Gransnet forums


Rehousing issue for Grenfell Towers survivors

(596 Posts)
Christinefrance Wed 05-Jul-17 13:00:13

I don't understand why many of the families are refusing the temporary housing they are being offered. One family was on TV saying how unhappy they were in their hotel but had turned down the offer of a flat. Of course they are still shocked and coming to terms with things but I would have thought it would be easier to move on in a place of your own rather than a hotel.

Smileless2012 Wed 05-Jul-17 13:28:17

I saw that too Christinefrance. A 2 bedroom flat was offered but turned down because it was a mile from the daughter's school and wasn't big enough. I'm not suggesting they should accept any old rubbish but a 2 bedroom flat is bigger than a hotel room.

It also seems as if the figures regarding those who've already been re-homed are misleading as they don't take into account those who've turned down the accommodation that's been offered.

Anniebach Wed 05-Jul-17 13:47:24

It was said this morning the flats in the tower were one and two bedroomed , if so why not move into a two bedroomed.

A volenteer Said yesterday a survivor was given a hotel room which didn't have any Windows , I find this is difficult to believe

devongirl Wed 05-Jul-17 13:56:23

I think maybe the issue is that if people accept a flat which has whatever limitations, they will then be forgotten about, it won't be viewed as temporary like hotel accommodation.

Ana Wed 05-Jul-17 13:58:19

Yes, I agree.

Ilovecheese Wed 05-Jul-17 14:19:30

I agree with devongirl too.

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 14:37:18

It's only three weeks on from the fire.
They are still traumatised. It was unreasonable to say that they would all be offered somewhere within three weeks.

19 families haven't been offered anywhere yet because family members are still in hospital, not in a fit state to view anywhere.
There was a man on the news programme this morning saying that he was staying with a friend as he had been offered a flat in a basement which was not suitable for his family. I don't blame him.

Alima Wed 05-Jul-17 14:43:23

Only saying, my aunt used to live in a basement flat in Highbury, north London.It was beautiful, own front door, access to the walled garden(yard?). It was one of those lovely old Victorian houses. Modern blocks of flats wouldn't have a basement flat would they?

Rigby46 Wed 05-Jul-17 14:53:24

I think there are basement flats and basement flats in converted houses

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 14:58:11

Reality check. What was promised by May.

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 15:03:32

'Currently, they are housed in a "large, bustling Kensington hotel" and have turned down two offers of accommodation.

They told the BBC: "One was in Westminster, which was out of our borough, so we turned it down.

"One was in a basement flat in Earl's Court next to a very busy road. We decided to turn that one down as well.

"We want a home, we want a place. When we have something that will match the standard of living I was in before then I will accept it."

Some are concerned they have not been offered like-for-like tenancies - people on permanent agreements have balked at being offered 5-year tenancy agreements, according to local campaigners.'

Oriel Wed 05-Jul-17 15:11:25

I expect a lot of them will be waiting for the flats in the luxury blocks to be completed.

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 15:15:01

I am sure I would in their situation. However, they have been told that even if they accept a temporary flat, they will still be considered for those.
It's just that they do not want to be moving twice in a month.

Anniebach Wed 05-Jul-17 15:18:35

If lived in s flat untill the fire ehy turn down a flat now? Houses are like hens teeth

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 15:28:10

They are not waiting for houses. They are waiting for flats in the right area, so they are not worse off than they were before the fire.
Not too much to ask, I would have thought.

Smithy Wed 05-Jul-17 15:42:07

I agree , if In that situation and I'd been happy with my accommodation I'd want something similar. Its not their fault they have this huge problem to face.

Charleygirl Wed 05-Jul-17 15:44:52

It is a lot to ask because any type of housing in London is in short supply.

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 15:52:45

As said before, lots of empty property in Kensington and Chelsea. It just happens to belong to very wealthy people.

Charleygirl Wed 05-Jul-17 16:03:01

I agree but I would think that the vast majority of those rich owners do not live in this country and unfortunately there is little can be done about it.

I personally do not agree that vast swathes of London property can be bought and left to rot.

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 16:16:37

A Qatari prince needs to give a mansion to the UK government to help the Grenfell survivors.
Qatar is in a bit of a state at the moment, and having the UK government onside might really help.

phoenix Wed 05-Jul-17 16:28:13

I believe that some have turned down private rentals over concerns that after the 1 year grace period, they would not be able to afford the rent.

Could be wrong, often am.

durhamjen Wed 05-Jul-17 16:37:13

'What is to be done? Clearly the immediate overwhelming priority is finding viable, local housing for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Kensington contains over a thousand empty homes, some empty for 15 years, some likely owned by offshore companies avoiding tax, some owned by the wealthy Cadogan Estate and leased to absentee tenants who appear to have more money than sense. If there is any way of making these homes useful to those in need, it should be done.

The sad reality is that without a change in the law, this is likely impossible. But the law could be changed: not to allow the State to seize property, as some fevered rightwing commentators fear, but simply to charge very high council tax on unoccupied properties. In England, councils are allowed to charge up to 50% extra council tax on any home that’s been empty for more than 2 years. But in Scotland, the rules are tighter: local authorities are able to increase council tax by 100% on homes empty for 1 year or more. Why can’t the whole of the UK move to this tighter system, and penalise the owners of long-term empty homes?

In the meanwhile, the empty flats of the super-rich in Cadogan Square will stare vacantly, uncaring, across the borough of Kensington to the empty, blackened shell of Grenfell Tower: two cities, a world apart.'

The woman who has been suggested to take over Kensington and Chelsea is the councillor for Cadogan Square, where many of the mansions have been empty for up to 15 years.

BlueBelle Wed 05-Jul-17 16:38:01

I think it's totally understandable we aren't privy to see what's being offered they have probably been offered whatever they could quickly find, they might not be up to standard they might be offered a similar size but it might be dirty, run down, in a bad area, or in another high rise block, away from family and friends and support That little girl who' s family had turned a flat down because it was too far away was terribly traumatise she broke down bless her They ve lost friends, family, their homes and all their precious belongings through no fault of their own and people expect them to just slot into anything to make it convienent for the council

Rigby46 Wed 05-Jul-17 16:38:59

It's such early days - imagine losing all your possessions and what that means. And some have lost family and friends. They are at the beginnng of a long journey of having to accept that so much has gone. They need time without pressure or judgement in which to make these decisions - decide in haste, repent at leisure.Compassion is everything at the moment. Some will find it easier to decide than others but it's only three weeks isn't it? Poor, poor people.

Rigby46 Wed 05-Jul-17 16:39:40

x posts Bluebelle