18 February 2021, The Tablet

Justice means safe and secure homes

Housing after grenfell


When, in 2017, London’s Grenfell Tower was engulfed in a fire, 72 innocent lives were destroyed as a direct result of the cruel indifference of developers and political leaders towards the lives of ordinary people. Over three years later, the government has finally announced a £3.5 billion fund to make similar apartment buildings safe. But this is too little, too late. In the years since the fire, the costs of government failure to regulate developers have been borne almost exclusively by the blameless residents of unsafe housing. Not only is this money coming far too late for those already bankrupted by unexpectedly ballooning costs added to their rents or mortgages, it will only provide help to residents in buildings over 18 metres tall, or above six storeys, and only to cover the replacement of unsafe cladding, and not the many other fire safety measures that may be necessary.

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