Two thirds of Grenfell Tower residents still in emergency accommodation

The majority of residents made homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire remain in emergency accommodation seven weeks on from the devastating blaze.

Two thirds of Grenfell Tower residents still in emergency accommodation

The majority of residents made homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire remain in emergency accommodation seven weeks on from the devastating blaze.

Less than a third of the offers for temporary or permanent accommodation have been accepted by survivors of the blaze, in which at least 80 people died, figures from the Grenfell Response Team (GRT) show.

Some 48 offers have been accepted out of the 175 initial offers, the GRT said, with just 13 households rehoused.

Justice 4 Grenfell said the "stark" figures were "testament to the continuing misery and suffering people are enduring, people who've had such horrific and damaging experiences that even with exemplary care and rapid re-housing, it will take many years to recover".

The GRT said it was dealing with "severely traumatised" people and did not want to rush anyone into making a decision.

Multiple offers were being made with no pressure on households to move into a property, it said.

Anne Baxendale, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: "The people affected by Grenfell are deeply traumatised, don't trust the council and need some stability, not another short-term solution.

"Ultimately, everyone affected by Grenfell must be rehoused in local permanent social housing within a year with rents similar to those they were paying before.

"While this is ambitious, and the authorities will struggle due to a severe lack of social housing, it can be done.

"And in the long term, it's crucial we build the genuinely affordable housing that families on low incomes, both in Grenfell and the rest of the country, desperately need."

A letter to evacuees of the blocks adjacent to the tower from the council in July stated that those who chose not to return would be provided with hotels until alternative accommodation was arranged and would have storage paid for.

But Justice 4 Grenfell said some of the most vulnerable former residents were being overlooked.

It said: "The council's approach to rehousing need - prioritising survivors from the tower without taking into account individual circumstances of evacuated residents - whilst understandable, is proving too inflexible, causing some very vulnerable, evacuated residents great distress."

It said an 89-year-old disabled woman who was evacuated from Testerton Walk, one of the finger blocks surrounding the tower, was unable to return home due to flooding from a temporary boiler, but had not received an alternative housing offer.

The woman, bedridden following a stroke three years ago, had been placed in three care homes and hospitalised twice since she was forced to leave her home, it said.

A mother from the same block, whose family of four who were still in a hotel room, felt "as if we're forgotten", the group said.

PA

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