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Changes to 'EWS1' process to help homeowners

Over the weekend, Government has announced significant changes to the 'EWS1' process, which had prevented thousands of people from selling or re-mortgaging their home due to building safety concerns.

The external wall fire review process - so-called 'EWS1' - to assess the potential financial impact of cladding on high-rise flats has wrongly applied to other buildings without cladding.

After an agreement between the Government and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, more than 450,000 flat owners in buildings without cladding will no longer need an EWS1 form to sell or re-mortgage their property.

In addition, nearly £700,000 has been announced to train 2,000 more building assessors to speed up valuations for buildings that will still require ESW1 forms.

I raised the issue many constituents are having with EWS1 forms with the Prime Minister last week at PMQs. I welcome this announcement, but more must be done to resolve this problem so people can move on with their lives.

I am pleased the Government is also exploring ways to address ongoing concerns around the availability of professional indemnity insurance. The industry's progress in developing a portal so lenders, valuers and leaseholders will be able to find out if their building already has an existing EWS1 form is also welcome.

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