Laura Anne Jones MS – the Shadow Housing Minister – has called on Labour to clarify how some £58 million it received from the UK Government to help homeowners and leaseholders pay for remedial work to high-rise buildings with cladding has been spent.
Ms Jones made her call after reports today (February 10) that thousands of flat owners are facing huge bills for fire-safety improvements following 2017's Grenfell disaster, when flames spread via combustible cladding.
Ms Jones said:
“Late last year, Welsh Conservatives asked the Housing Minister for a detailed response on how the £58m was being spent, and whether leaseholders and homeowners will be compensated for remedial work, as happens in England, but the Labour minister’s response was dismissive with her responding ‘Money received as consequential from the UK Budget is not ring fenced to be spent for the same purpose in Wales’.
“Leaseholders, flat owners, and those renting the properties will have found Labour’s response unacceptable, unhelpful, and unreassuring, and it will have done nothing to allay their concerns and anxieties.
“Conservative Members have received emails or telephone calls from owners of flats in high-rise buildings who are desperate, tearful, afraid, and unable to sell their properties because of the costs they must bear to have the cladding replaced.
“Labour must come clean and clarify the situation, and detail how the money for these vital remedial works is being spent.”
Further funding of £3.5 billion towards the cost of removing unsafe cladding on buildings in England was announced today by the Conservative UK Government’s Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.