How much funding has the Scottish Government received from the UK Government (Barnett consequentials) for cladding remediation?
The Scottish Government received £97.1m in Barnett consequentials following the UK Government’s announcement in March 2020 (to remediate non-ACM cladding systems on residential buildings 18 metres and over where leaseholders would incur the costs or where the costs are a threat to the financial stability of the social housing provider). The UK Government made a further announcement in February 2021 about funds being made available for remediation and this would include the devolved nations. The Scottish Government has yet to receive clarity on how much this will be or when it will be received and continues to press for this.
The funding we have received so far is being made available in full (£97.1m) for the Single Building Assessments and to support remediation work that these identify. All future consequentials will also be made available if needed – but we have yet to get confirmation from the UK Government how much this will be and when it will arrive. The sooner we get this, the sooner we can confirm to people following Single Building Assessments, how public funds can help them.
We need the assessments to show the scale of remediation needed. The current Scottish Government expects that data from the pilot phase will allow decisions to be taken in Summer 2021 on where public funding can be used most efficiently and effectively. The Working Group recommended that funding for remediation should come from a variety of sources.
My building needs remediated now. If we proceed to have cladding replaced, can we reclaim costs in the future?
Unfortunately it is not possible to give people guarantees before we know the scale of the problem, how far public funds will stretch and how much others including developers are contributing.
The developer of my building is unwilling/unable to help/ is no longer in existence, what is the Government doing to address this?
Some developers have already taken action on individual buildings, or set aside funds to do so. The Scottish Government’s view is that developers should play their part in remediation, where buildings have not been constructed as they should have been. As part of the assessment programme we will be able to establish the overall need, including a comprehensive understanding of circumstances where developers are and are not playing their part or are no longer in existence. Further guidance will be provided to homeowners to help navigate these issues.
Detail is also awaited on the implications of the UK Government’s announcement on a tax and levy that will also need considered in this context.
My building already has a survey showing there is a problem and quotes for remediation, what should I do?
We expect that homeowners and developers will continue to take action if that is needed. However you could also put forward an expression of interest for a Single Building Assessment.
Will the remediation funding cover other fire safety issues and not only cladding remediation? What if we can’t wait to fix these problems?
The Scottish Government has accepted a recommendation from the Working Group that it keeps an open mind on what is covered by remediation funding until evidence is available from assessments.
Building Standards are reviewed and revised periodically, which results in new or amended standards being introduced. Changes are not applied retrospectively to existing buildings. This does not mean that your building is unsafe, but the single building assessment will address relevant risks and may lead to a need for remedial action.
Following the Grenfell tragedy, we tightened rules on the materials that could be used on properties and we are continuing to take measures for new buildings that will make them even safer.
We have different systems of property ownership and a different profile of building stock. Regulations have also been stricter in Scotland for cladding on high rise properties. We want to take an approach that meets the remediation need in Scotland on the basis of evidence and that provides a level playing field. The Scottish Government does not have the same flexibility to borrow money which means that in making a commitment to fund remediation, we need to know how much it will cost and what funding is available to Scotland from the announcements already made at UK level.