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Housing Tory housing secretary admits most Grenfell fire victims are still homeless

Nine months on from the tragedy only 62 of the 204 households have been resettled

MOST Grenfell fire victims are still homeless nine months on from the tragic incident, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid admitted to the House of Commons today

Only 62 out of 204 households have been resettled into permanent accommodation Mr Javid said, saying this was “welcome news.”

But the minister acknowledged “progress has been far too slow,” telling MPs that 82 households are still in emergency accommodation, including 15 in hotels, with 25 families and 39 children among them.

It is unlikely that all households will be permanently rehoused by the one-year anniversary of the fire, he confessed.

A Justice4Grenfell campaign group statement said: “The continuous failure of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) following the horror of the fire at Grenfell has consistently re-traumatised former residents and those affected.

“Given the painstaking slow pace of rehousing survivors, RBKC are not allowing those who have suffered to begin to build and get on with their lives.

“Instead they are using the narrative that the survivors are at fault for not accepting offers of accommodation, even though some properties have been proven inhabitable or not fit for certain residents’ needs.”

Shadow housing minister Tony Lloyd has said the government’s “glacial” response in providing support for the victims of the Grenfell Tower is a “betrayal of the survivors.”

The Labour MP said: “It is a shameful record and it is critical that the government now makes the failing Kensington and Chelsea Council get the job done.”

Kensington Labour MP Emma Dent Coad argued there were inconsistencies in the government’s numbers. She said: “I believe that the truth is being censored and people are demanding why. Trust is being eroded with the council.”

Kensington and Chelsea Council leader Elizabeth Campbell agreed that rehousing was “not quick enough” and there were still trust issues between the council and community.

Grenfell United said they have not seen evidence of change.

“We question why RBKC started buying properties before checking with people what they actually need. They are still not properly matching need.

“People have said they don’t want to live above the second floor or in a property with only one exit or with windows that overlook the Tower, so don’t show them properties on the fifth floor or with only one exit or windows that do overlook the Tower.”

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