Since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in 2017 it has emerged that there are thousands of buildings across the country that have dangerously combustible cladding or have numerous other fire safety defects. I recently met with leaseholders in Luton South who told me about their experiences of this. I heard how they were forced to pay thousands of pounds every month for a "waking watch" and face an even bigger bill, in the millions of pounds, to rectify the cladding and other safety defects. They also told me how, as a result of these defects
, their insurance premiums have skyrocketed and that as things stand they are unable to sell their properties. This has left them feeling unfairly treated and
has all had a negative impact on their mental health.
I have raised this case with Ministers and joined many other MPs in putting pressure on the government to make the commitment that no leaseholders should have to pay for rectifications to make their properties safe.
Last week the government announced a new fund to support the removal of dangerous cladding. However, the fund is limited to buildings over 18 metres and does not include the fixing of other fire safety defects. For buildings under 18 metres support will only be available in the form of a loan. This is a betrayal of leaseholders, who are the victims of this scandal and should not be forced to pay to fix something that was not of their making.I have put my name to a number of amendments to the Fire Safety Bill
that would ensure that leaseholders will be protected from remediation costs, and will continue campaigning on behalf of my constituents.