In March 2021 I wrote an article proffering the view that the sub-18 metre challenge would be the most difficult and widespread cladding related issue to resolve in the UK and that the then recently announced government loan scheme seemed both inequitable and unworkable.
Fast forward eighteen months and boy there has been a lot that has happened. We have had the double return of Gove to DLUHC (once wasn’t enough), we are currently now on the cusp of new Building Regulations and British Standards that will bring relevant buildings between 11m and 18m storey height into remediation scope, the leaseholder loan scheme has been abandoned and we have a new (relatively speaking) methodology to assess the risk a façade or cladding system on a block of flats(i.e. the FRAEW – see later). Developers and housebuilders are well and truly committed to the remediation cause and to help fill in any funding gaps we await the launch of the government remediation fund aimed at blocks of flats that are sub-18 metres in storey height.
Mid Rise Scheme (MRS)
This government fund, referred to as the Mid Rise Scheme (or MRS for short – honestly, not my choice of acronym!), is specifically intended for those blocks of flats that require remediation and sit within the 11 to 18 metre catchment zone, and where no other form of funding is available. By other forms of funding I do of course mean either a freeholder, owner or landlord or indeed the original developer, housebuilder or other such consortium or development vehicle.
We do not know for sure what the exact detail of the MRS is going to comprise, but we can advise with certainty that those wishing to apply for the fund will need to evidence that remediation is necessary. The required methodology to achieve this is by carrying out an FRAEW (Fire Risk Appraisals of External Wall) to the PAS 9980 : 2022 standard. The output from your FRAEW will set the direction of travel vis-à-vis the scope and scale of remediation.
Homes England are the beacons who will drive this new remediation scheme forward once launched and the messaging is positive and ambitious. So our message to all relevant parties is clear, get organised, be prepared to move with a degree of purpose, if you haven’t done so already then arrange an FRAEW and gather as much information that you can about your property. Your MRS opportunity is around the corner, so act now to avoid MRS disappointment.
Harris Associates are experts in the field of façade remediation with experienced and qualified technicians, surveyors, engineers and project managers. We have national coverage (England and Wales) and we can help on all aspects of façade remediation from FRAEW’s through to the coordination and delivery of complex façade remediation contracts.