At the Law Centre, we have sought to play a key role in influencing policymakers in both central and local government to improve their Grenfell-related policies and ensure they better reflect the needs and experiences of the Law Centre’s clients. We are also seeking to play an active role in the numerous policy reviews that have taken place in light of the fire, to ensure such a disaster never happens again.
As part of our work in this area, we have submitted substantive responses to the following consultations:
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s consultation on the Wider Grenfell Rehousing Policy
The Law Centre held a number of clinics to speak to our clients from the area to listen to their views on the Council’s policy.
Following pressure applied by local residents, the Law Centre, and other local advice and scrutiny bodies, some changes have been made to the previous draft of the policy, some of which we welcome. It is right that:
- residents from Bramley and Treadgold Houses will be given access to the policy;
- residents will not be as harshly punished if they do not accept unsuitable housing offers;
- private tenants, lodgers and family members may be given financial assistance and advice on moving into the private rented sector; and
- households with additional needs around health and overcrowding will receive more housing points to better reflect their circumstances.
However, there remain many areas of the Council’s policy about which the Law Centre has serious concerns. These include the fact that:
- residents will have to leave their emergency accommodation to be able to access the policy, potentially having to return to the Estate in order to leave the Estate. At best this will cause further disruption to residents. At worst it risks triggering the onset of trauma (particularly in vulnerable children), subjecting residents to undue degrees of pressure, and undermining the Council’s commitment to re-house residents at their own speed;
- residents will still receive only two housing offers, rejection of which will still penalise them. This could be insufficient to allow residents to overcome their deep and valid scepticism towards the quality of offers they receive from the Council; and
- the Council has failed to take this opportunity to clarify residents’ concerns about rent liability for temporary accommodation from 1 July 2018.
Our full submission can be read here.
The Terms of Reference of the Grenfell Inquiry
The Law Centre submitted a response to the consultation on the terms of reference for the Grenfell Inquiry, which can be read here.