To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of financial advice services available to leaseholders of high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding that are facing interim remedial costs and increased building insurance premiums.
20 April 2021
The Government recognises residents’ concerns about the cost of waking watch measures. That is why we collected and published information on waking watch costs, available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-waking-watch-costs. The data also illustrates that alarm systems can provide a more cost-effective means of protecting resident safety. We are therefore providing £30 million in funding to pay for the costs of installing an alarm system in buildings with unsafe cladding. The Waking Watch Relief Fund opened on 31 January 2021 to all eligible Social sector buildings in England, and all private sector buildings except those in Greater London. All applications have now been submitted and are being processed. In Greater London, the fund opened on 18 March for 6 weeks and is being administered by the GLA. Common alarm systems will enable costly waking watch measures to be replaced in buildings waiting to have unsafe cladding removed.
We are aware that some leaseholders have received significant increases in their insurance premiums where their block has building safety concerns. We are working with the insurance industry to understand this issue and are engaging with a range of proposals put forward to address it. We are encouraging insurers to take a proportionate approach to risk.