Money needed to make Waltham Forest council homes safe from fires will be raised by charging “tenants and leaseholders” if the council’s funding bid is unsuccessful.

The Government plans to introduce new laws in 2022 inspired by the Grenfell tragedy, focusing mostly on buildings of six or more storeys.

The council owns 13 such buildings that will definitely be affected by the new laws and is commissioning reports on a further 98 smaller buildings.

The amount needed to bring all council housing up to date with the new laws will be around £38 million. It is not known how much of this may be charged to tenants and leaseholders.

At a Housing Scrutiny committee meeting on October 20, director of housing assets Sumitra Gomer said the council is trying to apply for Government funding to cover the costs.

However, she added that, if the council is unsuccessful in its bid to the “heavily oversubscribed” funding pot, then the cost will “come both from tenants and from leaseholders”.

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The council’s bid, one of only seven made to the Government by local authorities in the UK, asks for money to replace “external cladding that has been identified as non-compliant”.

It was stated at the meeting that no building in the borough currently has the kind of cladding used on the Grenfell building.

Cllr John Moss (Con, Larkswood) said it was “perfectly reasonable” if the Government does not provide funding as the council already has “a lot of taxpayer’s money” from tenants’ rents.

It is not known when the council will hear whether its bid for funding has been successful but the work on buildings will be carried out over the next three years.

So far, four buildings owned by housing associations have had Grenfell-style cladding replaced, while work is still ongoing to replace the cladding on one Walthamstow block.

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