Thousands still live in death traps cloaked in the same disguise as Grenfell Tower


Families are still living in high-rise buildings with the deadly cladding found on Grenfell Tower – and work to replace the cladding has yet to be completed on 58 apartment buildings

The Grenfell Memorial Wall on the grounds of Kensington Aldridge Academy
The Grenfell Memorial Wall on the grounds of Kensington Aldridge Academy

Thousands of families still live in death-trap tower blocks shrouded in the same deadly shell as Grenfell Tower.

Shortly after the inferno that killed 72 people on June 14, 2017, nearly 500 buildings were found to have been outfitted with the highly flammable material.

But five years later, 58 of them still have work to do to replace them.

And in 26 places that are more than 18 meters higher, not even a panel has been removed.

End Our Cladding Scandal’s Giles Grover said: “As usual, innocent victims will suffer while developers continue to refuse to do the right thing.

Brunilda Musta lives in the Premier House in Edgeware, which has been shown to have similar paneling to Grenfell Tower, but there don’t appear to be any plans to have it removed


Reach Commissioner/Steve Bainbridge)

Grenfell Tower fire in west London that killed 72 people



“Many have signed a government pledge, but what that actually means in terms of action on the ground to make buildings safe remains unclear to hundreds of thousands of people.

“Five years after Grenfell, the government and dubious developers must stop playing with our lives.”

The cladding used to insulate Grenfell and other high-rise buildings is called Aluminum Composite Material – or ACM – and is made of plastic sandwiched between two very thin sheets of aluminum.

The Sunday People can today name and shame companies that have not yet started critical clean-up work, some of which are registered abroad.

They have been identified on a government red list of companies “where refurbishment work on at least one of their buildings has not yet begun”.

First house in Edgware


Reach Commissioner/Steve Bainbridge)

Among them was Betterpride Limited, which bought flats in Edgware, north London, just before Grenfell. Work to replace ACM has stalled over a funding dispute with the government.

Rocquefort Properties Ltd, incorporated in Guernsey, is part of a complex network of real estate companies.

Others on the list are Adriatic Land 5, Rockwell (FC100) Limited, HEB Apartments Limited, HEB Commercial Limited, Avon Ground Rents Limited and Tonenest Limited.

The Department of Housing said enforcement action had been taken against 65 landlords who refused to remove ACM.

26 cases of enforcement relate to buildings whose renovation has not yet begun.

Though the Building Security Act went into effect in April, developers and the government are still bickering over who should pay, leaving tenants to potentially foot the bills.

“I’m scared… there are too many false fire alarms”

Residents of a block of flats still covered in the same cladding as doomed Grenfell have spoken of their fear and anger.

Residents of the 13-storey Premier House in Edgware, north London – about 12 miles from Grenfell – have no idea when the deadly material will be removed.

Brunilda Mista, 43, says she and her four daughters get scared every time the fire alarm goes off. She added: “Fire alarms go off all the time, often false alarms. Nobody listens, nobody cares. It’s very hard.”

Kamela Zyka, 25, cleaning lady, lives with her six-year-old girl. She said: “I’ve been here for a year. I wasn’t aware of the disguise. I used to live in transitional housing and a friend found this apartment and I just moved in. I’m afraid. There are too many false fire alarms and too many children in this building.”

A single mum who lives on the top floor bought her flat for £400,000 in 2016 and it is now not for sale.

She said: “We’re stuck. I am very disappointed and angry. Owners are responsible for changing the fairing for everyone’s safety. So many families live here. They just ignore it, it’s very sad. I never thought disguises would be a problem, who would ever think of that.”

Another resident moved into her home from Hong Kong 10 months ago, unaware that it was dangerous.

She said: “We’re concerned because we know the disguise is important. I’m on the fourth floor so I might find it easier to walk, but I don’t know how the other tenants on the higher floors feel.”

Builder Betterpride was contacted for comment.

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