Government criticised as hundreds of tower blocks still covered in Grenfell-style cladding

Posted On: 
16th January 2020

Labour has hit out at the Government’s “shameful” handling of post-Grenfell building safety as after it emerged hundreds of tower blocks continue to have dangerous cladding.

A total 72 people were killed in the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017

Official figures show that a total of 315 high-rise buildings are wrapped in flammable materials two-and-a-half years after the tragedy which claimed the lives of 72 people.

The Ministry for Housing data 7,000 properties in the social housing sector are yet to have work done, alongside up to an estimated 16,800 privately-owned residences. 

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A ban on combustible materials on new high-rise homes came into force in December 2018, but does not apply to existing buildings.

Shadow housing minister Sarah Jones said: “Yet again we are seeing the human impact of government failure post-Grenfell. Tens of thousands of people are going to sleep in flammable buildings and hundreds of thousands still do not know if their home is safe to live in. 

“And with deadly tower blocks still being discovered two-and-a-half years after Grenfell, there are serious questions about the Government's ability and willingness to fix this crisis.”

The statistics also revealed that the Government’s initiative to pay for works to be carried out on private sector buildings, the Private Sector Remediation Fund, had so far granted funding for full costs to just one building, out of 82 that had submitted applications by the December 2019 deadline.

Ms Jones continued: "It shames Conservative ministers that after promising to pay for flammable cladding removal nine months ago, the government has only funded a single private block, leaving hundreds still covered."

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey tweeted: “Shameful cladding stats: over 2.5 years after Grenfell, 315 buildings have been identified with the same deadly cladding but STILL haven't had it replaced.

“76 blocks don't even have a plan to do so. When are the Tories going to get a grip?”

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government was contacted for comment.