Leaseholders living in tower blocks with unsafe cladding will be given online updates on the status of their building’s application to have it removed, the government says.
The New service will allow leaseholders to track their Building Safety Fund applications, a £5.1bn fund targeted at replacing unsafe cladding on residential buildings 18m and over.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says: “Online updates will expose building owners who are failing to take action to fix their properties.”
The move will see leaseholders in affected buildings given a unique code that will allow them to track the progress of their building’s application through an online service, with information updated monthly.
The department says: “This will enable leaseholders to keep track of their building’s application and help apply pressure on their building owners if action is needed.”
It adds: “Leaseholders will receive a unique code from their building owners and are encouraged to contact owners if they do not receive their code, or if they have any further queries on the status of their building’s application.”
Minister of state for building safety and fire Lord Greenhalgh says: “It is unacceptable that four years after 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.
“Everyone – including leaseholders – has a right to know what is happening with their building and to live safely. Today’s launch is a key step in providing them with both the service and the peace of mind that they deserve.”
National Housing Federation chief executive Kate Henderson adds: “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 committed to working with the government to tackle the building safety crisis and support all efforts to protect leaseholders from costs.”
The launch of the scheme comes after housing minister Michael Gove warned housebuilding firms that the government may take legal action regarding the removal of dangerous cladding, earlier this month.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Gove said, “no leaseholder living in a building above 11m will ever face any costs for fixing dangerous cladding.
“They are blameless and it is morally wrong that they should be asked to pay for the price.”
Firms responsible for manufacturing dangerous cladding and insulation “must pay now, instead of leaseholders,” he added.