Flat-owners and landlords worst affected by the cladding scandal in Wales will have the chance to sell their property to the Welsh government under its new Leasehold Support Scheme.
Minister for climate change Julie James (pictured) says that for some people the financial pressure of living in these buildings is becoming unbearable.
“I do not want to see people’s long-term futures blighted by bankruptcy, eviction and potential homelessness,” says James.
“That is why I am committing to a new Leasehold Support Scheme to help a small number of leaseholders who find themselves in very significant financial hardship.”
Owners stuck in flats that they can’t sell or re-mortgage due to spiralling service charges and remediation bills could qualify for the scheme, with details about the budget and criteria set to be announced in the new year.
She adds: “I hope to be able to provide the option, in a limited number of cases, for leaseholders to sell up.
“The scheme will target provision where it is most needed in buildings with identified defects where individual leaseholders cannot sell their properties on the open market, and find themselves in significant financial hardship due to escalating costs.”
The Welsh government has already identified buildings with ACM cladding and promised that these have already, or will soon, be remediated at no additional costs to leaseholders.
It launched phase one of the Welsh Building Safety Fund in the summer to provide grant funding for fire safety surveys to reveal the remediation measures needed.
These findings will help create Fire Safety Building Passports, setting out what defects have been identified and what remedial action is needed.
The Welsh government also aims to reform the existing building safety system, and James adds that developers and those responsible for these building defects must step up and do more to resolve this crisis.