High rise repairs: Exclusive ITV Calendar survey reveals impact of building safety crisis across Yorkshire

Exclusive ITV Calendar Survey reveals cost of buildings safety crisis in Yorkshire Credit: ITV Calendar

Thousands of people across Yorkshire face paying bills of tens of thousands of pounds to make their buildings safe.

Nearly four years after Grenfell, the number of buildings identified with fire-safety issues is growing.

Now, an exclusive survey carried out by ITV Calendar of over a hundred residents across the region has highlighted the true scale of those costs:

Credit: ITV Calendar

While the government estimates the average cost of repairs would be £9,000 per leaseholder, our survey has revealed nearly half have been told they are facing repair bills of over £25,000.

And alarmingly, over a quarter say they fear facing financial ruin as a result.

While the Grenfell fire initially instigated investigations into flammable cladding, it's now clear the problems go far beyond cladding issues.

Just 3% of respondents to our survey only have problems with dangerous cladding.

A £5.1 billion government fund has been set up to pay for the replacement of dangerous cladding. The real cost of fixing all fire safety defects is thought to be up to ten times higher.

There are 143 buildings over 18 metres in the region that are known to have applied for the fund. But our survey has also revealed that 74% of those applications are still waiting for a decision as to whether they'll be allocated funding.

And if not, the costs to repair them could be passed onto leaseholders. The Fire Safety Bill, which became law last month, contains no amendment to protect leaseholders from costs, despite a rebellion from a number of Conservative MPs.

The Bill, which clarifies who is responsible for fire safety in blocks of flats, was drawn up in response to the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London on June 14 2017, which claimed 72 lives.

Our survey has highlighted the real fear many leaseholders now face as they await funding decisions, over half of whom are under 35 years old.

However, it has also revealed the costs that many of them have already been paying as part of interim measures put in place until the building is fixed.

Many buildings still require a 24 hour fire warden who patrols the building in case of fire, which is paid for by leaseholders.

Of those under 35 years olds we surveyed:

Credit: ITV Calendar

The government has made £30million available as part of the Waking Watch Relief fund to pay for alarms to replace waking watch.

Buildings are still applying and applications are being worked through.

An MHCLG spokesperson said: “The Government is bringing forward the biggest improvements to building and fire safety in 40 years.

“This includes a comprehensive £5 billion plan to help protect hundreds of thousands of leaseholders from the cost of making the tallest buildings with the most dangerous cladding safer.

“We will also ensure that industry pays its fair share towards the costs of cladding remediation through a new levy and tax, striking the right balance in protecting leaseholders and being fair to taxpayers.”