Grenfell Tower fire: Residents given £200,000 from relief fund as first 78 families rehoused

No 10 says reports of people being offered homes hundreds of miles away are 'false'

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 20 June 2017 10:18
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Tributes are left by Latymer Community Church, near to Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building
Tributes are left by Latymer Community Church, near to Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building

Grenfell Tower families have received £202,000 of the Government's £5m relief fund in the days since the devastating fire, as Downing Street denied people were being re-homed hundreds of miles away.

Some 180 families had been given financial help by Monday night and 78 of those were due to be re-housed in the local area by that evening, according to the Grenfell Response Team (GRT).

Each household affected by the blaze will receive a £500 cash payment and £5,000 deposited into a bank account from a fund announced by Theresa May on Friday.

The GRT includes representatives of London local government, central government, the fire brigade, police and the Red Cross.

According to an update from Downing Street, council workers have been ordered onto the ground to provide a more visible official presence, following criticism from residents.

A spokesperson for No 10 also said: “The Prime Minister received reassurances that the commitment to re-home people within the same or neighbouring borough would be met within the three-week deadline, and that reports of people being offered homes hundreds of miles away were false.”

The GRT said in a statement: “Work is taking place to assess the housing needs of all Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk families to identify suitable accommodation in Kensington and Chelsea and neighbouring boroughs.”

It added: “We have endeavoured to keep accommodation as local as possible, and we completely accept residents' wishes to remain close to the community.”

The GRT said 50 families who wished to work with the authorities had been given a key worker on Monday.

There are another 43 social workers from across London who have started to help assess and support the affected families.

There are also 16 Red Cross staff and volunteers who have been on the ground and helping at the Westway Centre.

A judge is expected to be appointed within “the next couple of days” to preside over the independent inquiry, and the Government said residents would be consulted on the probe's terms of reference.

Scotland Yard announced on Monday that 79 people were missing and presumed dead after the fire that enveloped the tower in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

Additional reporting by agencies

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