Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick praises LBC for exposing cladding crisis

2 October 2020, 08:57 | Updated: 9 October 2020, 15:21

Rachael Venables

By Rachael Venables

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today told LBC that it will be a "long road" before all dangerous cladding is removed from people's homes.

Hailing LBC for highlighting the issue which has left thousands of people stuck living in "worthless" properties, Mr Jenrick said he and his team are "working intensively to try to bring further resolution to this" crisis.

However he could not confirm it would be fixed even by the end of this parliament.

In the letter leaseholders wrote to Mr Jenrick on Monday they demanded that all dangerous cladding be removed from their homes by June 2022.

But today, the Housing Secretary poured cold water on those hopes, saying: "This will be long a road I'm afraid."

Mr Jenrick said LBC had done "a fantastic job of raising this issue."

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at breakfast, Mr Jenrick highlighted the issue of banks unnecessarily demanding external wall survey (EWS1) forms for most buildings, and refusing to offer mortgages without one.

"On the mortgage market, I'm talking to all the banks to get them to take a risk based approach.

"Lenders are not lending without the EWS1 form and there aren’t enough individuals out there able and with insurance to do the forms.

"This is becoming ubiquitous, so we want the lenders to take a more sensible risk based approach."

The declaration from the Housing Secretary indicates he is trying to persuade the housing sector to sort the situation out themselves.

Mr Jenrick confirmed that he will meet with cladding campaigners, as they requested, to discuss their demands before the end of October.