Residents of flats near Grenfell Tower 'to receive £2.7m in council support'

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The package of support for residents in flats neighbouring the charred remains of Grenfell Tower is expected to cost in the millions, the council estimates. 

Households from the three "finger" blocks near the high-rise - Testerton, Barandon and Hurstway Walks - are expected to receive "in the region of £2.7 million" in support from Kensington and Chelsea Council.

The amount is based on the assumption that all households will take up offers of support and will cover grants, redecoration and cleaning services as residents attempt to rebuild their lives after the blaze tragedy, in which at least 80 people died.

But it does not include the loss of revenue from the months where rent and service charges have been waived, nor a cost estimation of support for those who lived in the tower. 

Council officers will "explore" whether some of these costs can be mitigated through insurance or funding from central Government, but the majority of the burden is anticipated to fall on the local authority.

The report, signed by Clare Chamberlain, director of children's services for the borough, details the level of help available following a proposed offer of support sent by letter in July.

In their feedback, residents said they wanted reassurances about the future of the Lancaster West estate, their safety concerns addressed, repairs carried out and more information on rehousing.

It was also felt that a one-off £5,000 payment should be extended to residents who did not wish to return to their homes, which the council has agreed.

RBKC said that currently 149 households from the three blocks are in temporary accommodation - the majority in hotels. 

A number have returned to their homes, but others did not want to or were unable to. 

The council has said anyone who does not want to go back to their home can remain in temporary accommodation until rehoused.

Campaign group Justice 4 Grenfell has raised concerns that more vulnerable neighbouring residents have been overlooked as the rehousing of tower survivors is prioritised. 

It cited an example of an 89-year old woman, bedridden after a stroke, who was becoming increasingly depressed after being moved to three care homes and admitted to hospital twice in the weeks after being evacuted following the fire. 

Meanwhile, it emerged that the majority of households whose homes were destroyed in the tower-block blaze are still in emergency accommodation, seven weeks on.

The Grenfell Response Team said less than a third of the 175 initial offers had been accepted, and just 13 families rehoused.

Deputy leader of the council Kim Taylor-Smith said: "We want to make sure that people living in the shadow of Grenfell are looked after, alongside the victims and the survivors of the tower itself.

"We've made a financial commitment today, and more help and assistance will come in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.

"We know that trust in the council is low, but we are doing all in our power to rebuild that trust, and help people get back on their feet."