Sajid Javid has announced the creation of a government-led independent recovery taskforce to help Kensington and Chelsea council deal with the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The communities secretary stepped in following intense criticism of the Conservative-run council’s handling of the recovery effort.
Officials revealed today that just 14 out of 158 families evacuated from the tower have accepted offers of temporary accommodation.
Theresa May promised all the victims would be found accommodation within three weeks of the fire, but 19 families have yet to be offered any housing.
Council leader Nick Paget-Brown and his deputy Rock Feilding-Mellen both stepped down last week after coming under pressure over the response to the fire.
In his resignation statement Paget-Brown said the scale of the tragedy meant Kensington and Chelsea would never have had “sufficient resource to respond to the needs of all the survivors”.
His replacement, Elizabeth Campbell, said she was “delighted” at the government’s response and her team would work to “regain the trust of a community traumatised by disaster”.
Javid said today’s announcement was “putting in place the foundations that will support the longer term recovery”.
“Support to survivors, the families and friends of those who lost their lives and residents in the wider community must and will be ongoing,” he said in a statement.
“The challenge of providing that support is and will continue to be significant. I want to help the council meet that challenge.”
The make-up of the new taskforce will be announced in the coming weeks, but the immediate recovery is being coordinated by a separate Grenfell Response Team, headed by the chief executive of the City of London Corporation, John Baradell.