7 November 2017
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) has responded to an interim report by the Government-appointed task force into the Grenfell fire by promising to step up its effort to help survivors, unveiling a brand new package of support to help them rebuild their lives.
Welcoming the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid’s acknowledgement that the council is a “very different organisation now” to the one before the disaster, RBKC has moved to accelerate the pace at which survivors are moving out of hotels and into permanent homes.
To make the move from emergency accommodation to permanent accommodation easier, a new bundle of support is being announced, including extending the rent-free period for families directly affected for a further year until 1 July 2019. Service and utility charges, as well as council tax will also be written off during this time.
In addition, every adult resident who lived at Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk who moves out of emergency accommodation will continue to be offered a £300-per-week allowance for the first three months; and each child will receive £150 per week. This will be followed by a further three months’ support at £150 per adult per week and £75 per child per week.
Meanwhile, in what is believed to be the biggest house-purchasing programme by a local authority in recent history, the borough is spending £235m to help secure 300 new properties in the area, to provide survivors and their families with as much choice as possible.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Kim Taylor Smith, said: “The task force rightly recognises that no local authority could possibly have dealt with a disaster like this alone. We still have a huge amount to do, but as these independent experts have concluded, the green shoots of recovery are growing.
“We understand the need to change the council, the way it works, the way it listens, and the way it acts. That new leadership is in place, we have a dedicated team working around the clock to meet survivors’ needs and are announcing today an unprecedented rehousing support package to help those affected by this devastating fire.
“We want to help get everyone that wants to move into a new home the opportunity to do so by Christmas.”
Housing officers are working closely with residents to identify and meet their individual needs and preferences. The new homes are predominantly in the W10 and W11 postcodes, not far from the Grenfell Tower, so that families can maintain local ties and school places wherever possible.
Councillors believe the new measures will help ensure they meet their pledge of moving all survivors from the Tower and Grenfell Walk into homes by June 2018.
All homes will be furnished and any moving costs incurred will be covered. New properties will be added each week to RBKC’s Home Connections website.
Notes to Editors
- For media enquiries, contact Edward Davies at RBKC on firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7361 3799