GRENFELL SUPPORT

Daily legal advice Monday to Friday 10am-5pm

We are helping local residents affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster to get the legal support and access to justice they need. If you are a former resident of the Tower or Walk, or if you are from the Lancaster West Estate and have been affected by the disaster, then please call us to see if we can help and to book an appointment.

In relation to the Grenfell Tower disaster, we are helping residents with:

  • Housing (emergency, temporary and permanent), for residents from Grenfell Tower and the surrounding Lancaster West Estate;
  • Immigration applications (for survivors and family members);
  • The Voluntary Interim Payment Scheme;
  • Charitable grants; and
  • Accessing other services they may be entitled to.If your issue is something we cannot help you with, we will help you find another organisation who may be able to assist you.

Information updates for local residents affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy

GRENFELL IMMIGRATION POLICY EXTENDED

The special Grenfell immigration policy has been extended until 31 January 2018.

Additionally, the policy has been expanded to enable any Grenfell survivor with valid leave in another category to switch into the Grenfell policy by 31 January 2018. Individuals will now no longer need to demonstrate that their leave is due to expire in the next 12 months or that they cannot qualify under another immigration route in order to be eligible under the Grenfell Tower immigration policy.

We encourage anybody who thinks they may be able to apply for the policy to come and speak to us to receive free and confidential advice.

More details of the policy can be read here.

DRAFT REHOUSING POLICY FOR THE WALKWAYS GOES OUT TO CONSULTATION

The council have launched a public consultation on its proposed rehousing policy for the Walkways blocks. The consultation is open to all interested parties, and will be open until 5th January.

Residents interested in participating in the consultation should visit the council’s website here, and follow the on-screen instructions. If residents have any questions about the proposed policy or how it may affect them, they should contact us at the Law Centre or the council’s Grenfell Housing Team on 020 7361 3034.

VOLUNTARY INTERIM PAYMENT SCHEME

Following extensive pressure applied by North Kensington Law Centre, the DWP and the Treasury have agreed that Grenfell survivors who receive the Voluntary Interim Payment will not see their eligibility for means-tested benefits affected.

The Voluntary Interim Payment scheme provides £12,500 to each household from Grenfell Tower for losses related to home contents. In addition, each household will receive a further £2,500 per child (up to two children, meaning the maximum that can be claimed is £17,500). Residents do not need to provide evidence of this, and will receive the payment irrespective of whether they had contents insurance or not.

This latest development means that residents can benefit from this scheme without having to worry about it affecting their benefits.

The Law Centre is contacting our clients from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk regarding the Voluntary Interim Payment Scheme, answering the many questions we have been asked on the matter. Residents who want advice on this scheme should contact us so we can provide help, free of charge.

NEW GRANT FOR FORMER GRENFELL TOWER AND GRENFELL WALK RESIDENTS

A new grant for former Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk residents is being made available.

The grant will be for £1,500 for each member of the household, and is in addition to the previous Family Action grant.

Residents can claim their grant by attending one of the following organisations:

  • The Clement James Centre, 95 Sirdar Road, London W10 5YB; or
  • Venture Centre, 103A Wornington Road, London W10 5YB; or
  • The Rugby Portobello Trust, 221 Walmer Rd, London W11 4EY; or
  • Action on Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC Centre) Whitstable House, Silchester Road, London W10 6SB; or
  • Westway Trust, Westway Trust Office, 1 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL.

More details of the grant can be read here.

IMMIGRATION POLICY FOR GRENFELL SURVIVORS

Changes to the immigration policy for survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster have been announced.

Applicants will now be able to extend their leave for up to five years to be able to qualify for permanent residence after a total period of 5 years. Applications must be submitted before 30 November.

More details of the policy can be read here.

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible to apply for this policy should come to speak to us in confidence. We can help you with free advice and assistance regarding your application.

POSSESSIONS

A process to begin retrieving possessions less extensively damaged by the fire has now begun. There will be a drop in session on 19 August between 2 and 4pm at the Curve where residents can ask questions about the removal, storage and returning of these possessions. For more information, people can call the specialist company retrieving the possessions, Kenyon, on 01344 316 667 between 9 am and 5pm, or by emailing them on grenfell@kenyoninternational.com.

FOOD EXPENSES

Those residents currently staying in hotel accommodation are able to claim expenses for any food costs. Adults and children over the age of five can claim up to £300 each per week, and children under five can receive up to £150 per week to cover food costs.

