Outrage as luxury flat residents complain rehomed Grenfell families will lower house prices


Residents of a luxury housing block have been slammed online after complaining that the arrival of Grenfell Tower survivors will lead to a fall in property prices.

The Standard revealed on Wednesday that 68 “social housing” flats in the £2 billion Kensington Row scheme have been acquired to permanently house families from the nearby tower.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our priority is to get everyone who has lost their home permanently rehoused locally as soon as possible, so that they can begin to rebuild their lives.”

But several residents of the luxury complex, which features a gym, swimming pool and 24-hour concierge service that will be off limits to Grenfell families, complained the move was “unfair”

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Some Grenfell Tower residents are to be re-homed in a £2bn luxury block

One woman, who bought her flat two years ago, told the Guardian: “We paid a lot of money to live here, and we worked hard for it. 

“Now these people are going to come along, and they won’t even be paying the service charge.”

Another claimed the flats would end up being sub-let.

He told the paper: “I’m very sad that people have lost their homes, but there are a lot of people here who have bought flats and will now see the values drop. 

“It will degrade things. And it opens up a can of worms in the housing market.”

However, others did agree with the move, complaining some of the flats were completely empty.

The comments, on the day inquests were opened into the deaths of five of the blaze victims, led to outrage online

375 Kensington High Street Property – In pictures

Journalist Natalie Bloomer tweeted: “Rich people with so much sympathy for Grenfell survivors but god forbid they have to live near them.”

And student Vonnie Sandlan complained: “This is horrendous. 

“Plenty of sympathy for the victims of Grenfell tower, until it comes to where they’ll live.”

Another tweeter wrote: “Milk of human kindness, these people. 

“I guess money always trumps humanity.”

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Families will be moved into a luxury block at one of London’s most desirable addresses (Nigel Howard)

The 68 flats have been purchased by the City of London Corporation in a deal brokered by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The newly built homes are in two affordable housing blocks are on a site where private homes are on offer from £1,575,000 to £8.5 million.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the “expectation is that these new properties will be offered as one of the options to permanently rehouse residents from Grenfell Tower”.

Mr Javid said: “The residents of Grenfell Tower have been through some of the most harrowing and traumatic experiences imaginable and it is our duty to support them.”

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Devastation: Grenfell Tower

Extra public money has been found to fit out the flats more quickly, and the developer has taken on more staff and relaxed working hours rules, the DCLG said, with the aim of having the homes ready by the end of July.

Eleanor Kelly, chief executive of Southwark Council and spokeswoman for the Grenfell Response Team, said: “Rehousing those residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire as quickly as possible is our main priority, and I am pleased that a significant amount of housing has now been identified.”

The announcement came after much anger from survivors and victims’ families in the aftermath at the official response to the deadly blaze.

Last week, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for empty homes near the scene of the fire in north Kensington to be requisitioned to house families.

An independent public advocate to help bereaved families after major disasters was announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier on Wednesday.

The speech confirmed plans for a public inquiry into the tragedy and a new strategy for resilience in major disasters could include a Civil Disaster Reaction Taskforce to help at times of emergency, and an independent advocate will support those affected and help them at inquests.

After the speech Theresa May apologised for the failures by local and national government in responding to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Addressing the Commons on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said the initial support on the ground for families was “not good enough” with people lacking basic information about what they should do and where help was available.

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/outrage-as-luxury-flat-residents-complain-rehomed-grenfell-families-will-lower-house-prices-a3570331.html

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