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Online Service for tracking remediation of high-risk tower blocks | BUILDING MAGAZINE

Online Service for tracking remediation of high-risk tower blocks

Launched by the government, an online service for tracking the remediation of high-risk tower blocks, which will also discover which owners are failing to take action.

This new service will allow leaseholders to track applications to the Building Safety Fund. The government said that the online portal will expose building owners who are failing to take action to fix their properties.

Under the new Leaseholder & Residential Service, those living in tower blocks will have access to updates on the status of their building’s application to the government’s Building Safety Fund. This will help leaseholders to understand where their building is in the process.

The service is designed to speed up the process of removing unsafe non-ACM cladding from the highest risk buildings, which will in turn force building owners to be more transparent and also expose those who have failed to take action to make their buildings safe.

Lord Greenhaigh, Minister of State for building safety and fire, said: “It is unacceptable that four years afer the Grenfell tragedy innocent leaseholders are still living in buildings with unsafe cladding”.

“Building owners are responsible for making their building’s safe, and we will no longer allow them to shirk from their duties and hide behind processes and corporate loopholes”.

“Everone – including leaseholders- has a right to know what is happening with their building and to be able to live safely. This launch is a key step in providing them with both the service and the peace of mind that they deserve.

The secretary of state for levelling up, housing & communities, on the 10th January announced that leaseholders would no longer pay for the fixing of unsafe cladding with building owners and industry footing the bill instead.

The government said that the majority of building owners are already engaged with the Building Safety Fund, a £5.1bn fund targeted at remediating unsafe non-ACM on residential buildings 18m and over. However, a minority have yet to come forward and provide building information, leading to unnecessary delays and costs for leaseholders.

Under this new service, a unique code will enable leaseholders and residents to track the progress of their building’s application through an online service, with information updated monthly. This will enable leaseholders to keep track of their building’s application and help apply pressure on their building owners if action is needed.

Leaseholders will receive a unique code from their building owners and are encouraged to contact owners if they do not receive their code, of if they have any further queries on the status of their building’s aplication. Many residents will also receive their codes directly from the government.

The secretary of state is currently reviewing the wider programme ahead of the next phase of funding, which is expected early this year, in order to maintain the pace of building remediation and ensure the Building Safety Fund is further targeted at the highest risk buildings.

Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, Kate Henderson, said: “Greater transparency over the progress of Building Safety Fund applications is a positive move, providing welcome information to residents in buildings across the country who have been living with uncertainty about their safety and their future. Housing associations are committd to working with the government to tackle the building safety crisis and to support all efforts to protect leaseholders from costs”.