Third of sur­vivors still in ho­tels

Daily Mail - - News - By Vanessa Allen and Arthur Martin

A THIRD of Gren­fell sur­vivors re­main in ho­tels and emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion to­day, ex­actly a year af­ter the blaze.

Griev­ing fam­i­lies who lost rel­a­tives and whose homes and be­long­ings were de­stroyed have not yet been re­housed, de­spite Gov­ern­ment and coun­cil pledges to find them new homes within a year.

A 24-hour vigil to mourn the dead be­gan last night, ahead of a planned minute’s si­lence and other events to mark to­day’s grim an­niver­sary.

Theresa May told the Com­mons yes­ter­day: ‘We are do­ing ev­ery­thing that we can to see that the sur­vivors of Gren­fell get the homes and sup­port that they need and the truth and jus­tice that they de­serve.’ But fam­i­lies who re­main crammed into ho­tel rooms said their lives could not re­turn to any sem­blance of nor­mal­ity un­til they can move into new homes.

Mo­hammed Ra­soul, who has been shar­ing a ho­tel room with his wife Mu­nira and their two chil­dren, aged two and six, since the fire, told the BBC: ‘The kids have lim­ited space to play, we all have to sleep in the same space. It has taken its toll at times dur­ing the past year.’

Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea Coun­cil, which owned the high-rise block, said it had spent £235mil­lion on new hous­ing for sur­vivors, and a fur­ther £25mil­lion on emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion in the past 12 months.

It also emerged yes­ter­day that more than 500 chil­dren have post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der or other men­tal ill­nesses as a re­sult of the Gren­fell in­ferno.

In the largest screen­ing of its kind, men­tal health as­sess­ments have been car­ried out on 1,702 chil­dren who lived in the tower or live near it. Ex­perts di­ag­nosed 521 with PTSD or a sim­i­lar anx­i­ety as a re­sult of what they ex­pe­ri­enced.

Chil­dren as young as two are still ask­ing their par­ents if they will die in a fire af­ter wit­ness­ing the dev­as­tat­ing blaze. One said he some­times wishes he died with his cousins that night.

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