Victoria government offers long-term loans to help owners replace combustible cladding
With cladding replacement being a priority for many Australian states, the Victorian government is offering tripartite loans to ease the financial burden on building owners in the state.
Building fires cause great loss to life and property and its been found that certain forms of cladding in Australian buildings could be inflammable. In its recent amendment of the Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Bill 2018, the Victorian government issued a ban on using ACP with polyethylene and expanded polystyrene (EPS) cores.
A recent audit by the Victorian Cladding Taskforce shows that out of a total 4700 buildings inspected, about 384 are using potentially combustible cladding and 21 need immediate cladding replacement.
Victorian government is offering tripartite loans
Many buildings use insulated external cladding systems such as Polystyrene, Polyurethane, Polyisocyanurate etc. are also considered dangerous. They are often hidden behind render or part of a pre-finished wall, making them harder to isolate from the building.
In such cases where the cladding is part of the very structure of the building, replacement could be impossible and owners might have to tear down the building altogether. The government understands this could be heavy on building owners’ pockets and is offering tripartite loans to help them cover the costs.
Here’s how building owners can avail this loan:
The new laws introduced into Victorian parliament in late July will allow property owners and owners corporations to get their buildings repaired via a loan, paid back through council rates. Under the scheme owners corporations can take out a loan with a ten-year minimum period. Should a property sell within the term of the loan the remaining costs will be transferred to the new owners. Ultimately, this allows owners corporations and owners corporation managers to start organising the repair process sooner.
Since the 2014 fire in Docklands the state government has been investigating suitable solutions to address the issue of combustible cladding in high-rise residential buildings. Approximately 100 buildings in Victoria (predominately located in Melbourne, Yarra and Moonee Valley) have been ordered to remove combustible cladding and replace it with a less flammable material.
Body Corporate Services state manager Lorraine Murray is asking customers who think they may be affected by the legislation to contact their owners corporation manager, “as industry professionals we will be able to assist owners corporations through the process and ensure all owners understand the regulations and the loan’s requirements”.
For more information click here for the official media release or contact your owners corporation management team.