Cladding Crisis: Government help is 'too little too late' as Robert Jenrick assures he is doing all he can to help

  • Report by Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham

Building safety campaigners say a top Government minister has missed the chance to offer hope to people living in unsafe high-rise homes on a visit to the North West. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick insists the Government is acting to help people living in blocks wrapped in flammable cladding.

But four years after the Grenfell disaster, thousands are paying large sums towards making their towers safe.

An influential committee of MPs is also calling on the government to abandon its loan scheme for residents.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick insists the Government is acting to help people living in blocks wrapped in flammable cladding

But, despite the backlash, Mr Jenrick says the Government are fixing the issue.

He says: "We have a clear plan to support those people, the leaseholders who are in this very difficult position.

"We've got a £5 billion fund which is going to pay for the removal of all the unsafe cladding on every high rise building in the country where the developers, the builders, are not stepping up and doing so.

"For lower rise buildings, where the risk is much reduced there's also going to be a financing scheme which means they shouldn't be paying more than £50 a month."

When asked about the other fire safety issues Mr Jenrick replied: "Well it does cover all the cladding issues, of course you raise some other issues like fire doors and balconies, those will generally cost a lot less to be fixed but we're also going to work with, and support leaseholders to help them to manage those issues."

Anastasia Frost bought her flat in Manchester five years ago and is unable to sell it because of fire safety issues.

One home owner who is in that position is Anastasia Frost.

She bought her flat in Manchester five years ago - as well as unsafe cladding, she has also had to pay for new fire alarms, and waking watch patrols.

She says the Housing Secretary's comments have come "a little bit too late".

She added: "It's been four years now, it's clearly not been a priority. People have already been made bankrupt and some people have unfortunately suffered with terrible mental health problems.

"Were still talking about what we're going to do, but nothing has really been done yet. We're still living in an unsafe building, the pressure is immense and I haven't heard anything new."

Anastasia, who has a baby due in July, says she would love to move to start her family, but cannot sell her flat as it is currently worthless.

The government doesn't really understand what it's like to be a leaseholder and live in one of these buildings and you go to sleep every night knowing you're living in an unsafe flat.

Anastasia Frost, flat owner

The Government says it is doing all it can to force developers to step up and pay.

Mr Jenrick said: "This will take time because we're talking about a large number of buildings that now need to undergo quite a complex construction process to remediate, derisk those buildings.

"The work is happening now at pace."

Those caught up in the crisis say it is little comfort however.