Phil Spencer is calling on the government to take control of the growing cladding crisis by providing the funds required to fix the situation.
Three years on from the tragic Grenfell fire, an estimated 2,000 high risk residential buildings still have combustible cladding on them, and the problem simply needs to end sooner rather than later, according to the TV property expert.
He says the government must pay the £15bn bill to renovate up to 1.5m residential properties with unsafe cladding.
A number of people purchased properties unaware that they were covered in dangerous materials, and simply now cannot afford to cover the replacement costs.
It was revealed last week that 30,000 flat sales may have collapsed due to potentially unsafe cladding, and experts are warning that the number could hit six figures if ministers do not step in.
Spencer said the crisis had brought the housing market to a standstill for those home owners because affected properties are often starter homes that would otherwise appeal to first-time buyers.
He commented: “It means the starter flat is removed from the housing market. The bottom rung of the property ladder is broken and that affects everybody because nobody can move on and starter homes are not available to first time buyers.
“It’s a real mess. The government have to step in because they can’t leave it alone.
“If forced to pay the costs, householders will go bankrupt left, right and centre, and the housing market will break.
“The longer this goes on, the greater the damage. But the situation can be cleared up quickly. Government funding promised so far of £1.6bn doesn’t touch the sides of the problem.”
Many buildings found to have fire safety problems have been built with other types of cladding than the aluminium composite panels used at Grenfell Tower, or have wooden panels or balconies.
Spencer said: “The government has a duty to step in and help, and sort out the money afterwards – whether through insurers or through the courts.”
He added: “They [property buyers] bought the properties in good faith, many of them using government schemes like Help to Buy.
“The flats were built under government regulations, which have turned out not to be up to scratch.”