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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
June 12, 2018

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Grenfell: 43 families still living in hotels one year on

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has admitted that 43 families are still living in hotels, one year on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Brokenshire said 203 households needed new homes in the aftermath of the tower block fire in which 72 people died.

Grenfell housingThe Housing Secretary said that of these, 198 have accepted permanent or temporary accommodation and 134 have now moved in.

But Mr Brokenshire added he was “very concerned” about the 43 households who are living in hotels one year after the event.

“My ministerial team has met with many of them and I’ve personally written to all of them, to find out what barriers exist in each individual case and how we can overcome them,” the Housing Secretary told MPs.

He also reiterated the Government’s commitment to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise tower blocks, subject to a consultation, which will be published next week.

Mr Brokenshire also added that the Government has “made it clear” that it expects private building owners not to pass the costs of removing dangerous cladding on to leaseholders.

“The private sector must step up and I am not ruling anything out if they do not,” he told MPs.

Responding to the Housing Secretary’s statement, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said the “time for warm words is long past”.

“Grenfell residents feel that they were failed before the fire, and many feel failed since,” said Mr Healey. “They were promised permanent new homes within a year, but only 82 of the 209 households are in permanent new homes. On the wider Grenfell estate, only 39 of 127 are in permanent new homes.”

Mr Healey also pressed the Housing Secretary on whether the Government set for all survivors to be permanently rehoused.

“Without a deadline, more words of regret will simply ring hollow to the still homeless residents of Grenfell Tower,” added Mr Healey.


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