Latest Public Sector News

08.10.18

Grenfell council spent £30m on hotels with survivors still waiting to be rehoused

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) has spent nearly £30m on hotels for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Sixteen months after the fatal fire, more than 150 households are still waiting to move into a permanent home and RBKC has been heavily criticised for the slow progress of its rehousing programme.

The £29.4m spent on temporary accommodation, revealed by the Independent, is thought to be five times the cost of building the original tower block, in which 72 people tragically died on 14 June last year.

Fifty-nine bed and breakfasts and hostels have been used for temporary accommodation, plus £4.9m has been spent on temporary housing, according to RBKC following a freedom of information request.

This bill doesn’t include extra money given to the former Grenfell residents to help them pay expenses associated with living in hotels.

Grenfell Tower, built between 1972 and 1974, is estimated to have cost £500,000 to build, which is equivalent to around £6.2m in today’s money.

Immediately after the fire, the council spent £235m on buying 307 properties for Grenfell residents, but the Independent reported that a further 133 council-owned houses in Kensington are vacant and in a state of disrepair.

In July 2017, the Metropolitan Police conducted three interviews in relation to the Grenfell fire, with authorities considering offences including gross negligence and corporate manslaughter.

A year later, the council controversially announced that they were to take control of the site of Grenfell Tower, after it was expected to come under the control of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

In June, communities secretary James Brokenshire revealed plans to ban the use of combustible cladding on the side of high-rise residential buildings similar to those in Grenfell.

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Image credit -  NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

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