David & Goliath

End Our Cladding Scandal

Nearly five years after Grenfell, millions remain trapped in unsafe buildings, facing life-changing bills they cannot and should not pay. The Government must finally end the building safety scandal.

The Campaign

The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign calls on the Government to lead an urgent, national effort to fix the building safety crisis exposed by the Grenfell tragedy.

An estimated three million people remain trapped in unsafe and unsellable flats – at risk of fire, bankruptcy and a mental health crisis.

Leaseholders face ruinous costs to fix cladding and other defects that are not their fault, plus spiralling interim charges for 24/7 ‘waking watch’ patrols and soaring insurance premiums.

Affected residents across the UK have come together to hold the Goliaths of the housebuilding industry and government to account – for decades of failure in construction standards, regulations and their enforcement.

Campaigners are calling for:

• all homes to be made safe as quickly as possible, prioritised in risk order
• full financial protection for those in unsafe homes, and
• actions to unlock the market, allowing people to finally move on with their lives.

awards

Digital advertising van in Westminister during the Fire Safety Bill. Credit: Charlie Jameson, Push The Button.

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the ‘David and Goliath’ award, alongside the other inspiring campaigns. The evidence coming out of the Grenfell Inquiry shows that, for decades, powerful voices have prioritised cutting red tape for businesses over the safety of people in their own homes. It is understandable for individuals to feel powerless when faced with injustice on this scale, but we hope that our story shows how, working collaboratively, it is possible to make your voice heard. This nomination will keep us motivated to keep fighting until homes are finally made safe and leaseholders are financially protected.”


Giles Grover 

awards

Digital advertising van in Westminister during the Fire Safety Bill. Credit: Charlie Jameson, Push The Button.

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the ‘David and Goliath’ award, alongside the other inspiring campaigns. The evidence coming out of the Grenfell Inquiry shows that, for decades, powerful voices have prioritised cutting red tape for businesses over the safety of people in their own homes. It is understandable for individuals to feel powerless when faced with injustice on this scale, but we hope that our story shows how, working collaboratively, it is possible to make your voice heard. This nomination will keep us motivated to keep fighting until homes are finally made safe and leaseholders are financially protected.”


Giles Grover 

The Change

By the end of 2020, the Government had committed £1.6bn of funding for the remediation of unsafe homes, limited to one (Grenfell) type of cladding on high-rise blocks of flats. This fell far short of the estimated £15-50bn to fix the wider building safety crisis. There was no support for the life-changing costs of fixing other defects, and Government policy would shackle leaseholders in lower-rise buildings with long-term loans.

Pressure from campaigners, political supporters, and media coverage led to repeated tabling of amendments to the Fire Safety Bill in 2021. This pushed the Government to add £3.5bn to the Building Safety Fund for a wider range of cladding and, ultimately, led to a policy ‘reset’ in early 2022. Michael Gove announced that leaseholder loans would be scrapped, there would be £4bn of new funding for mid-rise blocks, and that he intended for leaseholders to pay nothing for other non-cladding defects.

However, the devil is in the detail. The Government intends to pass the Building Safety Bill by the end of the 2021-22 parliamentary session and – despite being pushed into introducing hundreds of pages of its own amendments – it still falls far short of delivering on this promise and ending the scandal.

The Future

The campaign is entering a crucial period. They will highlight a myriad of gaps in the Government’s proposals for protecting building safety victims from costs and the delay this will cause to making homes safe.

The Government should expect a backlash against ‘capped’ costs, which still leave leaseholders paying for years for a crisis that was not their fault, the total lack of support for those facing remediation costs in low-rise buildings, and the risk of costs falling on resident-managed and enfranchised buildings.

The End Our Cladding Scandal team meets regularly with officials and Ministers. But, five years into this crisis, it is imperative that the Government ensures work to make homes safe happens much faster, that leaseholders can finally sell their homes and move on with their lives, and that extortionate insurance costs end.

Pressure is building for a statutory compensation scheme for leaseholders, who have already paid out thousands of pounds, and mental health support for all affected leaseholders. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy, justice and change are long overdue.

Who else was involved?

The ‘End Our Cladding Scandal’ campaign is a collaboration between the UK Cladding Action Group, Manchester ‘Cladiators’ and Cladding Action Groups representing leaseholders in Birmingham, Ipswich, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Sheffield, Hertfordshire, Essex, Northeast England, and Wales.

Cladding Action Groups are local support groups, led by volunteers who are personally affected by the building safety crisis.

Campaign partners also include Grenfell United, Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, and the National Leasehold Campaign. Media partners are Inside Housing, The Sunday Times, and The Daily Mail.