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Grenfell Tower fire: First survivors move into permanent home as council leader pledges to spend 'every penny' on rehousing

Nine offers of permanent accommodation have been accepted

Nine offers of permanent accommodation have been accepted by Grenfell survivors, with one household already moved in to their new home.

Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council leader Elizabeth Campbell said she would spend “every penny” of the council’s vast reserves on rehousing those affected by the tragedy if necessary, with £76 million set to be made available later this week.

And she hoped more of the 180-plus households in hotels and temporary accommodation would be permanently rehoused as soon as possible, but according to “their need, not speed”.

The £76m is expected to be allocated following a council leadership team meeting at Kensington Town Hall, at 5pm on Thursday (August 24).

Councillor Campbell said: “It’s a lot of money, tens of millions of pounds, but that’s what that money is there for.

“We’ve built up reserves and we built them up in case of emergencies, and this is an emergency.

“And we will spend that. And that’s right that we should do it - these are our neighbours.

“If you don’t spend money on your neighbours in an emergency, then when do you spend it?”

She was speaking at one of the flats earmarked for Grenfell survivors in Hortensia Road - one of 105 properties acquired by the council following the tragedy.

Kensington and Chelsea Council leader Elizabeth Campbell(Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

The other two locations are Kensington Row , with 68 units and Tavistock Crescent with six properties, while one other house is also available.

Since August 21, survivors have been able to browse brochures and register their interest in permanent homes in the three locations on a website set up by the council.

Some 134 people have logged in to the website and expressed an interest within the first three days, said Cllr Campbell.

At least 20 permanent offers have been made, and 31 viewings conducted, the council said.

One of the 23 households in temporary accommodation, initially accepted on a 12-month basis, decided they wanted to make their new home permanent, it added.

Cllr Campbell said she was “really pleased” with feedback from residents and denied that they were being made to bid against each other, saying each home would only be viewed and offered to one household at a time.

She said: “People aren’t bidding, they are saying what their preference is.

“We won’t show anyone a flat if they can’t come in and say ‘I want this flat’ and we say ‘sign up’.”

She added: “Absolutely every single person will be phoned up, we will engage one-to-one and we will do it with them.”

People will have until September 1 to register their preference on the website, but Cllr Campbell said those who felt unable to engage would be pro-actively approached and helped.

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