'Not enough money': Resident left with 'sky high' anxiety over safety bills despite cladding plan

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi speaks to one resident who warns 'there's not enough money - not everything is going to be covered under the new plan'

Residents have complained newly announced government proposals on cladding removals are underfunded and don't go far enough to help.

Mandy Sandhu told ITV News the polystyrene cladding used to insulate the external walls in her 13.5m tall building in Salford "catches fire instantly".

She described the stress around paying for cladding bills and how ongoing financial uncertainty keeps her anxiety levels "sky high".

Mandy Sandhu said the polystyrene is dangerous as it is so flammable. Credit: ITV News

Under the new proposals leaseholders in buildings between 11m and 18m tall will no longer have to take out loans to cover the costs of remediation work.

Ms Sandu was previously told it could cost £97,000 per flat for vital repairs, but now she won't have to pay due to the proposals.

But, while welcoming the £4bn funding plan, Ms Sandhu fears there won't be enough money for other vital safety measures, including replacing the flammable walkway in her building.

"There is not enough money. Not everything is going to be covered under the new plan," she told ITV News.

"Anxiety levels are sky high. And you sort of panic, you cry."

After the 2017 Grenfell tower disaster, which left 72 people dead, more than 11,000 buildings in England were identified with dangerous cladding.

People at the Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic. Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Although worried residents cautiously welcomed the government's plans, many said that delays in removing flammable cladding around buildings was shameful and remains a national scandal.

What are the new changes and are they enough? ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi explains:

Today came the latest in a long line of government plans to solve Britain's unsafe buildings scandal.

The Housing Secretary, Michael Gove MP, said triumphantly “ From today, we are bringing this scandal to an end”.

However, it’s not nearly that clear-cut. The new plan promises that nobody living in flats in England with dangerous cladding will face crippling bills.

Many blocks between 11-18m high that were previously barred from the Building Safety Fund will now be eligible.

It’s come as a great relief to many residents - but problems are far from over. Residents I’ve spoken to fear that the additional £4 billion going into the fund won’t be enough.

Estimates for tackling the safety problems nationally have ranged between £15 billion and £50 billion. The plan relies on financial contributions from firms responsible for the scandal - such as property developers and cladding manufacturers.

It remains unclear how government can force payments if necessary without new laws.

New legislation or court action could take months if not years - prolonging uncertainty and anxiety for thousands of home owners. As one of the residents affected by unsafe cladding says, this is not the end of the scandal ... but it might be the beginning of the end.