Empty post-Grenfell promises have left leaseholders stuck in flammable flats

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA</span>
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

While I agree with Owen Jones’s view on the appalling revelations in the Grenfell Tower inquiry (The Grenfell Tower disaster is political. Look at the evidence of the fire test ‘fraud’, 19 November), he misses one key point. Tens of thousands of mostly young leaseholders are stuck in flammable buildings right now, having saved up to buy a flat in order to get on the first rung of the housing ladder. There are thousands of these buildings around the country, with flammable cladding, flammable insulation and other major safety defects, all being revealed in the aftermath of Grenfell.

Freeholders and developers shirk any financial responsibility, so it is leaseholders who are now paying for extortionate interim fire safety measures and a fivefold increase in buildings insurance, on top of their mortgages. Their flats are worth zero.

The government will, I fear, ultimately push the cost of remediation on to these leaseholders and bankrupt them. Housing ministers have made empty promises for over three years, while continuing to award government contracts worth billions to some of the same developers responsible for providing unsafe housing for so many families.
Lynne Hamshaw
Boston, Lincolnshire