The Grenfell residents still living in hotels: ‘This is no normal life’
From The Guardian: Only two families who escaped Grenfell Tower have moved into permanent new homes, despite a firm commitment from Theresa May two days after the fire that everyone would be rehoused within three weeks. Approximately 150 households are still scattered across London in 36 hotels. The hotel bill (excluding meals) already stands at more than £5m.
Grenfell resident Sid-Ali Atmani, who escaped from the 15th floor, is incredulous at the delay. “For three months, people here have been discussing the same subject, every day, every night – housing. It’s making people more and more ill,” he says. The wait has been particularly distressing for his daughter, Hyam, 10, one of about 200 children still in hotels. “She comes back from school to the hotel. She doesn’t have her own kitchen, her own glass. This has been going on for 90 days and 90 nights. She is tired and frustrated.” She found it tough being cooped up in a cramped hotel room throughout the summer holidays. “Some days she sat in the lobby all day. There are a thousand different faces going past. She hasn’t got her toys. This is no normal life.”
The sluggish, chaotic official response to the fire shocked residents in the days after the catastrophe. Kensington MP says things have got worse. She has already dealt with four interim directors of housing seconded to the local council, and says she is so frustrated at the rapidly shifting cast of people meant to be taking charge of the situation that to describe it as “gross incompetence” would be to put a positive spin on things.