London Grenfell Tower disaster, Dutch TV interview

This video from London, England says about itself:

Joe Delany, Grenfell Action Group – Grenfell: An Avoidable Tragedy

2 August 2017

Joe Delany of Grenfell Action Group explains the trials and tribulations of the former tenants of Grenfell Tower as well as those that other people have been suffering elsewhere in London and beyond.

This was part of a panel discussion on 19 July 2017 at Queen Mary School of Law, supported by the State Crime Initiative.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Victims of Grenfell fire feel deceived: ‘I want a home!’

Today, 17:46

Nine weeks ago, at least eighty people died in the horrific fire in Grenfell Tower in London. So far, for 158 households, only fourteen new homes have been allocated.

Tomassina Hessel is staying with her three-year-old son Jessy already in her third hotel. “It’s the longest nine weeks of my life,” she says. “It’s shocking to see how little progress has been made.”

‘Just as bad’

The mother was lucky she lived on the ground floor, in the row of houses next to the tower. As a result, she could easily escape the fire. Her house is not burned out – even though it has now no gas, water and electricity, so is no longer habitable. But the help she has received since then, Hessel thinks, is far below par.

Every couple of weeks she hears that she has to stay in the hotel for a little longer. She does not have a prospect of what will be coming. “Either they keep information secret, or they really do not know what to do with us. That’s just as bad,” she says.

The problem is that Grenfell Tower is in London’s most expensive district: Kensington and Chelsea. There is hardly comparable social housing. …

Hessel says that is no excuse. “There are big houses standing empty and there are also lots for sale. The government has enough money to buy homes for survivors. It’s not our fault that this tower has been burned out.”

Since the fire, the municipality has held meetings every two weeks in the Notting Hill Methodist Church. To talk to survivors and especially to restore trust.

The new city council leader, Conservative Elizabeth Campbell, said at the last meeting that she acknowledges that housing allocation is slow. …

“The coming weeks a lot will happen”, Campbell said to the 200 victims in the hall. Hardly anyone believes her.

Some victims of the fire see Campbell as a liar, a disaster and a cheat. “So far, I’ve only been offered psychiatric help, but I want a home,” says someone who used to live on the sixteenth floor of the tower. “Each time we get the same answers, but nothing happens,” says another one. “We are nine weeks further!”

Campbell eventually left the church under police guidance, while residents still said unfriendly things to her. The residents of Grenfell Tower have always felt disadvantaged by the government, but the fire has only made the gap even bigger.

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