The deadline for claims from the Fund was 30 June 2021 and remedial works must have started on site by 30 September. However, DLUHC has confirmed it will take a case-by-case approach to assessing claims where these deadlines cannot be met, and that it will reopen the Fund later in 2021 for eligible buildings that had previously not submitted claims prior to the deadline.

The government has also published information on how to apply to the Building Safety Fund. After announcing an additional £3.5bn for the Fund in July, it has said it will reopen the Fund in the autumn.

The NHF has been raising housing associations’ challenges in meeting the deadline for starting works on site, despite working as quickly as possible to inspect buildings and secure contractors for the works. DLUHC will still expect organisations claiming from the Fund to provide realistic but ambitious project delivery timetables and will consider enforcement action where they believe progress is too slow. The NHF will keep calling for a flexible approach to these deadlines, and for the government to coordinate the resources needed to remediate buildings and apply them on a risk basis.