Socialist Worker

Most Grenfell survivors still wait for new homes

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2577

Grenfell survivors march for justice

Grenfell survivors march for justice (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Only ten out of 203 Grenfell Tower households have found permanent housing. Most are still waiting to be rehoused four months after the fire.

That’s despite council promises to find alternative housing for people. The broken promises made to survivors are stacking up.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said last Thursday that councils would not get any help to force landlords to get rid of cladding.

The department does not view it as a “new burden” for councils and so will not give them money to take private landlords who fail to cooperate to court.

The Tories are continuing to treat survivors and anyone else who lives in social housing with contempt.

Grenfell Tower was managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO).

The council took back all its housing stock from KCTMO last month.

At a meeting on Tuesday the council proposed that tenants vote to effectively disband the KCTMO.

A legal challenge was submitted raising concerns that not every resident of the KCTMO was to have a vote on the decision.

It also pointed out that “the TMO would cease to exist as an organisation and therefore may not be subject to prosecution for corporate manslaughter”. Under pressure, KCTMO advised a vote for the postponement of the decision.

Intense

Joe Delaney, an evacuated resident from the Lancaster West estate, was in the meeting. He told Socialist Worker, “Following intense public pressure KCTMO proposed the motion tonight to adjourn the meeting and it was overwhelmingly voted in favour of.”

Joe said the KCTMO promised to “better consult residents in the future on such matters and also that residents will have a complete and total hand as to how any future housing entity or structure is comprised.”

The vote will be adjounred for longer than the standard 21 days.

The Home Office published its guidance on the treatment of undocumented migrant survivors of the fire last Friday.

People will have to re-apply once a year for five years before they will be eligible for permanent residence.

That’s a climbdown from the Tories’ initial policy of a one year amnesty for undocumented migrants and is a partial victory.

But excluded from the policy is “any person for whom there are concerns about criminality, character or associations, including extremist behaviour”.

There is no definition of what could constitute “extremist behaviour”.

The Tories are trying to give with one hand and claw back with the other. A strong political and legal campaign can wring victories from them.

Grenfell Tower Silent Walk Tue 14 November, 6.30pm, Notting Hill Methodist Church, W1 4AH

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