Grenfell Tower tragedy company stranded in government housing program

Building security

Global IFSEC

A company linked to the Grenfell Tower renovation is being excluded from the government’s purchase aid program, pending the outcome of the Grenfell inquiry. This follows concerns over unacceptable business practices by his group of companies, Secretary of State for Upgrades, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove said.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Upgrades, Housing and Communities

Rydon Homes Ltd will be blocked from the government’s flagship homeownership program, Help to Buy, with immediate effect. The Buyer’s Aid: Equity Loans program offers a low-interest loan on the deposit of a first-time buyer. Customers need a 5% down payment and the government lends up to 20% of the value of the house (up to 40% of the value if you buy in London).

The company no longer has government backing and cannot market its properties to first-time buyers, with the offer of government guaranteed loans.

This is the Housing Secretary’s latest move to target those with serious questions to answer regarding the Grenfell Tower tragedy and to help bring justice to the bereaved, survivors and the Grenfell community.

Mr Gove warned the construction industry that there would be ramifications for those responsible for the building safety crisis and those failing to help solve it.

The Grenfell Tower investigation examines worrying evidence of potentially unacceptable practices by Rydon Maintenance Ltd – the prime contractor for the Grenfell Tower renovation – before the 2017 tragedy in which 72 people lost their lives. Rydon Maintenance reports to the same parent company as Rydon Homes Ltd and has common directors.

The Secretary of State has now written to the chairman of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee and Homes England, which oversees Help to Buy, advising them that it would be against the public interest to allow Rydon Homes for sale homes through the government scheme, given its close ties to a company under scrutiny in the Grenfell Tower investigation.

It comes just days after the Housing Secretary praised the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1’s decision to mutually end its partnership with Kingspan, a coating company linked to the tragedy. The deal had been condemned by mourners and survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy after serious questions were heard during the Grenfell Tower inquiry into the manufacturer’s role in providing insulation for the tower and the marketing of its products for use on other high-rise buildings.

State Upgrade Secretary Michael Gove said: “It is in the public interest to exclude Rydon Homes from the Help to Buy program with immediate effect given the extremely concerning evidence heard by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry about its sister company.

“The development and construction sector should have no doubts: I will continue to prosecute those who put lives at risk, are responsible for the building safety crisis and are not playing their part in remedying it. The Grenfell community and the innocent tenants deserve better.

The Secretary of State is reviewing the work of the Ministry of Upgrading, Housing and Communities in this area and will make further proposals in due course.

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