Council makes final housing offer to residents on Lancaster West Estate

06 February 2018

  • Priority status for rehousing extended to two additional housing blocks in recognition of the impact of fire on residents
  • Council strikes complex balance, with 3,000 households already on housing waiting list.

The council leading the rehousing operation of residents on the estate overlooking Grenfell Tower has published final plans to support the third of residents still in emergency accommodation out of hotels and into homes.

Residents from the wider estate originally moved from their homes in June last year after the fire. Their properties were not damaged by the blaze in the nearby tower. 242 households continue to reside in their homes, however 77 households remain in emergency hotel accommodation.

Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) hope these residents will return to their homes, and have announced a multi-million-pound refurbishment of their flats. The first successful public workshop in a co-design process with architects and local residents took place last weekend.

A public consultation highlighted broad agreement with the council’s plans to rehouse those on the wider estate who feel they cannot return to their homes. However, it also revealed the intense and competing pressures facing RBKC to help all its residents, including approximately 3,000 people already on the housing waiting list.

Councillors have therefore decided to extend the unprecedented priority status for a new social home to those living in two other nearby housing blocks: Treadgold House and Bramley House, in recognition of the impact of the fire.

It has also been agreed that residents from these blocks and the walkways will be able to combine their 900 priority points with other points for things like health problems (an additional 900 points) and overcrowding (200 points). However, tenants will be offered a maximum of two suitable offers before losing their priority status.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Kim Taylor Smith, said: “The consultation responses clearly show that we have a duty to balance the needs of the people living on the wider housing estate with approximately 3,000 families and individuals who are on our existing housing list – many of which face issues such as domestic abuse or may have been on the list for many years. It is a difficult balance, but one that we hope people can understand.

“Not only have we listened, but we have heard. That’s why I’m pleased to be able to announce that we’re extending our priority housing policy to those living in two additional housing blocks.

“However, we want as many of the households who feel able to return to their homes to do so, helping them rebuild their lives, as the vast majority are already doing. We’re in the process of spending millions to make Lancaster West an even better place to live, and co-creation with residents is already underway.”

Editor’s notes

  • The policy applies to residents of Barandon Walk, Hurstway Walk and Testerton Walks (the Walkways) and nearby Treadgold House and Bramley House.
  • The Council will undertake a comprehensive assessment of a household’s needs prior to registering the tenant on the Council’s Housing Register. This assessment will include property size, type, location, affordability, and any requirement for an accessible and / or adapted property to address mobility problems.
  • Tenants rehoused to a Council property will be granted a lifetime tenancy, and will pay the applicable rent and service charges for that property, which could be lower or higher than what they were paying on the Lancaster West estate.
  • Those who disagree with offers will be able to appeal to an independent adjudication panel. If the independent adjudicator upholds the Council’s decision, the tenant will retain their points award, but their priority date will be amended to the date of the last suitable offer.