Thousands in Bristol living with Grenfell-style cladding

Around 7,000 people in Bristol are still living in flats with flammable cladding, almost four years after the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in which 72 people died in their homes.

At least 51 high rise buildings in Bristol are still waiting to have dangerous cladding removed, suggesting there are approximately 7,000 people in the city living in unsafe flats, according to average building occupancy data.

Only a handful of buildings in Bristol have been fixed so far. Families affected by this crisis cannot sell their homes and have had to endure months of lockdown in unsafe flats.

As the government has repeatedly delayed any action, many leaseholders have been forced to pay thousands of pounds for 24-hour ‘waking watches’. Across the South West as a whole, there are at least nine buildings with waking watches, according to data released today.

Labour Leader Keir Starmer is calling for the government to remove the dangerous cladding by paying for it up-front. Costs must be recouped through legal action against those responsible for the cladding crisis, he believes, arguing that leaseholders and taxpayers must not left with the bill for making buildings safe.

Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris who is holding a housing summit later this week said: “Every day that passes puts thousands of Bristolians at unnecessary risk. When people moved in to their flats they would never have dreamt that they were unsafe and they they could be liable to pay thousands of pounds that they cannot afford. Grenfell was a tragedy and for people living in buildings with dangerous cladding everyday since has been a nightmare. The government must act now to ensure people are not unfairly penalised and that everyone has a safe, secure place to live.”

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