Polluter Pays: a solution to the building safety crisis?

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The building safety scandal trapped Deepa Mistry-Longley, her husband and their three children in a two-bedroom, Peabody shared ownership flat. Back in March 2021 Deepa wrote about her experience in My SO Home: No. 2.

“Some people might think everyone with cladding is in the same situation. But it’s different for shared owners. We have to pay 100% of fire remediation costs even though we don’t have a 100% share in our home. We don’t have the same statutory rights as other leaseholders to lease extension, or to Right to Manage. We can’t set the selling price for our flat when we do eventually sell. And if we get into financial difficulties and can’t keep up with charges for waking watch and fire remediation costs the assured tenancy nature of shared ownership means we could lose everything; all the equity I’ve invested in our home (including [my] mortgage overpayments).”

Deepa Mistry-Longley (My SO Home: No. 2)

Deepa’s been busy since then. She launched the Building Safety Crisis website (tagline: ‘shining a light on the UK housing crisis’). And she’s been working closely with Steve Day, a resident of Royal Artillery Quays, to identify how best to protect people affected by the building safety scandal.

The idea behind Polluter Pays is to make all those responsible for the crisis pay for their failures, instead of pushing unaffordable costs onto innocent shared owners and leaseholders. This video explains the principles underlying the proposal.

UPDATE (11 DECEMBER 2021): POLLUTER PAYS CONFERENCE AND Q&A, 14 DECEMBER 2021

The proposed Polluter Pays amendment was launched at the House of Lords on Tuesday 14th December 2021, 3pm. More information here.

Polluter Pays proposals have wide-ranging support.


“MPs must scrutinise the Building Safety Bill and include the Polluter Pays legislation and protect leaseholders from costs not of their making”.

Grenfell United

“Protecting leaseholders was “long overdue””.

Giles Grover, End Our Cladding Scandal

“Polluter Pays really does need to be part of the Building Safety Bill…. No one has come up with a better plan.”

Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin (Bishop of Kensington)

“They should carry out the principle of ‘polluter pays’ so that those who are responsible for the problems have to pay”.

Dr Liam Fox (MP)

“A genuine way out of the cladding scandal”.

Baroness Pinnock

“Polluter Pays rather than billing leaseholders, would make a massive difference to so many leaseholders’ lives who are otherwise facing bankruptcy. Please support”.

Rt Revd Dr Dagmar Winter

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