Sheffield residents’ anger as they are left to pay for safety repairs on tower blocks
Councillors have called on the Government to end a national “cladding crisis” and make sure private tenants in Sheffield are not left footing the bill for repairs.
Recently the government announced funding towards the cost of removing unsafe cladding but it has been widely criticised as the cost of crucial safety measures is still left with many leaseholders.
Homeowners in blocks less than 18 metres tall are left out of the funding and will instead be offered long-term loans.
Jenni Garratt, who lives in the Wicker Riverside building, was one of several people from Sheffield Cladding Action Group who spoke at a council meeting.
She said: “I’m 24 and bought my property two years ago. I’m now in a situation where I’m being told that I’m liable to pay for remediation costs for a building that was actually built when I was 11 years old.
“The group represents all the buildings that are being caught up in this crisis. Our building was evacuated two weeks before Christmas so it has been a horrendous few months, not knowing when the bills are coming through and whether we’re going to find out something else has gone wrong.
“If we’re stuck in buildings that have been badly constructed, and most developers are not stepping up to remediate, we don’t think the council should allow those same developers to be given contracts and planning permission without at least being grilled about the situation.”
Olivia Hill said she felt “extremely hard done by” after spending her life savings buying her home.
Phil Carter added: “There are so many buildings in Sheffield that have applied for the grant, in the hope that crippling remediation costs that they shouldn’t be paying for are not passed down to them.”
And Peter Housley said: “Put yourself in our position, if you got an envelope through your door tomorrow saying oh by the way, your house has not been built correctly, it’s the wrong materials, and you’re going to have to pick up the bill.”
Councillors of all parties agreed to continue lobbying the government.