The Grenfell Tower fire looks as if it is going to become a major crisis, with several stages still to go. The first stage affected blocks which had a similar cladding to the one in Kensington. There seem to be few of those around which may be another indication that Kensington has not managed its housing well.
The DCLG then called for samples of the outer skin of the cladding (not the insulation, which is the bulk of it. In particular DCLG was concerned about Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), which is two thin aluminium sheets with a filler in the middle. I understand that most and perhaps all of these are failing a combustibility test. This is leading to it being taken off a number of buildings. If it turns out that a lot of buildings have this material there may be a real bottleneck in supplies of alternative cladding leading to delays in recladding and probably much higher prices for cladding.
Meanwhile, the Chalcots estate in Camden is being evacuated. From the reports, it is not clear whether that is because of the cladding or not. However, if this kind of evacuation becomes widespread it will lead to a crisis in temporary accommodation as demand outstrips supply.
At present the problem has had most publicity in Council Housing, but I assume Housing Associations and the private sector are carrying out similar checks. Given that ACM has been a standard material for a decade, there may well be a number of buildings here and elsewhere that may be regarded as risky.
In a sense, this crisis can be seen as positive. If the residents of the Chalcot estate were at risk, at least that is now being dealt with before disaster strikes, but it looks like a huge problem.
Media reports now cite Brent as one of the authorities where the wrong type of cladding has been found.