I’m sure even our overseas visitors have heard about the Grenfell fire tragedy in the UK, involving a massive 24 storey 220 foot residential tower block.
Many were killed, burnt alive as fire swept fast and unexpectedly through the whole of the tall building due what we now know were cost cutting measures that otherwise would have seen the fire correctly contained to one apartment. Orphans were made as desperate mothers, accepting their own dire fate, threw their babies from great heights to strangers below. Many are still missing, by now of course presumed dead.
But I want to move the story on for The Big Question to get your point of view on the further developments.
There’s no more survivors. The various authorities, having done nothing for their tragic constituents for about a week, have kicked in and found new homes for (most of) the now homeless survivors.
This has caused some issues. I’ll illustrate this with 2 Camps.
Camp1 are the Grenfell fire victims who are now are going to be housed in an apartment block in a ‘swanky’ part of London within a luxury development. The government has basically gone to the new luxury development which had not finished selling it’s apartments and bought up all the remaining homes… nearby. This has ruffled the feathers of some of the residents there (who we’ll call Camp 2) who say that they don’t want them there. As an exclusive development the residents have paid a premium for the services, the exclusivity and to get to live with the ‘type of person’ who is able to live there.
The fire victims Camp 1, need homes. They need to settle down somewhere where they can mourn their missing loved ones and begin re-building their thoroughly shattered lives.
Most sane people would understand the needs of Camp 1 but I wonder if there is some understanding of the wealthy residents in Camp 2‘s point of view or not? ‘Type of person’ sounds snooty in black and white on a computer screen, but can and does have a variety of meanings. In this case it more than likely means some or all of the following; Low income, benefit dependent, foreign, illegal, Muslim…
The main argument being that you don’t pay a high premium for amenities and exclusivity to share the space with people who don’t.
A few views:
‘Have you heard about how they are letting these people who don’t work live in luxury apartments? People are saying that they don’t want these people here in their apartments, that they rely too much on the government. They are saying: ‘I pay £5,000 a month to live here’
‘North Kensington is not this Kensington. They should be in a place where they are happy, but not here. I don’t want them here.’
I should point out that the apartments the Grenfell survivors will be given are ‘social housing’ apartments which are usually very nice apartments built in close proximity to uber luxury apartments in a general deal struck up by the various councils and luxury developers to provide low income housing. So they get the nice area, the really nice apartments, but not the private communal cinema or access to the swimming pools, gyms etc.
Social housing being built in proximity to luxury residential building. Photo: Lucy Pasha-Robinson
I’ll also add that pretty much the whole thing was done in a knee jerk reaction by the authorities to make up for the initial total inertia and lack of leadership, accountability, compassion and duty of care shown to the residents when the tragedy started to unfold. Think Hurricane Katrina.
Here are some images from the luxury apartments. Not feeling the decor myself but there you go!
One gets the feeling that had they handled the situation better, Camp 1 would have been gradually re-homed in like for like accommodation.
But is that the point? Does that even matter?
I place the 2 sides of the argument in your proven capable hands!
WHAT SAY YOU?!
1. Sharrup The Ed! These people need homes. That’s all that matters. Doesn’t matter where.
2. Hold it right there The Ed! The Residents in Camp 2 have a point why should they now have to bear the brunt of the council and the governments mistake? This is not what they paid for.
Hit the comments and fix the world!