I asked Hammersmith and Fulham Council for an update on what help we are offering to survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire
My queries were:
“Please advise what housing assistance in LBHF is being offered to these left homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire. Please indicate both what has already been provided and what is planned. Also what is temporary and what is permanent.
What type of accommodation? For instance if those who are understandably reluctant to be placed in another tower block are offered an alternative.
Finally the financial implications. Is there central Government funding for any help we are able to provide.
The Council has replied as follows:
“The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) has undertaken the task of providing housing assistance to the families made homeless from Grenfell Tower and the surrounding area.
There are approximately forty displaced families placed in four commercial hotels within the borough. Officers from Hammersmith & Fulham have been carrying out daily visits to the families at the four hotels to provide support and any practical assistance required.
The Council’s H&F Advice Service has offered its assistance to RBKC to deal with their normal day-to-day homeless clients whilst they concentrate their resources on dealing with those households directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
We have contacted our counterparts at RBKC and have offered a number of properties which are not located in tower blocks. We await a decision from RBKC and the cost of providing such accommodation is borne by the Department for Communities & Local Government.”
I am pleased that Hammersmith and Fulham Council is providing substantial help to those coping with this tragedy. Of course it is right to focus on wanting the families to be rehoused as soon as possible – rather than stuck in hotels. But I can also understand that families might prefer to stay in hotels a few days longer rather than accept offer of permanent accommodation in another tower block.