'Much more needs to be done' to rehouse Grenfell Tower survivors

Updated: 
Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square

The Prime Minister's three-week deadline for rehousing families forced from their homes by the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been missed with none of them found permanent accommodation in that time, the mayor of London said.

In the days after the blaze Theresa May said residents of the tower would be rehoused within three weeks at the latest.

But, speaking at Mayor's Question Time on Thursday, Sadiq Khan said, four weeks on from the tragedy, not enough has been done to find new homes for the Grenfell survivors.

He said: "It is clear much more needs to be done to find appropriate housing for Grenfell survivors.

"The Prime Minister's deadline of three weeks for everyone to be rehoused nearby has passed.

"And yet, as the deadline was reached, just three households had moved into new temporary accommodation and no families had moved into permanent housing."

Around 255 survivors escaped Grenfell Tower which contained 129 flats.

Mr Khan also criticised Kensington and Chelsea Council, saying residents had no confidence in it.

He said: "I have been to North Kensington many times since the fire.

"Kensington and Chelsea Council are inept, they are incompetent and they are close to being useless in the eyes of the residents. And I concur with the residents.

"They have been missing in action, they have failed to provide the residents with the support they need."

Mr Khan said the Government could have sent in commissioners to help in the aftermath of the tragedy, but had instead struck a backroom deal with the leadership.

He also said he had asked the fire commissioner for an urgent review into the equipment she thinks she needs, in light of the disaster.

He continued: "I have written the Home Secretary asking for extra support financially to make sure our fire services have the support they need."

On Wednesday, hundreds of mourners gathered at a wall plastered in tributes in the west London neighbourhood to mark four weeks since the blaze.

Among those at the vigil was Emma Dent Coad, the newly elected MP for the area, who told the Press Association: "It is still chaotic, the whole process of housing people, getting them social housing, mental health help, whatever other help they are getting, obviously the people who aren't getting help come to me.

"It's disgraceful, actually, the council are still failing people every day."