Leaseholders call on the government to expand support to buildings under 18m tall with unsafe cladding

  • Risk of fire at Hulme Life Buildings is 'extremely high'
  • Buildings do not meet height requirements to qualify for government funding
  • Leaseholders fear they will receive a bill to cover the cost of replacing unsafe cladding
  • Residents are campaigning for government to step in and help 

Residents worried they will be charged for replacing unsafe cladding are campaigning for more government support.

The Hulme Life building is in the highest fire risk category because of unsafe material – the same category that Grenfell would fall into – but does not qualify for government funding due to it being below 18m in height.

Unsafe cladding has been identified on the building and residents could end up footing the bill.

Leaseholders feel they should not have to pay for cladding to be replaced and are calling on the government to expand a £1bn support package to mid-rise buildings through their #EndOurCladdingScandal campaign.

Leaseholder Andre Davies, 44, said: “The worry is that costs will be placed onto leaseholders, and they will be expected to pay £40,000 to £70,000 or even more. 

“To raise that kind of money we would have to re-mortgage, but the value of our home is zero.

“There are also those who may be disabled and already own their home and are perhaps living on benefits – these people have no chance of raising this kind of money and it will lead to a lot of people losing their homes. 

“The effect is immense on us all and there doesn’t seem to be a way out.” 

Resident Christopher Hancock, 37, said: “All our money has gone into this property which we bought with good faith and now we’re facing bills for tens of thousands of pounds.

“Where are we supposed to get that money from?

“All buildings that have these issues should be supported by the government – just because a building is under 18m it doesn’t mean it is safer than a high-rise.”

Resident Zayn Hussain, 37, said: “Buildings under 18m are completely forgotten about and the government need to recognise us and provide support like they do for high-rise buildings.” 

Councillor Annette Wright said: “Residents in the Life Buildings are in an impossible situation, unable to move on but unable to settle and enjoy their lives.

“Living in financial insecurity and fear of fire is having a real effect on their mental health and knowing that the government is not even considering buildings under 18m in height is making it worse.

“I hope everyone will get behind their campaign.”