A leaked email, seen by Inside Housing, encapsulates [paywall] Kensington and Chelsea Council’s continued disdain for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council (RBKC) bought [paywall] 300 properties in the wake of the Grenfell fire. Yet only 109 of the 204 households made homeless [paywall] are currently living in permanent homes.
Now Inside Housing has seen a leaked email from a council officer. It reported [paywall] that the email:
shows that the council plans to ‘review the future use’ of some of these homes which have not been occupied by survivors of the fire.
The officer wrote: ‘In some cases it will bring greater benefit to residents if the capital that might be spent in retaining and maintaining an acquired property is invested in developing new social housing.’
A spokesperson for Kensington and Chelsea Council stated [paywall]:
The council is reviewing the future use of a handful of the 300 homes because, while they meet the needs and preferences of survivors, they may be difficult to maintain as social housing.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
A full and transparent options appraisal will be carried out of each of these properties. One of the options may be to sell a property and use the money to reinvest in new social housing homes in the borough. No decision has been taken at this point.
Yet, as The Canary previously reported, Kensington and Chelsea Council had a net loss of 10 social homes in 2016/17. This brings into question whether the money would actually be used to reinvest in new social housing.
To make matters worse, the housing charity Shelter estimates that:
more than 10% of [Kensington and Chelsea’s] homes sit empty most of the time.
Meanwhile, in reaction to the leaked email, Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad concluded [paywall]:
the council will be losing money and the homes will be lost as social housing.
As the Guardian reported in March 2018, Shahin Sadafi, the chair of survivors’ group Grenfell United, stated:
So much more needs to be done to get people moved into safe homes so they can rebuild their lives. We’ve heard excuse after excuse, now we just need some action.
Yet five months later, nearly a hundred households affected have still not been permanently housed [paywall]. The fact that the council is now considering selling off available social housing stock gives a strong indicator as to why the situation is so dire.
– Support Grenfell United who have done amazing work in standing up for the community since the fire.
Featured image via Channel4News/YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?