The cladding scandal may not be in the headlines anymore, but people in Bristol are still being hit with eye-watering bills for fire safety problems they did not cause.
Several tower blocks in my constituency of Bristol West are still waiting for government funding to fix the dangerous cladding, years after building owners first applied.
As a result, residents cannot move or get on with their lives and live with the constant anxiety of additional costs. After years of broken promises, many people have almost given up hope that this will be resolved.
And while the government tries to ignore the scandal, new problems keep emerging.
Several people have told me they bought their homes through ‘Help to Buy’ loan schemes. Because of the cladding on their buildings, they cannot get the paperwork they need to pay back their loans. They are now forced to pay rising interest payments indefinitely, with no prospect of paying back the actual loan. I have written to Homes England to push for a resolution to this problem and am investigating how this can be fixed.
Others have written to me about home insurance costs which have more than tripled and escalating service charges which are pushing them into financial hardship. I will continue to raise these matters with government ministers and demand answers. It cannot be right for people’s lives to be disrupted in this way.
I have followed the cladding scandal closely since the Grenfell Tower disaster almost six years ago. When I was Shadow Housing Secretary, between 2020 and 2021, I won some victories, including billions of pounds of government funding to make buildings safe. But there is still so much to do, so I will keep campaigning on this.