Council reportedly considering selling housing bought for Grenfell survivors

Council reportedly considering selling housing bought for Grenfell survivors

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Kensington and Chelsea Council is reportedly considering selling some of the houses they bought to rehome Grenfell survivors.

According to Inside Housing, an unnamed council officer sent an email about the homes, which were bought in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

A council source told Inside Housing that some of the homes needed a considerable amount of maintenance work, and the email reportedly states: “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 council spokesperson said: ““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.

“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.”

talkRADIO has contacted the council for further comment.

Deputy council leader Kim Taylor-Smith told talkRADIO shortly after the anniversary of the fire in June that the council had spent £220 million on acquiring 307 homes, and that 82 families out of the 203 that lost their homes are now in permanent accommodation.

“We were spending about £800,000 per home because it was important to us to buy good quality homes,” Taylor-Smith said.

He added that work was being done on the houses to modify them to meet survivors’ needs. “We’re doing a lot of additional work to make sure it meets their needs, like taking gas out and putting sprinklers in. In total, over 90% of the survivors and bereaved families have selected a home,” he said.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said at the time that 43 families remained in hotels, and other reports suggested the number still in temporary accommodation could be even higher.