People can choose to eat at their hotel or elsewhere depending on their preference. If people choose to eat at their hotel they can charge the costs to their hotel room. People can also make use of room service and charge it to their room, if available.

For more information, residents should speak to their key worker.

NEW THERAPEUTIC CENTRE FOR ADULTS

From 1st August, a new therapeutic centre will be open for adults affected by the Grenfell Tower fire at Claire Gardens Children’s Centre, 349 Westbourne Park Road, W11 1EG. The Centre will be open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Anyone requiring childcare should mention this when booking.

Therapy sessions can be booked through your key worker or by contacting Emily Le Gros on emily.le-gros@rbkc.gov.uk.

NEW FAMILY SPACE AT HOLMFIELD HOUSE

From Wednesday 2nd August, a new space for families will be open from Wednesday to Friday, 1pm to 5pm at Holmfield House, 4-6 Golborne Road, W10 5PE. This will enable families to cook a meal, eat around a dining table and relax with their family. There will also be access to a garden area and laundry facilities.

Utensils, crockery, cutlery and table cloths will be available, as well as some basic cooking ingredients. Families should, however, bring their own food and laundry supplies.

People who want to use the space should contact their key worker.

CARS LEFT IN PARKING GARAGES NEAR GRENFELL

Residents whose car has been left in the parking garages close to Grenfell Tower and would like to collect them can now do so. They should go to the police cordon at the Grenfell Road entrance between 12 and 1 pm on any day, and the police will help them get their car.

THE GRENFELL ASSISTANCE CENTRE WILL BE MOVING TO THE CURVE, BARD ROAD

From Thursday, the Grenfell Assistance Centre will move from the Westway Sports Centre to The Curve, 10 Bard Road, W10 6TP.

The Centre will be open from 10am to 8pm every day, and will provide residents with a range of services, including the NHS, benefits, Post Office, social care and housing assistance.

RENT REFUND FOR ‘FINGER BLOCK’ RESIDENTS

Residents from Hurstway Walk, Testerton Walk and Barandon Walk who have mistakenly been charged rent or service charge, despite this period being free of charge up until 28 January 2018, can get this refunded.

Affected individuals should visit the TMO desk at Westway, where they can complete a rent reclaim form. Residents must then either send the form or take it to The Hub, 292a Kensal Road, W10 5BE. The money will then be refunded to them by BACS or by cheque.

GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BRING CHARGES FOR ILLEGAL SUB-LETTING

The Government has announced it will not prosecute tenants of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk for unlawful subletting.

The Government’s full statement can be read here.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund

  • Each household affected by the fire from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk will receive an initial payment of £5,000 into bank accounts.
  • There is a further £500 cash payment for individuals who have permanently lost their home.
  • These payments are to help residents with immediate needs such as food and clothing, as well as funeral costs.
  • To apply, residents should visit the Assistance Centre at the Westway centre, W10 6RP.
  • These payments will not affect the receipt of any existing benefits and will be disregarded for eligibility for legal aid.

‘Fresh Start’ grant

  • Individuals from Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk will receive a grant of £10,000 per household once they have been provided with confirmation of new temporary or permanent accommodation.
  • To apply for this grant, residents should visit the Rugby Portobello Trust on 221 Walmer Rd, London W11 4EY and fill in an application form. For more information call the Rugby Portobello Trust on 020 7229 2928.

London Emergencies Trust

  • The next of kin to those who tragically died in the Grenfell Tower fire will receive an initial £20,000.
  • Those injured and hospitalised for seven days or more will receive an initial £10,000.
  • Those injured and hospitalised for six hours or more will receive an initial £3,500.
  • If you think you could be eligible for this, you can apply either through your Family Liaison Officer, or by calling the Red Cross helpline on 0800 458 9472 between 8am and 8pm.

Family Action Grenfell Tower Fund

  • Grant of up to £2,000 per household for former Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk residents.
  • New grant (see here) of £1,500 per individual who previously resided in Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk.
  • Residents can claim their grant by attending one of the following organisations:
  • The Clement James Centre, 95 Sirdar Road, London W10 5YB; or
  • Venture Centre, 103A Wornington Road, London W10 5YB; or
  • The Rugby Portobello Trust, 221 Walmer Rd, London W11 4EY; or
  • Action on Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC Centre) Whitstable House, Silchester Road, London W10 6SB; or
  • Westway Trust, Westway Trust Office, 1 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL.

