Government in the dark over care home cladding, MPs claim

The government has no knowledge of whether any care homes below 18 metres in height have dangerous Grenfell-style cladding, MPs have warned.

A new report out today by the influential public accounts select committee says while the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government is confident there are no high-rise care homes – taller than 18 metres – with dangerous cladding, it has no data on care homes below that height.

The report estimates there are around 40,000 care homes, sheltered homes and hospitals below 18 metres in height.

According to the report, the government plans to commission a data collection exercise to estimate the prevalence of unsafe cladding on residential buildings between 11 and 18 metres, but it has not said it will prioritise care homes in this exercise.

Nor has it announced any plans to find out what cladding is on the thousands of care homes below 11 metres.

The committee has called on the Whitehall department to work with the Care Quality Commission and local authorities to exercise to identify any care homes below 18 metres which have dangerous cladding.

It has urged the department to write to the cross-party committee by the end of 2020, setting out progress on this and on its wider data collection.

‘The government has repeatedly made what turn out to be pie-in-the-sky promises – and then failed to plan, resource, or deliver,’ said committee chair, Meg Hillier.

‘The deadly legacy of a shoddy buildings regulation system has been devastating for the victims and survivors of Grenfell but is leaving a long tail of misery and uncertainty for those whose lives are in limbo.’

A government spokesperson said:We’re determined to ensure residents are safe and feel safe in their homes and are providing £1.6bn to speed up the removal of unsafe cladding. We are seeing significant progress – over 70% of buildings with ACM cladding have completed or are in the process of remediation.

‘We’re introducing the biggest improvements to building regulations in almost 40 years and a new regulator will ensure that people who design, build and manage high rise buildings are held responsible for building safety.

‘Building owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their buildings are safe and must ensure that any remaining buildings have started remediation works before the end of this year – if we do not see progress we will not hesitate to take further action.’

 

Photo Credit – Mikes Photos (Pixabay)

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