'It feels like a betrayal': building safety funding falls short for many

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Four people affected by cladding and other problems give their verdicts on the government’s announcement

Across the country, leaseholders awaited Robert Jenrick’s solution to the building safety crisis with hope. For those in buildings more than 18 metres tall with combustible cladding yet to be fixed, the news of £3.5bn in new grant funding was welcome. But for hundreds of thousands of others in unsellable homes in lower-rise blocks with the same cladding, there was disappointment at the offer of loans. And for people with other non-cladding fire safety problems, there was nothing.

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Giles Grover bought a ninth-floor flat in the City Gate complex in central Manchester in 2012 for £147,000. Almost a decade on, he and his neighbours are facing a bill of more than £5m to make their homes safe, none of which will be covered by Wednesday’s new funds. Parts of the walls were clad in similar aluminium composite material (ACM) to that of Grenfell Tower, there were timber balconies, and internal steelwork had not been properly treated against fire. Other problems lurked behind the brickwork and render, where barriers against fire spread were missing.

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