Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Phase 1 Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 21st January 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 3:35 pm, 21st January 2020

Of the households who lived in Grenfell tower, 10 are yet to move into permanent accommodation. Of them, one is in hotel accommodation; the others are in high-quality temporary accommodation. Without going into the personal details of each household, which would not be appropriate, I can tell the House that I have personally reviewed the circumstances behind each of them, and my right hon. Friend the Housing Minister and I have worked closely with Kensington Council to review them again several times since coming to office. They are complex cases with a range of individual circumstances behind them, but we are hopeful that many of them will move into accommodation in which they feel comfortable as soon as possible.

Yesterday, I announced a series of new measures, including the appointment of a construction expert, to quicken the pace of the remediation of ACM cladding. I announced that I was minded to lower the height requirements for sprinklers in residential buildings from 18 metres to 11 metres, and I will set out a full proposal on how we intend to deliver that in February.

As I have stated, I have had the privilege of meeting survivors and their families and friends as well as people from across the community of north Kensington, and from the schools, such as Kensington Aldridge Academy and St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, that provide a safe and caring space for children affected by the tragedy to reflect and remember their loved ones, to the worshippers at the Al-Manaar north Kensington mosque, who came together to support the community after the fire and continue to do so. One thing has been clear to me: this is a community of people who look after one another, who will continue to support one another and who will never forget what happened on the evening of the fire.

We owe it to them to ensure that their views are heard throughout our work, that justice is delivered and that the system is changed so that such a tragic fire can never happen again. That means reforming our building safety regime, but it also means reform of social housing to ensure tenants’ voices are heard and that their landlords provide good-quality, safe accommodation with strong and robust sanctions in place to hold them to account where that does not happen.

The Prime Minister and I have committed to bringing forward a social housing White Paper. This will set out further measures to empower tenants, hold social landlords to account and support the continued supply of social housing. This will include measures to provide for greater redress and better regulation and to improve the quality and safety of social housing.