'Residents have faced a living nightmare as a result of the cladding scandal'

Damage to a 19-storey tower block in New Providence Wharf in London, where the London Fire Brigade (

Damage to a 19-storey tower block in New Providence Wharf in Tower Hamlets which is covered in Grenfell Tower type cladding - Credit: PA Images

The fire at a tower block with flammable cladding in Tower Hamlets last week was a stark reminder that we have still not made buildings safe four years after the Grenfell disaster. This is shameful.

Last month, I joined an important meeting organised by the Brent and Camden cladding action group with many residents in Hampstead and Kilburn who have faced a living nightmare as a result of the cladding scandal. It was truly heart-breaking to hear the stories of people whose lives have been turned upside down and who are still trapped in unsafe buildings they cannot sell.

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq outside Swiss Cottage Library in London after residents of five multiple-storey...

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq outside Swiss Cottage Library in London after residents of five multiple-storey towers of the Chalcots Estate in north London were invited to a meeting in the wake of learning their homes are covered in combustible cladding. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA - Credit: PA

Many of my constituents face eye-watering bills for problems that they had no part in creating, including one resident in Kensal Rise who bought their flat using the government’s help to buy loan scheme but is being forced to pay for cladding remediation works. People who bought their properties in good faith, and often with government assistance, have been put in an appalling position and offered very little support. This scandal is taking a huge toll on family finances and mental health, and the victims of it are literally unable to move on with their lives.

I have raised this repeatedly in parliament and voted many times now for action that would shield leaseholders from costs, speed up remediation works and pursue the developers who built unsafe housing. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have voted against this repeatedly and allowed irresponsible developers to get off scot-free.

It is time for the government to own up to their failures, make these buildings safe and finally start putting the burden for this horrific scandal on developers rather than leaseholders.


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