Fewer than half of the families who were living in Grenfell Tower have been rehoused by the council despite a promise that all would be in permanent homes before the first anniversary of the fire.
There were a total of 138 households in the tower and walkway, but homes were needed for 203 as some decided to split up.
Kensington and Chelsea Council says 198 households have accepted offers of new homes but only 82 have actually moved in because the properties are not ready.
On 14 June 2017, 72 people were killed in the fire and 256 made homeless. In the following days, Prime Minister Theresa May promised to offer good quality temporary accommodation to all those displaced within three weeks, a deadline which was not met with many staying in hotels for months.
The government and council also promised to have all residents rehoused in permanent accommodation within a year.
The council says the households not yet settled are in temporary accommodation in apartments supplied by the council, but a small number are still in hotels.
The Alves family lived on the 13th floor of the tower. The family, who are originally from Portugal, purchased their apartment through the right-to-buy scheme in 2001 and lost everything in the fire.
They spent six months in a hotel and have been in their temporary flat since then – waiting for their permanent home to be completed.
Speaking about their lengthy stay in the hotel, Fatima Alves said: “You don’t realise how important it was to have a place where we can stay and meet and eat as a family. When we only had the room of the hotel it was hard.”
Miguel Alves says he knew the rehousing promises would be broken from the early days. He said: “The politicians made a lot of promises that they knew, and we knew were impossible to be kept.”
Aalya Moses lived on the fourth floor next door to the apartment where the fire started. She lived alone in her council flat and is one of the lucky ones to be settling into a new permanent flat.
Ms Moses struggles to talk about the lonely and isolating five months she spent in a hotel. She breaks down in tears as we begin discussing it. Now though, she says she is able to entertain her children and grandchildren again and is attempting to get her life back on track.
She says the broken rehousing promises are a disgrace and that she has deliberately moved out of the borough to get away from the failing council.
She said: “Considering that we were first told it would be three weeks, and three weeks turned into five months in a hotel, I’m literally appalled at that.
“It’s even more sickening to know that there are still people that are not housed.”
Kensington and Chelsea Council says rehousing residents has been a huge and complex challenge. It has spent £235m securing 307 properties and offered residents almost one thousand different homes since the fire.
The council says: “(We are) working in partnership with each person and each family to fit out and adapt homes to the specific requirements they have given us and we are also providing new furniture and fixtures and fitting.
“In addition, while some families and individuals have chosen and reserved their permanent home, they do not yet feel ready to move for their own personal reasons. For some it may be that their children have exams, or they may wish to stay where they are for the anniversary which is a testing time for those affected.”
As for the broken promise to rehouse everyone within a year, Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “The families involved are not statistics that need to be moved around a balance sheet. So, we will no longer set deadlines. They are not required.
“What is required is understanding, support, and above all a willingness to do everything we can to help. No matter how large or small the task. We must do everything we can to rehouse families as quickly as possible and support them in rebuilding their lives.”
It added that the huge cost of hotel bills – well over £21m – has been split between the government and the council.
As well as aid from the authorities, the latest figures show how the incredible £28m raised through charity has been spent.
The biggest donation came from the British Red Cross which raised more than £7m. So far, £24.5m has been distributed to the relief effort, victims and the community.
From – SkyNews