The government has paused plans to make leaseholders pay for the removal of dangerous cladding with Housing Secretary Michael Gove questioning why they should have to pay for it in the first place.
Buildings between 11 meters and 18 meters are not covered by the Building Safety Fund, as a result leaseholders were expected to repay £50 a month, however Gove has now paused this.
In Gove’s first appearance at the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee since taking over the housing brief in September’s reshuffle, he said the government had a responsibility to help leaseholders who were “innocent parties” with the huge costs.
Earlier in the year, the housing secretary’s predecessor, Robert Jenrick, authorised a £3.5bn fund to remove unsafe cladding from buildings over 18 metres.
Gove said: “We have a responsibility to relieve some of the obligations faced by leaseholders at the moment, who are innocent parties in this and who are being in many cases asked to pay disproportionate sums when there are individuals in business – some still in business – who are guilty men and women.
“I’m still unhappy with the principle of leaseholders having to pay at all, no matter how effective a scheme might be in capping their costs or not hitting them too hard at any one time. My question is why do they have to pay at all?”