The independent London newspaper

After the Grenfell fire disaster Shelter wants the voices of social housing tenants to be heard

26 January, 2018

Grenfell Tower

• THIS week Shelter has launched a commission into the future of social housing to address crucial issues which have been highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The commission will aim to give social housing tenants across the country, starting with the Grenfell community itself, a far louder say in the future of social housing.

Chaired by Rev Mike Long of the Notting Hill Methodist Church near Grenfell, Shelter has brought together a panel of key figures to examine the state of social housing in modern Britain and its future role in ending the housing crisis.

A series of roadshows will be held, a public consultation will take place online, and a major piece of research with social housing tenants will be carried out. An independent report will make recommend­ations to the prime minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before the end of the year.

Shelter and YouGov revealed new research showing that many of the challenges described by Grenfell residents in the aftermath of the fire are faced by communities across England.

Almost half of families in social housing who reported issues around poor or unsafe conditions felt ignored or were refused help. Problems included fire safety, gas leaks, electrical hazards, mould and pest problems, among others.

Almost a quarter said they feel looked down on because of where they live, compared with only eight per cent of families who are private renters or homeowners

Commissioner Edward Daffarn, from the survivors and bereaved group Grenfell United, said: “Everyone who lived in Grenfell Tower knows just how devastating the consequences are when the wellbeing of social housing tenants and leaseholders are disregarded – more than 70 members of our community needlessly lost their lives in a wholly avoidable tragedy.

“If we are ever to achieve any kind of justice and recompense for what happened, it will come through genuine social change and by ensuring that people living in social housing will never again be treated like second-class citizens or experience such neglect and institutional indifference at the hands of housing providers.”



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