Cladding crisis ‘may be a breach of international law’ | News

Cladding crisis ‘may be a breach of international law’

An intervention from UN has suggested that Britain could be breaching international law by not removing combustible cladding on buildings.

The international body is now wanting to know why the government still has not removed all combustible cladding on buildings.

Writing to the government, the UN’s special rapporteur on adequate housing, Leilani Farha, said she had “serious concern about allegations of multiple violations of the human right to adequate housing, of which safety is a key component – contrary to international human rights law”.

She added: “Leaseholders’ flats are unmortgageable and unsellable, with many only discovering this when they were in the process of moving home, therefore heavily impacting their lives and consigning them to remain in homes that are at considerable risk from fire.”

The UN is warning the UK may have breached the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights.

Rituparna Saha, co-founder of UK Cladding Action Group, said: “It is unthinkable that millions of innocent people are still forced to live in dangerous, unsafe homes, while being held financially and legally responsible for fixing catastrophic failings in building safety caused by a failure of the government’s building regulations.

“The delay in response to this communication further lays bare their reluctance to deal swiftly with this housing crisis which affects human safety. As we are seeing time and time again, fire does not wait, and neither should the government.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the government acted quickly to establish a comprehensive building safety programme – the biggest changes to building safety in a generation – to drive up standards and ensure people are safe in their homes.

“We have given an unprecedented £1.6bn to help fund the removal of unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings and we urge building owners, who have a legal responsibility to ensure their buildings are safe, to remove this cladding as quickly as possible.”