Grenfell one year on
12 June 2018
The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has made a statement on the government’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire, outlining what has been done since the tragedy a year ago, and that while there has been progress in recent weeks, overall the pace has been too slow.
The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP says that one of the most pressing issues since the fire on the 14 June 2017 has been rehousing those who lost their homes. Some 203 households needed new homes, and 198 have accepted permanent or temporary accommodation. While 134 have now moved in, he remains very concerned about the 43 households who are living in hotels.
His statement says: "We will not rest until everyone is settled into new homes."
Some of the key points in the statement include:
In total, over £46 million of national government funds have already been spent – and committed a further £34 million to help meet rehousing costs, deliver new mental health services and deliver improvements to the Lancaster West Estate.
Those affected also badly need answers and to see justice done. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry and Metropolitan Police investigations will ensure this happens. But we must also learn from what has happened.
Over the past year my department has been working closely with fire and rescue services, local authorities and landlords to make sure other buildings like Grenfell Tower are safe.
Remediation work has started on two-thirds of buildings in the social housing sector.
And the Prime Minister announced last month that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of potentially dangerous ACM cladding on buildings over 18 metres owned by social landlords, with costs estimated at £400 million.
And we’ve made it clear that we expect building owners in the private sector to not pass costs on to leaseholders.
In addition, I recently welcomed Dame Judith Hackitt’s final, comprehensive report following her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.In response, I committed to bringing forward legislation to reform the system of fire safety and give residents a stronger voice.
Having listened carefully to concerns, the government intends to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings, subject to consultation. We will publish the consultation next week.
It is essential that people living in buildings like Grenfell Tower are not only safe but they feel the state understands their lives and works for them.
As well as strengthening building and fire safety – we’ll be publishing a social housing green paper by recess.
I am confident that these measures will help us rebuild public trust and deliver the meaningful, lasting change that’s needed.
Our country has seen many difficult times, but that night at Grenfell Tower was one of our darkest hours.
We will never forget those who died.