Cladding crisis: Data analytics deals to ‘secure increased funding’ from building firms as government bids to raise £5bn
Four consultancies brought in to provide investigative and analytical work as government demands property developers contribute £5bn to support repairs
Flats in Aberdeen in the process of having cladding removed Credit: Victuallers/CC BY 4.0 Image has been cropped
Government’s efforts to make homebuilding firms pay £5bn to repair unsafe high-rise buildings will be supported by four consultancies brought in to provide investigative data collection and analytics services.
The signature of the quartet of contracts comes as ministers have warned that homebuilders will “face consequences” if they do not voluntarily contribute to a £5bn funding pot to address flammable cladding and other safety issues.
Newly published commercial information reveals that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has awarded contracts for to Kroll, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, and K2 Integrity. The engagements – which are cumulatively worth an estimated £1.5m – will see the professional services firms “support the work of DLUHC to secure increased funding for unsafe building remediation from the building industry”, according to procurement documents.
The intention is to identify and access such funding via “the provision of data gathering, analytical, intelligence and investigation services”. The ultimate aim is “to protect leaseholders and taxpayers from bearing the cost of remediating high-rise and medium-rise residential buildings”.
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Each of the four contracts came into effect on 28 March and will run for an initial term of one year – plus an optional 12-month extension.
The deals were signed two weeks before levelling up secretary Michael Gove announced that an agreement between government and the building industry will see commercial developers contribute £5bn towards repairing safety issues with tall buildings – most notably the kind of flammable cladding cited as a major contributory factor to the Grenfell Tower fire, in which 72 people died in 2017.
Homebuilding companies have already committed £2bn in funding voluntarily, according to DLUHC, and the department has warned that “those who continue to refuse will face consequences if they fail to do so”.
Much of the remaining £3bn will be raised via an extension Building Safety Levy, a tax that will now be applied to new all residential buildings.
Gove said that the agreement “marks a significant step towards protecting innocent leaseholders and ensuring those responsible pay to solve the crisis they helped to cause”.
“I welcome the move by many of the largest developers to do the right thing,” he added. “But this is just the beginning. We will do whatever it takes to hold industry to account, and under our new measures there will be nowhere to hide.”
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