Demo for those living with Grenfell-style cladding

Over a year after Grenfell, join Fuel Poverty Action who are gathering on the 17th October at 1pm outside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to hand in their Open Letter (signed by 60+ MPs, NGOs and campaigns) demanding that the government makes homes safe. 

Safe Cladding and Insulation Now

Under pressure, the government blinked. They promised to fully fund re-cladding of social housing tower blocks that are swathed in combustible materials. Local authorities had been pressing for this money for 11 months, and were consistently refused. We believe pressure from grassroots organisations and particularly Grenfell spokespeople concerned about residents of other tower blocks helped tip the balance and win these funds. The money will come from “affordable housing” programmes – a fact that has angered many housing campaigns. 
Despite the progress, the battle is far from won. 
  • There is nothing for student residences, or private blocks. Leaseholders have been asked to fund the works themselves or remain in a fire-trap. 
  • There is nothing for schools, hospitals, or other workplaces. 
  • Even for social housing, the £400 million ‘estimate’ cited by Theresa May is nowhere near enough: making all blocks fire-safe has been estimated at over £600 million. 
  • Building regulations remain unchanged, government guidance on combustible materials is still awaiting consultation, and some kinds of flammable cladding are not even being looked at. 
  • Re-cladding is progressing at a snail’s pace. A year after the Grenfell fire, only 23 out of 466 confirmed combustible tower blocks have been re-clad. On a quarter of the 159 social housing blocks deemed to be in danger, work has not even started.
  • Getting cladding off is only half the battle. Last winter de-clad buildings meant freezing temperatures, damp, mould, misery and ill health (see video testimonies here scinvideo). With thousands in the UK already dying every year from fuel poverty, and with climate change likely to bring more of such extreme weather, the cladding crisis may well lead to deaths.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00