Brits condemned to 'living nightmare' in 22-yr wait to remove Grenfell cladding

Homeowners living in flats with deadly cladding will have to wait almost a quarter of a century for it to be removed.

The revelation comes ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower blaze tomorrow.

New analysis by Labour shows that at the current rate of progress, it will take until April 2043 – a further 22 years – for all British buildings over 18m high to be made safe.

Around 230,000 people are still living in homes with dangerous cladding –nearly 24,000 of them with the same ACM type used on the Grenfell tower block in North Kensington, West London, where 72 people died in 2017.

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The cladding on Grenfell Tower was a death trap
The cladding on Grenfell Tower was a death trap

Labour's Lucy Powell made demands
Labour’s Lucy Powell made demands

Shadow Housing Secretary Lucy Powell said: “The Government’s woeful lack of leadership is condemning hundreds of thousands of people to a living nightmare.

“We cannot pass another Grenfell anniversary with people living in unsafe homes.”

Ms Powell wants ministers to rid homes of ACM cladding within a year.

Grenfell survivor Emma O’Connor, 32, told how the thought of a 22-year wait makes her feel “sick”.

She said: “The fact dangerous cladding is still on buildings proves the Government doesn’t care about safety.

“No one should have to go through another Grenfell.”

Properties under 18m that have fire safety defects are not part of the figures – meaning up to a million homes may now be unsellable.

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Labour says although the Government made an extra £3.5billion available in February to strip away cladding, the system is so clogged up £3.1billion is yet to be paid out.

The party is also calling on ministers to keep its promise that leaseholders will not have to foot the bill for repairs.

Between May 2020 and April 2021, an average of eight buildings a month had ACM cladding removed. A further 2,017 are still on the waiting list.

Many residents affected are first-time buyers or older people downsizing.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government tonight said Labour’s claim was “false” and “ignores significant progress made in removing dangerous cladding”.



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