Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have been evicted from their emergency hotel accommodation at short notice after the local council was unable to extend their booking.
In a letter from Kensington and Chelsea council to the families affected, it said people needed to urgently leave their rooms by 4pm on Friday.
“Despite efforts to extend your stay at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, regrettably the hotel has stated that they do not have availability,” the council wrote.
The letter, which was subsequently shared on social media, tells families to contact the council’s accommodation team as a matter of urgency and provides a phone number.
A council spokesman said: “The Holiday Inn Gloucester Road was unable to continue accommodating 30 households due to previous bookings and we are deeply sorry for the manner in which the families had been informed of the need to move them.”
The people concerned were reportedly staying in 20 rooms at the Kensington hotel and the council said those who had to leave had been offered alternative hotels in central London.
Pilgrim Tucker, a community organiser working with the Grenfell Action Group, said in a statement released by the Radical Housing Group: “It’s beyond disgusting that after all these people have been through, losing their neighbours and watching their homes burn to the ground, authorities are prepared to tell them that they have hours to pick up their bags and move to some unknown destination… It makes you wonder if anything has been learned from the Grenfell catastrophe.
Community groups and volunteers claim some people have been moved several times since the fire broke out. In response, the council said it was trying hard to avoid “unnecessary moves for people”.
A volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “This is bad for the families. It’s bad because they’ve already had to endure enough, bad because they are being told this at the last minute, and let’s admit, this country only treats certain people this way.
“It is also bad because people are now being split across accommodation all over and that means it’s probably going to be even harder for the families in question to get support.”
Leila al-Halabi, who has been volunteering in the area since the fire, claimed “families have been split up into various accommodation away from each other”.