Jenrick challenged on Government's handling of cladding on 'unsellable' homes

8 September 2020, 08:46 | Updated: 9 October 2020, 15:14

By Fiona Jones

Nick Ferrari confronts the Housing Secretary over the issue of unsafe cladding which has left 3 million people trapped in unsellable homes.

Millions of desperate people are now trapped in homes with unsafe cladding which has rendered their properties entirely worthless, LBC has found.

The crisis has its roots in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the realisation that thousands of buildings have a similar, dangerous cladding.

As the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC the Government is investing £12 billion in affordable homes, Nick Ferrari repeatedly questioned why this investment is not going towards the properties that have left millions of people in "fire traps."

Read more: Tearful caller "devastated" as her daughter's home is branded unsellable due to cladding

Mr Jenrick told Nick the Government has invested £1.6 billion to help to remove cladding "on the most unsafe buildings", a type of cladding called ACM which was on Grenfell Tower; he told Nick he has since launched a fund for the removal of other types of cladding on buildings over 18 metres.

Nick pushed, "There are three million people trapped in their homes, some of whom their home is worthless. You've just talked about £11.5 billion to help with affordable homes, what are you doing about these individuals?"

" you&squot;re leaving people effectively in fire traps but you&squot;re building new homes," Nick Ferrari told Robert Jenrick
" you're leaving people effectively in fire traps but you're building new homes," Nick Ferrari told Robert Jenrick. Picture: LBC

Read more: Distraught caller demands Government action on cladding fiasco

The Housing Secretary told Nick that 70% of buildings with the most dangerous cladding have either had it removed or are in the process of removal.

"The Government estimate is that it takes £3 billion to remove the cladding, you've pledged £1.6 billion, but you've found £12 billion for this other scheme... you're leaving people effectively in fire traps but you're building new homes," said Nick.

Mr Jenrick said that the problem "isn't just about Government investment" and explained there are other routes in which cladding removal is being funded, such as through warranty claims and the developers themselves.

Nick pointed out that in many instances the developers are not paying for this removal in many cases.

Mr Jenrick told Nick he was aware of this, acknowledging that the country has ignored building safety "for a very long time", and announced that the Government is also passing building safety legislation.

Finally, Nick repeatedly asked the Housing Secretary when he last visited a building with cladding and spoke to the residents to which he replied he had been pre-pandemic and wanted to help them.

"Do you? Because you've found £12 billion to build new homes and nothing like that to help these people out," Nick said.

Mr Jenrick replied that they have found a fund of £1.6 billion and acknowledged that cladding on UK buildings is "not an acceptable situation."