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Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
July 28, 2022

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Building Safety

Building Safety Fund reopened with £4.5 billion available for eligible buildings above 18m

First announced in the 2020 budget in March by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Government has announced the Building Safety Fund has been reopened for new applications on 28 July 2022.

The £4.5 billion fund is part of the wider Building Safety Programme, designed to ensure residents of high-rise buildings are safe in their homes.

The fund is being reopened to “ensure that those with buildings that are eligible but did not previously apply can now access funding”.

It has been reopened for new applications from responsible entities of private or social sector buildings that meet the following criteria:

  • Buildings that are 18m or above
  • Buildings that have at least one qualifying residential leaseholder
  • Buildings that have cladding, as defined in the PAS 9980:2022 code of practice
  • Buildings must have a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Wall construction (FRAEW) which recommends actions to address fire risks to life safety presented by the external wall system

Once applications are submitted, technical checks will be carried out from the DLUHC’s delivery partners – the Greater London Authority or Homes England.

For those buildings that had previously applied to the Building Safety Fund and their application was found to be ineligible at the time, new applications can be made if a FRAEW can be provided which meets the criteria.

The Government has not currently announced a closure date for the fund’s application process.

For buildings between 11-18m, the Government has said there will be a separate fund where the responsible entity can demonstrate that other options to cover costs are unavailable. This fund has not yet opened for applications.

Further guidance on the application process for the Building Safety Fund is available here.

Government maintains commitment to protecting leaseholders from costs with launch of online Leaseholder Protections Checker tool

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Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Levelling Up (Image credit: Parliament.UK)

In addition to the reopening of the Building Safety Fund, a new online Leaseholder Protections Checker will help leaseholders understand if they qualify for financial protections under the Building Safety Act. Legislation that is now fully operational also means leaseholders can prove legally for the first time that they are protected from historical building safety costs.

This was announced by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, in July. The protections are designed to prevent qualifying leaseholders from “paying the majority of costs to fix fire safety defects in their homes, and make those responsible, and those who own the buildings, pay instead”.

Any building owner that invoices qualifying leaseholders or continues to seek payment of outstanding bills for work to fix historical building safety defects that are needed could now face criminal action, unless they can prove they are legally entitled to recover these costs.

Mr Clark said: “We must make homes safe. The relaunch of the Building Safety Fund today will help achieve this, but we must also ensure those in industry who acted irresponsibly pay their fair share to put things right.

“The Building Safety Act makes clear building owners’ liabilities and gives us powers to pursue those that continue to flout the rules.

“It has also introduced far-reaching legal protections to relieve many leaseholders from the financial burden of fixing their homes. With these now fully up and running, I urge any homeowners who may qualify to see if they are eligible using our online Leaseholder Protections Checker as soon as possible.”

Leaseholders with concerns about how repairs to their home will be made and funded are advised to speak to their building owner, who is legally required to provide regular updates on the progress of fire safety works.

Find out more about the Leaseholder Protections Checker tool.

 

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