Families who lost everything in the Grenfell fire tragedy threes year ago are still waiting for a permanent home, reveals a new report.
More than 200 households were left without a roof over their heads following the devastating blaze that ripped through the 24-storey tower, leaving 72 people dead, on June 14, 2017.
Hundreds of families were left homeless and placed in bed and breakfasts, hotels and temporary flats while they waited for permanent housing.
Out of the 201 households the council said needed rehousing after the horrific inferno, seven are still living in temporary accommodation three years on, the authority said.
Kensington and Chelsea Council added that five of the seven households still waiting to be permanently re-housed had accepted a permanent home but had not yet moved in.
Wake of the fire
Figures from the council also show that of the wider Grenfell households who also left the area in the wake of the fire, including Grenfell Walk beneath the tower, 19 have not returned to their homes or been found permanent accommodation.
The “vast majority” of residents from the wider Lancaster West Estate remained in their homes after the fire, Kensington and Chelsea Council said.
The authority said it spent more than £200 million to find over 300 homes for the 194 households successfully rehomed.
In the months after the blaze, government and council sources stated the total number of households needing rehousing was 210, but this figure was revised down to 201 following a series of high-profile fraud cases in which crooks claimed to be residents in a bid to get thousands of pounds meant for families in need.
A spokesperson for the council said the authority was helping the remaining two households to find a home to settle in and to carry out work on the properties to get them ready.
Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, Deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “We have been working hard to make the properties we bought into a place that families can call home, working with them to do so in incredibly complex circumstances. We are nearly there, but we will not be rushing the last few to meet artificial deadlines.
“This hasn’t been simple – it was never going to be. Council staff have never stopped caring and never stopped working, and this will continue to be the case when every family is in their new home and starting to rebuild their lives. Our efforts won’t stop when they walk through their own front door.”
A year after the fire, 68 households were still living in what is classed as emergency accommodation and 42 were in hotels.
As of last October, there was still one family evacuated from the tower and nearby Grenfell Walk living in a hotel.
Currently there are also said to be around 10 households who used to live in the tower who have since asked to be moved again as they were placed into a permanent home that was unsuitable.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I know the bereaved, survivors, residents and wider community are understandably frustrated at the lack of meaningful change and they are fearful that a similar tragedy could happen again. I too share their concerns.”
Sunday marked three years since the devastating blaze.
Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said marking the third anniversary of the tragedy: “Politicians, like myself, often say a lot at times like this – but really there is nothing I, or many of us, can say that will take the pain away.
“Three years might also seem like a long time to many people around the country. But to this community, and the families involved, the tragedy feels like yesterday.”
Related – Grenfell campaigners call on Government to commit to cladding deadline