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Dangerous combustible cladding still not replaced on 70% of buildings

DANGEROUS cladding has still not been replaced on the vast majority of at-risk blocks of flats, a damning survey by MPs found today.

The housing, communities and local government committee (HCLG) quizzed 1,352 people living in such buildings as part of the ongoing inquiry into cladding following the Grenfell fire tragedy.

A huge 70 per cent of respondents still live in blocks with different forms of combustible cladding, and many had other fire safety issues, the poll found.

The report found that residents were sceptical about whether the government’s £1 billion building-safety fund, announced in the spring budget, is enough to make their homes safe.

Residents were also found to be facing huge bills of many thousands of pounds for remedial works that are not covered by the government's fund.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The government, big business and wealthy building owners have had three years since Grenfell to fix the dangerous homes still trapping thousands of residents.

“The accounts in this report should make them feel utterly ashamed.

“Both residents and firefighters have warned the government and building owners countless times that this crisis goes far beyond the ACM cladding that was on Grenfell Tower but, just as with Grenfell residents, they were ignored.

“There is also still no clarity on who is responsible for remediation work.

“This limbo is a perfect excuse for government and those who own the buildings to continue passing the buck between one another whilst failing to address the concerns of residents."

Mr Wrack argued that the government’s fire-safety fund is not enough to address the building-safety crisis and abandons thousands of residents in dangerous buildings below 18 metres.

“The government needs to urgently conduct an open and accountable national audit of unsafe buildings, properly cost the work and set out ways to recover the cost from building owners,” he added.

Shadow housing minister Mike Amesbury said: “The government needs to take the findings and views expressed in this report extremely seriously and prioritise this vital remediation work, which has gone from a snail's pace to a complete standstill, putting lives at risk.

“This is causing significant emotional and financial distress to residents, people who are living every day in the shadow of a potential disaster waiting to happen.”

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