Call for faster action on cladding funding for Hackney apartments

Matchmakers Wharf

Matchmakers Wharf - Credit: Tariq El Kashef

A residents' association has called for faster action from the freeholder of a Hackney apartment block on fire safety remediation works.

Matchmakers Wharf Residents’ Association says its building is “far behind others” in the process of securing funds from the Building Safety Fund (BSF).

The 132-home building, on the River Lee, between Hackney Marshes and Homerton, does not currently comply with regulations but is eligible for funding as it is over 18m tall.

Until the building qualifies for the fund, residents are faced with monthly "waking watch" costs, and are unable to sell or re-mortgage their homes without a valid EWS1 form confirming that an external wall system has passed a safety assessment.

An application to the BSF was made in June 2020 but rejected in November 2020. According to the association, the application was rejected on the basis of a lack of information.

But Thom Chesshyre, a member of the association, said: "In our understanding there was ample evidence of enough information to demonstrate that there is a valid claim.” 

He placed the blame with managing agent Rendall & Rittner and freeholder Homeground, and called for action to resolve the issue.

Most Read

A spokesperson for the agent and freeholder, which appealed the BSF decision, said they are actively dealing with the issue and are continuing to liaise with the Greater London Authority on its BSF application.

The spokesperson said: “The building owner and managing agent have been actively pursuing funding for remediation works at Matchmakers Wharf. This process is often complex and takes considerable time. We reject any claims which suggest otherwise."

In the March 2020 budget, the government announced that it would provide £1 billion in 2020 to 2021 to support the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding system, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The BSF was made available for residential buildings of 18m or taller, in both the private and social housing sectors.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter