It has been revealed this lunchtime that Grenfell survivors will be rehomed in a housing development in the heart of Kensington. Allegedly, the apartments come under the category of “newly-built social housing” in a complex where the price of private homes starts at £1.5m. Only last week, Jeremy Corbyn demanded that properties in Kensingston be requisitioned for survivors of the Grenfell tragedy.
The homes being made available to Grenfell residents are “part of the affordable quota being built”, according to The Guardian. While the luxury apartment complex includes a swimming pool, sauna, private cinema and concierge – it is not clear whether the residents of Grenfell will be able to use these facilities.
The Government has said that sixty-eight flats have been acquired in a development in Kensington Row. However, these are only one or two bedroom flats, unsuitable for the many families who lived in Grenfell, often in three-bedroom flats. There is no news yet as to whether more suitable accommodation will be acquired for families.
This news comes amidst anger and frustration across the country and protests in London, in part against the neoliberal conditions which mean that the poorest and most vulnerable in society are crammed into inadequate housing, paid too little to support their families, and punished for the vast and increasing inequalities which place the 99% at the mercy and whim of the 1%.
The Queen’s Speech has announced today, however, that they will install a new public advocate for the survivors and bereaved. It is yet to be seen as to what that looks like for the survivors, and is a far cry from what the bereaved really want- a full inquest into what happened, who is accountable, and how to prevent such tragedy in future.