A week after a fire ripped through the Grenfell Tower in London and claimed 79 lives and left many more homeless, the U.K. government announced a plan to provide housing in a luxury apartment development called Kensington Row for some of those who lost their homes in the fire.
The Corporation of London purchased 68 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units to be used as social housing in four unfinished blocks of the new development in west London, where private houses cost up to £8.5 million (around $10.8 million), and apartments in the Kensington Row complex cost between £1.6 and £3.5 million ($2 and $4.4 million).
Although the flats on Kensington High Street (located two miles south of what remains of Grenfell Tower) are still under construction, developer St Edward has hired additional workers to rush the completion of the building, while the government committed extra funding to the project.
As Dezeen reports, communities secretary Sajid Javid assured the public of the government’s commitment to rehouse families as quickly as possible:
Our priority is to get everyone who has lost their home permanently rehoused locally as soon as possible, so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. The government will continue to do everything we can as fast as we can to support those affected by this terrible tragedy.
Still, the response to the plan has been mixed, with those who already live in the development complaining about a possible drop of housing values in the area, while others see the glut of unoccupied residences there as wasteful and think that they should be used to house the displaced.