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The London Mayor has ordered a full review of the affordable homes scheme after PoliticsHome identified multiple properties with cladding and fire safety problems.
Multiple listings on the Mayor’s affordable housing portal are being removed while a full review has been ordered after several properties were found to be located in buildings with fire safety issues.
The scheme, launched by Sadiq Khan in a bid to tackle the capital’s housing crisis, provides listings of properties available to low and middle income Londoners through shared ownership, London living rent and other affordable housing schemes.
The portal, created in partnership with the London Assembly, provides listings from “partner” organisations, including housing associations and developers.
But an investigation by PoliticsHome identified multiple properties promoted through the scheme as being located in buildings with signficant fire safety issues, including unsafe cladding.
They include two properties in a north London development which has already been identified as having unsafe cladding and missing fire breaks – with a round-the-clock ‘waking watch’ being used to monitor the property for any potential fires.
According to the listing on the portal, the properties are being offered under a shared ownership scheme which offers first time buyers the opportunity to initially purchase a share of the property while paying off the rest of the value through rental payments.
But property owners living in the block have already raised fears they could be left with bills worth tens of thousands of pounds to help pay for the works amid a row between the owners and developers about who is responsible for funding the works.
Despite the concerns, the property listing contains no reference to the potential safety issues or the possibility of significant costs which could be passed on to the tenant.
Several other properties, which at the time of writing were live on the portal, are also located in buildings which have failed fire safety inspections conducted in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire where 72 people died.
Following our inquries about the listings, a spokesperson for Khan said the process for listing properties would be “reviewed” while all listings located in potentially dangerous properties would be removed.
“The Mayor believes residents should not be left in the dark when it comes to knowing the fire safety risks in their buildings,” they said.
“There is currently no statutory duty for building owners or landlords to communicate this information to residents and the Mayor has called on the government to reverse this.
“Any listings for properties for sale in buildings with known fire safety issues listed by our partners on the Homes for Londonders website will be removed whilst the processes for listing on the portal are reviewed.”
The spokesperson said the Deputy Mayor for Housing Tom Copley would be writing to the scheme partners to “reinforce the expectation that they be entirely transparent about any building safety issues before the point of letting or sale”.
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