Grenfell survivors urge special measures for council after rehousing delay
The group representing survivors and the bereaved appealed to Sajid Javid to make an ‘urgent and personal intervention to get victims into homes’.
Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have called for Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) to be placed into special measures after the Government admitted it is unlikely everyone will be rehoused within a year of the fire.
Grenfell United, the main group representing survivors and the bereaved, has written to Sajid Javid saying the local authority’s failure to meet targets and its breaking of promises “has to stop”.
Chairman of the group, Shahin Sadafi, asked the Communities Secretary to make an “urgent and personal intervention to get victims into homes”.
He added that people were “desperate to move on with their lives but are stuck in limbo”.
It follows a report published on Thursday by a task force set up after the June 14 fire.
This said the council’s record on converting plans into action on the ground was “patchy”, with a lack of trust in the local authority identified as a major obstacle to the recovery process.
The report said rehousing had been “too slow” and that the deadline for rehousing all survivors by the first anniversary of the fire was unlikely to be met in full.
Briefing MPs, Mr Javid said that nine months on from the fire, just 62 out of 204 households had been resettled into permanent accommodation.
The letter reads: “We have spent hours every fortnight in meetings with RBKC, raising the same concerns over and over, and hearing platitudes and excuses.
“Please excuse our blunt words. But we are not politicians. We judge people not by what they say but by what they do.
“So we are giving you the opportunity to show us what you will do. The verdict of the taskforce is clear RBKC has failed.
“It has failed to meet the targets you set and it has failed the survivors, bereaved and the community. Promise after promise has been broken. This has to stop.
“The Government now needs to step in and put RBKC under special measures.
“We ask you to act now without delay.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: “Our priority is to ensure that all those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy receive the support they need.
“While the Council have made progress in a number of areas, including improved communication with the community, there is still more to do.
“We will continue to work with the council and the Taskforce to make sure that the people of North Kensington receive the support they need to help them recover and rebuild their lives.”