In one of his first announcements as Housing Secretary, Michael Gove last week set out some of his plans to tackle the widening cladding crisis.
The government is apparently looking at how cutting insurance premiums for affected homeowners could help, borrowing inspiration from a similar scheme used to indemnify insurers who covered houses at risk of flooding. It is reported to be considering how the state might underwrite home insurance for leaseholders whose flats are deemed unsafe until the necessary remediations are carried out.
As well as mooting insurance based assistance, Mr Gove is also reported to have met with a group of Conservatives who have repeatedly attacked the government’s plans as inadequate and who are expected to rebel against the Building Safety Bill's passage toward Royal Assent by proposing a series of amendments to try to protect leaseholders from costs.
Meanwhile, thousands of leaseholders who own flats in shorter blocks remain in limbo following the previous Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick's, announcement that EWS1 forms should not be required for blocks lower than 18 metres, though there have been widespread reports of lenders continuing to insist on them. The government is expected to withdraw the formal advice that has prompted lenders to demand a copy of the form for these types of dwellings, with the last update being that this would happen "within the coming weeks".
“It is good he is looking at solutions that will protect us, but it is frustrating it has taken so long and the government has looked at this before but faced insurance industry opposition. We want a proper sit-down with him about what the issues are. We don’t expect immediate solutions, we just want him to listen to us.” Giles Grover, End our Cladding Scandal