London mayor Sadiq Khan should push the government to adopt Inside Housing’s 10-point plan to fix the cladding crisis, cross-party assembly members at City Hall have said.
In a report published today, the London Assembly’s Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee urged the mayor to tell ministers they must take on the measures demanded by this magazine’s End Our Cladding Scandal campaign, run in partnership with affected leaseholders and The Sunday Times.
Chief among the campaign recommendations is a call for the government to provide money up front to remove all dangerous cladding from residential buildings and recoup the costs through a levy on developer profits.
Mr Khan has previously voiced his support for the campaign.
The London Assembly’s report said there were 590 high rise residential buildings in the capital that require waking watches in case a fire breaks out – mostly in place at blocks with dangerous cladding – as of 18 December.
For residents of these buildings, the “stress and strain of the cladding scandal is taking its toll”, the report warned.
Hundreds of thousands of flat owners across the country are believed to be living in blocks wrapped in unsafe materials, potentially facing ruinous remediation bills as well as the costs of interim measures like waking watches.
Mortgage providers are valuing the affected properties at £0 until the cladding is removed, meaning affected leaseholders are unable to sell.
Other recommendations set out by the assembly committee include a call for Mr Khan to establish a hub for affected London residents to access legal advice and mental health support.
He should also work with the London Assembly and MPs to press the government to amend its Building Safety Bill so that leaseholders are protected from paying for historical building defects, the report said.
“The impact that the cladding crisis is having on people cannot be underestimated,” said Andrew Dismore, chair of the London Assembly Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee.
“For those Londoners involved, the cladding crisis is part of their life and from which there is no escape until the problem is fixed.
“This is one of many side effects of the cladding crisis that a lot of people forget.
“Homeowners who bought their properties in good faith should not have to pick up the bill for something that is not their fault and entirely out of their control.”