Third of survivors still in hotels
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.