Editor’s view: At least 17,000 people in Southwark are caught up in a cladding scandal that is far from over

(17 February, 2021)

A whole generation of often first-time homeowners could be mentally scarred and financially ruined

29544L&Q's Arch Street - residents had to move out in 2019 during remedial work after fire safety problems were identified with cladding.

Billions of pounds of funding to remove dangerous cladding from high-rise blocks across the UK is too little, too late.

The government’s latest announcement on the scandal also leaves many questions unanswered.

People living in buildings under 18 metres, and whose fire safety issues go beyond cladding, will still have to stump up cash to cover building defects that are not their fault.

There are also likely thousands if not millions more people yet to discover that they have been living in potential death trap homes.

Rolling programmes of fire safety investigations across housing developments, high rise blocks and low rise flats across the country – whether privately owned or otherwise – are finding new problems.

Even work that has previously been carried out can still pose issues, as residents in one Old Kent Road Peabody block have discovered this week.

Although some progress has been made it is absolutely damning that four years after Grenfell so many people are stuck in a continual nightmare.

Whether living in potential death-trap homes with waking watches, unable to sell homes that are now effectively worthless, or having no idea when they can return to their flats as work hasn’t even started yet, people’s lives are still being ruined.

It is estimated that at least 17,000 people in Southwark alone are caught up in the scandal. This is a whole generation of, often, first-time homeowners who will be left mentally scarred and potentially financially ruined.

Not only do they need clear promises and a timeline for work to be completed, they also need financial support and mental health support – now.

READ MORE: I could go bankrupt says homeowner who has seen little progress since new funding announced or in four years after Grenfell


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