POLITICS

Grenfell Tower: Survivors Still Being Found Homes A Week On, Confirms Downing Street

Theresa May will make a statement in Parliament on Thursday

21/06/2017 22:12
Carl Court via Getty Images

Survivors of the Grenfell fire are still being found homes more than a week after the blaze ripped through the tower block, Downing Street announced this evening.

A statement from Number 10 this evening revealed “work is ongoing to re-house all residents” made homeless by the fire, which killed at least 79 people.

After a meeting of the Grenfell Recovery Taskforce, Downing Street also revealed £488,000 has been paid out from the Government relief fund – with many households receiving £5,000 to help them begin to get back on their feet.

Alongside the cash, 68 permanent social housing units have been made available along with more than 160 temporary units.

The taskforce is chaired by the Prime Minister, who will address Parliament on Thursday to give a further update on what is being done to help those who caught up in the blaze.

Key updates from the meeting include:

  • DWP has provided £5,000 grants from the £5 million discretionary fund to the vast majority of households directly affected by the fire and the total amount paid from the fund is now over £488,000.

  • Work is ongoing to re-house all residents who have had to leave their home and 68 permanent social housing units have been made available along with more than 160 temporary units.

  • The Taskforce reiterated that all those whose homes were destroyed will be rehoused in the local area (Kingston and Chelsea or a neighbouring borough) and no one who chooses to not take up an offer of housing will be deemed intentionally homeless. 

  • Local authorities have started sending samples of cladding that may require additional checks to newly established facilities for testing.

  • The important work of the Lord Chief Justice appointing a judge to lead the independent public inquiry is ongoing and the Prime Minister reiterated that residents would be consulted on the terms of reference before they are finalised.

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, Theresa May apologised for the initial response to the tragedy. 

She said: “People were left without belongings, without roofs over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, what they should do and where they could seek help. 

“That was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people when they needed it most. 

“As Prime Minister, I apologise for that failure and as Prime Minister I have taken responsibility for doing what we can to put things right.”

 

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