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Cladding replacement grinds to a halt in December

Cladding remediation on private residential blocks ground to a halt in December according to the government’s latest building safety data.

The number of private blocks where work has been completed was unchanged compared to November. Just five out of 176 blocks that have combustible cladding have seen remedial work completed.

The number of blocks where work has started was also unchanged at nine.

Out of the 176 blocks that require remedial works 78 still have no plans in place to carry out the work.

Deciding who should pay has held up remediation on a number of buildings, with leaseholders, freeholders and developers arguing over liability.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it was still unclear on 96 private residential blocks as to who would foot the bill.

In November councils were given power to force through remediation works on private blocks that had unsafe cladding.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders.

“My message is clear: private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”

There has been better progress in the student accommodation sector, with 25 out of 62 buildings with combustible cladding having remediation works completed. This is one more than in November.

Remediation work has continued in the social residential sector with 37 out of 160 buildings having remedial works completed. Replacement work is also under way on a further 81 blocks.

The government’s social sector cladding fund is covering the cost on 147 out of the 160 buildings. Proceeds from legal action and existing funds are covering the costs on the remaining 13 blocks.

A £248m fund to cover the cost of cladding replacement on social housing was launched in October.

A government report released in November estimated that replacing combustible cladding will cost between £249m and £337m over the next 10 years.

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