Registration has now opened for the Building Safety Fund, the £1billion pot of money pledged by the government in the March Budget announcements to fund the remediation of Non-ACM Cladding Systems in residential buildings. This fund is in addition to the separate fund set up to remove ACM cladding systems on high rise residential buildings immediately after the Grenfell Tower Fire.
Building owners (or those with the responsibility for the remediation of the external walls) will now need to urgently review the eligibility of their buildings and the building’s external wall systems and register their interest in the fund by no later than 31 July 2020 or they will lose the opportunity to access the funding altogether.
Eligibility: The key points
- This will include a technical assessment of the particular non-ACM cladding system;
- Funding will not be available for buildings under 18m in height;
- Building owners are expected to commence the remediation works in the 2020/21 financial year and a full funding application for eligible buildings (based on a tender price) will need to be submitted by December 2020;
- The funding will only cover the capital costs associated with remediation of non-ACM cladding systems that are found to be unsafe. The costs of interim safety measures (such as a waking watch) will not be covered by the fund.
Funding will only be available where building owners are unable to pay for the costs of remediation. It is not entirely clear what criteria will be used to determine whether a building owner is unable to pay but it is expected that there will be a ‘means test’ as part of the application process.
The purpose behind asking building owners to register upfront is to allow the program to confirm which buildings are eligible in principle based on the eligibility criteria. Further guidance and an application process for buildings that meet the technical criteria will be released in July and once it is, applications will need to be made promptly as the fund is not unlimited (maximum value of £1billion) and therefore at the application stage, funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Applications will no longer be accepted once the funding forecast is utilised.
Further information on eligibility and how to register can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings.