Cladding crisis: Pensioner must find £7,000 for fire wardens for next 6 months

10 February 2021, 10:48 | Updated: 10 February 2021, 14:44

By Fiona Jones

This 76-year-old pensioner lives in a building with flammable cladding - she told Nick she must find £,7000 for fire wardens for the next six months.

It comes after a survey shared in advance with LBC found more than one in six flat owners affected by the cladding scandal is exploring bankruptcy.

Many of those considering this measure have been forced to take second jobs or loans from friends and family, to pay interim costs associated with dangerous cladding.

Read the exclusive: Cladding crisis: Flat owners 'exploring bankruptcy and facing bills of over £100,000'

76-year-old pensioner Adeline told Nick that the majority of her savings have gone towards paying fire warden service, Wait and Watch, since 2018.

She said that she has been given a bill of £7,000 for further fire warden protection for the next six months.

Nick was speechless: "It's an additional £1,000 a month? That's another mortgage."

"Being a pensioner, I'm on a fixed income and nobody's going to lend me any money. We can't sell, we can't mortgage, we can't do anything," Adeline said, adding that she did not want anybody else to deal with her situation.

She added: "I will have to wait for the cladding to be removed because even if I can sell, I can't.

"I'm tied-in because I don't want somebody else to come into my situation."

Asked by Nick how worried she gets about the cladding, Adeline replied: "I have nightmares."

Adeline's response comes as End Our Cladding Scandal write to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, effectively telling him that they won't accept a deal which doesn't protect all leaseholders from all costs.

We're awaiting an announcement in the House of Commons by Robert Jenrick at 12.30Leaked reports suggest there will be more support for leaseholders in flats higher than 18 metres, with billions of pounds more in funding expected.

But, it's not known what support will be offered to people living in shorter blocks, with suggestions of a Developers Levy, or loans for leaseholders having been discussed.

In the letter, the End Our Cladding Scandal campaigners demand:

"1. The Building Safety Fund is expanded to cover all buildings, not just those above an arbitrary 17.7m, with funding for all buildings that require it.

2. There must be up-front funding to ensure all buildings that require remediation receive funding not just limited to cladding removal.

3. The Government must finally step in and resolve the building insurance market failure, with a backstop to protect homeowners from exorbitant insurance costs. A fifth of respondents have said they are now paying over £500 per month on insurance alone."