Just when some of us thought that some at RBKC could not sink any lower; they have hit a new low with regards to housing policy for some in our community who are affected by Grenfell.
Yes, shockingly this council has made recommendations on housing residents from the Walkways, Treadgold House and Bramley House, which basically amounts to an ultimatum to force residents to either move back into their former homes by the 30th of September this year (only two months away) to keep their secure tenancies or that if they stay in temporary accommodation they will lose their secure tenancies.
This is an urgent call to our readers to please sign and share this petition from local campaigner and friend of THINK Isis Amlak, demanding that the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee – which meets tomorrow – remove the recommendation from this report before it goes to the Leadership Team meeting, which is meeting on Wednesday.
We apologise to some who may think our pictures on this serious post may appear to be rather in bad taste, but if anything leaves a bad taste , it is a local authority that lacks a heart in having little to no compassion for people affected by Grenfell, the brains to communicate with residents effectively and the courage to face up to the consequences of their actions.
Maybe there is “no place like home”, but it is utterly inhumane for RBKC to expect these traumatised residents to either return to a property in very close proximity to Grenfell Tower , where they witnessed things on the 14th of June last year that nobody should ever have to experience within a deadline . Many saw the fire and saw people in Grenfell Tower calling for help, not all of whom survived . (Some of the sights they have seen to us, as traumatised residents around the corner, are far too upsetting for us to describe).Some wish to leave; others wish to come back at some point but are the in a mind to face it now. Yet callous RBKC tried to force them to make such h a decision within such a narrow timeframe .
Neither Maxine Holdsworth, Director of Housing Needs, nor Kim Taylor-Smith, Deputy Leader of RBKC and Cabinet Member for housing, are in a position to fully comprehend what these residents are going though, and so neither are most of the Leadership Team (Cabinet) who are likely to approve this recommendation.
It is also utterly heartless to expect these residents to give up secure tenancies that many had waited years for – only to now for this council to further add to their trauma and stress
Yes, RBKC did go spending council reserves on properties, but they completely failed to assess the needs of each and every household first – hence many offers of accommodation not being taken as unsuitable for some residents’ needs (for example, disabled residents being offered places that are difficult to access).
And RBKC also gave £40million to Notting Hill Housing to help rehouse residents in the full knowledge that legally many of their secure tenancies would not be renewed. They did not bother to consult residents; they just threw money at a housing association in blind faith.
Our local authority also severely failed residents with regards to just basic communication (and has done so on a regular basis since the disaster) only just getting in touch with residents affected by this to notify them of this policy decision last Tuesday – beyond unacceptable.
So much for their extra money spent on communications if they cannot even arrange to meet with and fully discuss their proposals for residents within reasonable notice.
And of course, poor communications with helping traumatised residents who are struggling to cope around here has been a consistent and outstanding failure of theirs since the disaster. See our “Dumb and Dumber” post here :
It appears that some at RBKC either do not have a clue as to what they are doing and others appear to think that by trying to hide away from some or to try and pull the wool over residents’ eyes, that this will somehow remedy the situation – it more than certainly won’t.
THINKers have attended many of the Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee meetings and also the Tenants Consultative Committee meetings for some time now and we know that it has been admitted by RBKC that there are a considerable number of empty properties that have been left in a state of disrepair for ages – and this is still the case now.
The TMO and what is happening with the dismantling of it is a long and sometimes legally complicated process. But there is an urgent need for these homes to be repaired and to be put back in use as soon as possible.
The Rotten Borough did not have the courage to admit that it was not equipped to deal with both Grenfell and the housing situation and should have gone to the Government and asked to be put into special measures. Instead the RBKC Tories decided to posture and carry on and go ahead with “business as usual” try to act like a “normal” local authority in an unprecedented situation of a disaster.
They would like to draw a line under this and would rather most people forget that it was their behaviour towards residents of Grenfell Tower as well as the dangerous refurbishment of the building which for the most part caused the fire in which at least 72 people died – yet they do not seem to care that their policies and recommendations are further ruining lives.
The council’s strategy appears to be to sweep Grenfell and all affected under the carpet and then to be more focused on offering occasional help to people (in wards which voted for them) and putting on a PR show for the media (despite the fact that there is an inquiry going on which eventually will be examining policies and strategies of policy orchestrated by them and the consequences ).
This council not only lacks, a heart, a brain and the courage to deal with this situation in a competent, calm and compassionate way; the Rotten Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has no shame.