Cladding crisis: Desperate caller tells LBC she will be homeless by Christmas

25 November 2020, 08:47 | Updated: 25 November 2020, 17:12

By Fiona Jones

This caller told LBC she will be homeless by Christmas as her only other option is to pay £15,000 to have cladding removed from her building.

Flat owners and renters living in properties deemed unsafe are being told they must spend thousands of pounds to have dangerous cladding removed from buildings that most do not own.

This comes after LBC uncovered that millions of desperate people are trapped in homes with unsafe cladding which has rendered their properties entirely worthless.

The government-led decision to refurbish tower blocks came in the wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire which left 72 people dead in 2017.

But with Rishi Sunak set to outline his spending review today, leaseholders are urging the chancellor to "end our cladding scandal" by covering the costs of removing the hazardous material.

Exclusive: LBC uncovers ‘forged’ cladding-safety certificates, costing victims £1000s

Hayley from Baildon has been told it will cost her £15,000 personally to have cladding removed from her building which she cannot afford, and is being forced to declare bankruptcy "in a matter of weeks."

"That's only for the cladding, so the other issues that we've got, it won't even touch it. I've no idea what the total figure could be but it's completely out of my reach," Hayley said.

Due to her having bought her flat on the affordable housing scheme, she cannot sell to a cash buyer, only someone on lower income who will also be buying through the scheme - which she deems impossible to do.

Instead, tragically, once declaring bankruptcy the property will be repossessed.

"I don't honestly have anywhere to go," she said, "I'm only 28 years old and I'm still single, young, and all my friends are either renting and don't have spare bedrooms or the few that are married with kids and have got a house [is a bit full.]"

She continued, "I'm going to be sleeping on my dad's sofa which is going to be heartbreaking and humiliating, but that's just the facts of it.

"I just feel that we've been strung along and lied to for so long...we've been on the edge of our seat hoping and praying, and any scrap of information or news that comes through, we've been crossing our fingers."

On top of her payments each month for her flat, she is also paying £300 per month for Waking Watch, a monitoring service which safeguards in the instance of a fire - almost as much as her mortgage.

Watch: Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick admits he's still not met homeowners