London Community Foundation/Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund

  • £2,000 in emergency grants
  • £10,000 in ‘fresh start’ grants (please note this is in addition to the ‘fresh start grant’ referred to above).
  • Residents can claim their grant either by attending the Rugby Portobello Trust (221 Walmer Rd, London W11 4EY) or the Al Manaar Centre (244 Acklam Road, London, W10 5YG).

RE-HOUSING

The Government has written to residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk to confirm that everyone whose home has been destroyed by the fire will be offered a temporary home in the area by Wednesday 5 July. Residents will bear no cost for this temporary accommodation.

If you are a resident of Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk and do not know who your key worker is, you can call 0207 361 3013.

All affected residents will be offered permanent social housing within a year at social rent. We would encourage all residents who receive their offer of temporary accommodation to come and speak to us to talk through their options.

Both this temporary and permanent accommodation will be within Kensington & Chelsea or in a neighbouring borough, unless it has been requested elsewhere. All residents will be considered for the newly built homes in Kensington Row, and will be prioritised according to the family’s needs.

The Government has also confirmed that no Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk resident will be deemed intentionally homeless if they do not accept an offer of temporary accommodation.

BENEFIT ENQUIRY LINES

The government has set up a dedicated benefit enquiry line for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. The following numbers will be manned between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday:

020 7941 6661
020 7941 6634
020 7941 6671

UK PASSPORTS, VISAS AND IMMIGRATION ADVICE

People directly affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower who are seeking guidance on UK passports, visas, or immigration, can call 0300 222 0000, 24 hours a day, to arrange for a call back by specialist teams.

The Home Office will not charge people who need to replace documentation that has been lost in the fire at Grenfell Tower, and has said it will not use the Grenfell Tower fire as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those providing vital information to identify victims.

Any calls from outside the UK should include the UK dialling code: +44(0)300 222 0000. Please note calls are in English for this dedicated line set up for those impacted by the fire at Grenfell Tower to help with passports, visas or immigration guidance.

DRIVING LICENCES AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES

The DVLA has set up a dedicated enquiry line for residents affected by the tragedy who need to replace their driving licence or vehicle registration certificate. The number to call is 0300 083 0103 which will be staffed from 8am to 7pm between Monday and Friday, and from 8am to 2pm on Saturday.

Applications will be dealt with immediately and all fees that apply for issuing replacements will be waived.

UTILITIES

Power companies supplying energy to Grenfell Tower residents have agreed to provide all those affected by the tragedy with reassurance and support.
They will:

  • write off any outstanding debts for energy bills for people who lived in Grenfell Tower, while preserving prepayment and credit balances;
  • not charge people for energy for the period after the fire;
  • not put former residents who have been resettled on a more expensive tariff; and
    put on hold any direct debit payments for Grenfell Tower residents.

This package is being offered to customers of Utilita, E.ON, SSE, Ovo, Utility Warehouse, Flow Energy, Ecotricity, Npower, British Gas, Robin Hood and EDF. If you are unsure about who your electricity supplier is you can call 0800 029 4285, and if you are unsure who your gas supplier is you can call 0870 608 1524.

Thames Water has confirmed that all accounts held by residents of Grenfell Tower have been frozen, has already written off any outstanding debts, and will refund accounts where charges have been paid in advance once details of account holders are known. For those who have been evacuated from neighbouring properties, Thames Water will waive charges. Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation will also waive water charges for former tenants of Grenfell Tower and those evacuated in the surrounding area.

MAIL

Directly affected residents who are now no longer able to receive their mail, Royal Mail are making the following alternative service provisions:

  • a free mail redirection service for displaced residents; this can be arranged online at www.royalmail.com/redirection, at a Post Office® by completing a form (PDF, 1.77 MB) in the branch or printing this off, or by calling their dedicated emergency line on 01752 387055;
  • keeping the mail of affected residents safe until they are able to collect it, or contact Royal Mail to request it; and
  • providing a mobile service for customers to collect their mail, at Westway Sports Centre car park, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP; this service can be arranged by calling 01752 387 055.

OUR SERVICES

We are open as usual, but are running a number of additional services to help the community here in North Kensington.

We are committed to helping all residents take practical steps to start rebuilding their lives and to access justice.

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