Response team tries to reassure former residents they will be rehoused locally, even as relief effort still falls short for some.
Some survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have been housed in poor quality bed and breakfast accommodation with no functioning showers, according to the local councillor representing residents of the block.
While most survivors were content with the hotel accommodation they had received, at least two single men had been housed in “really horrible B&Bs”, Judith Blakeman said. The Labour ward councillor attended a private meeting of survivors on Monday, where she heard that one man was moved from a very basic and dirty room to a second substandard bed and breakfast where the showers were not working, she said.
Five days after the fire, officials called in to help with the relief effort expressed shock that there was still no central list of all the people affected and in need of help, amid continuing criticism of Kensington and Chelsea council’s response to the crisis.
The transfer of responsibility for the aftermath of the tragedy to London Resilience, a city-wide emergency response team, has led to improved efficiency, those involved in the relief operation said. By Monday evening, 126 households from the tower and the damaged block immediately at the foot of the building had been housed in hotels in or close to the borough.
The response team dismissed rumours that anyone would be rehoused far from their original homes. “It is absolutely not the case that anyone is being placed a long distance away. We have endeavoured to keep accommodation as local as possible, and we completely accept residents’ wishes to remain close to the community,” the new official coordinating body, the Grenfell Response Team (which has representatives from London-wide local government, central government, British Red Cross, the Metropolitan police and London fire brigade) said in a statement.