The Spectator

Letters: The growing cladding crisis


Cladding fear

Sir: Emma Byrne’s report on the cladding scandal (‘Ill clad’, 29 August) will have given many of those affected real hope that our plight is acknowledged. I am the first in my family to go to university, so getting on the property ladder was a major achievement. I bought my flat under shared ownership. Three years ago, we were told our building did not have dangerous cladding — only to learn later that this was not the case.

My housing association is still unable to tell us how dangerous my home is. But it has warned we may have to pay to have the cladding removed. If the draft Building Safety Bill passes, the cost will be capped at £78,000. This despite Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, stating that leaseholders should not be held responsible for the costs.

I have a new baby and should be embracing my first months of motherhood. Instead I cannot see any future; it is a black hole. I go to bed not knowing if my child is safe, whether she’ll be forced to grow up in a tiny flat without any of the little luxuries we’ve worked so hard to give her — or whether we will be wiped out by a cladding bill over which we would have no control.

The article asks if this government could bankrupt an entire generation. But an entire generation is, right now, being robbed of the ability to plan a future — or to feel safe in their homes at night. Many say they feel suicidal. I hope Mr Jenrick and the housing minister Christopher Pincher feel deep shame about this mess, the lives it is disrupting and the misery it is causing.

Vicky Rowe
East London


Sir: Like Emma Byrne, I live in a shared ownership flat part-owned by a housing association.

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