Tens of thousands of residents in high-rise buildings can now access financial support to make their buildings safer while they wait for remediation work to complete, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced as the Waking Watch Relief Fund opens today.
The £30 million fund will protect leaseholders from the high costs of Waking Watches, where a building is continually patrolled in case of a fire, by providing financial support for fire alarms, which will also make buildings safer in the long term.
The fund will be distributed through councils, regional authorities and directly through the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, depending on the location of the building. The funding is available for buildings across England, with £22 million targeted to the cities with most high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding, including Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.
Buildings over 18 metres with unsafe cladding systems and where Waking Watch costs have been passed on to leaseholders will be eligible.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: ”We know many people are anxious about the costs of waking watches, which was always only intended as an interim measure while historic safety issues were fixed.
“This fund will relieve the financial pressure on residents in these buildings and ensure they will be kept safe. I encourage those who are eligible not to delay and start their applications swiftly so we can distribute the funds as quickly as possible.”