New Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, has been offered the chance to end the building safety crisis “on a cross party basis” by Shadow Housing Secretary Lucy Powell.
Powell has written to Gove less than 24 hours after he was made Housing Secretary in the latest government reshuffle.
She says: “There is a long list of hugely important housing issues in your in-tray, from falling homeownership, to insecure expensive private rented housing, to social housing reform, the leasehold scandal, homelessness and rough sleeping, retrofit and the zero carbon challenge.
“At the fore today, as leaseholders from around the country gather in Westminster today to lobby parliament, I am writing to offer Labour’s support to build a national consensus on tackling the building safety crisis.”
She says Gove’s predecessors’ approach was too “hands off” and that she is keen to work together to resolve the “nightmare” that those living in these homes are living.
She also called the criteria of the Building Safety Fund “too narrow” and that the “money is taking too long to be allocated, and it does not cover the many issues identified”.
She reiterated her previous calls for a Building Works Agency that would “assess building issues, fund and fix fire risks, and then certify a building is safe” so that people can sell those homes or feel safe again in those homes.
Powell concluded in her letter: “I have long said that I do not want the building safety crisis to be an issue at the next election. Innocent homeowners should not be a political football. We need justice for them now. I again offer to work with government to solve this issue on a cross party basis so we can end this national scandal.”