UK developers face $5 bln bill to remove cladding

British housebuilders must pay $5.4 billion to help remove dangerous cladding from buildings.

The government confirmed the move Monday (January 10).

It comes four and half years after more than 70 people were killed in a fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

The cladding used at Grenfell was found to be a central cause of the fire's rapid spread through the block.

It also revealed the widespread use of cheap flammable cladding on apartment buildings across the country.

British housing minister Michael Gove has set an early-March deadline for the industry to agree a fully-funded plan of action to remove the materials.

The government has already committed around $6.8 billion for repairs so far.

Last year authorities also imposed a levy on housebuilders that will raise close to $2.7 billion towards the cost over the next 10 years.

It has so far targeted the removal of cladding on high-rise properties.

Monday's announcement is aimed at buildings between 11 and 18 meters high where tenants have faced huge bills to remove cladding.

Gove said the government would take all steps needed to make the industry pay.

Authorities have been heavily criticised for taking so long to deal with the issue.

Some leaseholders have been left unable to sell their properties when faced with bills bigger than the value of their apartments.

Shares in UK developers including Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon fell 2% or more early Monday following the news.

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