Homeless fire victims must not be rehoused in 'cheap' homes far from London, say faith leaders
Faith leaders in London have called for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire to be rehoused in decent housing rather than sent to 'cheaper places far from London'. At the very least, the survivors of the fire who have lost their homes must be consulted about where they wish to live.
'As London faith representatives, our united minds, hearts and prayers are with everyone in Grenfell Tower and with the families and friends of all those who are impacted.
'Our deep gratitude to the emergency services, who continue to respond swiftly. We are also with all those from faith networks and communities, who are working tirelessly to provide immediate support.
'We urge swift action to rehouse the homeless, in consultation with them, rather than send them to cheaper places far from London,' the London Faiths Forum said in a statement.
Faith leaders also called for 'immediate action' to provide counselling and support services to ensure health and wellbeing to all those who are suffering, particularly the children. The long-term consequences need to be addressed now, they said.
A humanitarian assistance group is being set up to coordinate offers of help, which can be registered using this link.
Police have confirmed that the fire has resulted in at least 30 fatalities but according to other reports, the number of deaths could be more than 70. So far, all residents who have asked for help have been placed in hotels and Kensington and Chelsea council is giving them financial help, as well as trying to temporary homes for them as well as for the elderly and vulnerable residents from surrounding areas who have been unable to return to their homes due to the safety cordon.
The council said: 'We plan to house residents of Grenfell Tower as locally as we can. But we may well need help from our close neighbours. We want to rehouse people in a good home as quickly as we can. The council is committed to looking after the immediate and longer-term housing needs of all those affected by the fire.'