A company linked to the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower is being excluded from the government’s Help to Buy scheme, pending the outcome of the Grenfell Inquiry.
This follows concerns over unacceptable business practices in the company group, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove has announced.
Rydon Homes will be blocked from the government’s flagship home ownership scheme, Help to Buy, with immediate effect. It means it no longer have government support and cannot market properties to first time buyers, with the offer of government backed loans.
Gove has warned the construction industry there will be consequences for those who are responsible for the building safety crisis and those who are failing to help fix it.
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry is considering what the government calls “worrying evidence” of potentially unacceptable practices by Rydon Maintenance Ltd – the lead contractor for the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower – before the tragedy that occurred in 2017, in which 72 people lost their lives.
Rydon Maintenance falls under the same parent company as Rydon Homes and has directors in common.
Gove has now written to the Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee and to Homes England, which oversees Help to Buy, to inform them that it would be against public interest to allow Rydon Homes to sell homes via the government scheme, given its close links to a company under scrutiny in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Gove says: “It is in the public interest to exclude Rydon Homes from the Help to Buy scheme with immediate effect given the extremely concerning evidence heard by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry about its sister company.
“The developer and construction industry should be in no doubt: I will continue to go after those who put lives at risk, are responsible for the building safety crisis and are failing to play their part in fixing it. The Grenfell community and innocent leaseholders deserve better.”