Less than one fifth of Grenfell survivors' accommodation offers accepted

Less than a fifth of accommodation offers made to survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have been accepted so far, latest figures show.

While the majority of households displaced by the deadly blaze remain in emergency accommodation, the British Red Cross revealed less than 6% of donations have been made available to Grenfell survivors.

This comes as plans to erect a cover over the charred structure by November were laid out by the Grenfell Response Team (GRT)

The response team said that as of 10am on Tuesday, 169 offers had been made, 32 offers had been accepted, while 11 households had been rehoused.

In its newsletter update, the GRT also said work on the tower would be carried out over the coming months, with a view to putting up a cover over the building by November.

The structure of the charred tower will be shored up with steel supports over the next weeks, while scaffolding will allow debris and possessions to be removed.

A cover is to be erected in stages as successive floors are cleared, the GRT said.

It added that no long term decision on the building would be taken until survivors, relatives and the local community were consulted, promising to place residents' concerns "at the centre of our considerations".

It comes as the Red Cross revealed that half of physical donations made in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster were yet to be sorted.

Of the 174 tonnes of items donated to help survivors after the blaze, 87 tonnes of goods were still to be sifted through, it said.

The organisation said 10 tonnes - less than 6% - of items had been made available to former residents of the burnt-out tower block.

These include hundreds of boxes of new goods - mostly clothing - and toiletries.

Some 137 tonnes were being held in a warehouse in Cheshire, while 27 tonnes were either in shops or on their way.

More than 200 shops across the UK will sell the donations, which will have a highlighted label, with all proceeds going to those affected by the fire.

Several millions of pounds in donations have been collected by charities and other groups since the tragedy, which is thought to have claimed the lives of at least 80 people and displaced hundreds more.

The Red Cross said £2.4 million of the £4.7 million raised to help victims and their families had been transferred to the London Emergencies Trust, which is making grants.

British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said: "We have seen an incredible outpouring of support for the people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire which has resulted in around 40,000 boxes of donations - the equivalent of more than 100 lorry loads.

"At the request of Kensington and Chelsea council and local community groups, including Notting Hill Methodist Church and Rugby Portobello Trust, we have been sorting through the donations to separate new and used items.

"The new donations are still available to people affected by the fire, but any excess used goods will be converted into cash, with every penny going to help those who have been left bereaved, injured or homeless as a result of the fire."

Last week, Grenfell community leaders demanded to know how money collected for victims of the blaze will be distributed, with some volunteers and residents saying victims had not been consulted on how it would be spent.

Of the estimated £20 million in private donations made after the fire, less than £800,000 has been given out, according to the BBC.

A total of £4.52 million has now been given out in financial support by the Government, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid told the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street earlier.

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