Building Safety Fund – important updates for housing associations

20 July 2020

Following the publication of the Building Safety Fund prospectus in May, we’ve been seeking further clarity from the government about how our members can claim back the costs of remediation that would otherwise have been passed on to leaseholders.

In our update in May, we explained that the fund will cover the costs of replacing non-ACM cladding for all leaseholders of properties within scope of the fund, in both the private and social sectors. We know that the strict eligibility criteria for building owners in the social sector mean that many of our members will not qualify for government funding for remediation projects on a building-by-building basis.

However, the government has stated that social housing providers can also claim a contribution from the government to cover the remediation costs that would otherwise have been passed onto leaseholders, including those in shared ownership properties. We are engaging with the government to secure clarity on this process, which is separate to the main Building Safety Fund process and so does not require the building owner to register with the fund. The government has described that the basis for this funding is to drive pace in remediating non-ACM combustible materials, so we would expect the application process to reflect this.

We do however want to highlight the following important points regarding the application process:

  • If a housing association has an eligible building with non-ACM combustible materials on the external wall that is not owned by the registered provider arm of the organisation, this should be considered a private sector building. You can therefore apply for funding for such buildings through the Building Safety Fund. This means these buildings will need to be registered with MHCLG by the end of July.
  • Funding – through both the main Building Safety Fund and the funding available to cover leaseholders’ portion of the costs in the social sector – will be available to cover the removal and replacement of both the cladding and/or the insulation, where either of these materials would not meet fire safety standards.

We understand that MHCLG intends to publish further details on funding later this month. We will also continue to share our members’ progress on remediating buildings with the government, and share the challenges you face in remediating buildings and delivering on other areas of work, such as building new affordable homes.

Who to speak to

Victoria Moffett, Head of Building and Fire Safety Programmes