Requisition vacant dwellings for the Grenfell Tower homeless.

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Requistion is both a possible and preferable solution to housing the now homeless victims of the Grenfell Tower fire; an entirely preventable tragedy.

Any decent society, especially one of the richest in the world should ensure the safety of its citizens and enable decent housing for all, regardless of means.

The voices of the victims must and should be heard and their not unreasonable wishes are to be housed within the borough that they live, work, go to school and have their support networks. 

According to the Governments own statistics; there are 2,062 vacant dwellings in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea; one of the highest amounts by both number and % of total dwellings, of any borough in the whole country.

These vacant dwellings also rate amongst the highest in the country for being ‘long-term vacant’ (meaning being unoccupied for 6 months or more).

These properties are sitting empty and are not being used; whilst people, through no fault of their own are homeless and traumatised – in many cases having lost family, friends and many, if not all of the possessions.

Whilst it is not possible to requisition properties under the current rules – it is possible to change this legislation to make it possible in the event of a crisis - this is the objective of this petition.

There is a precedent for requisition, during the 2nd world war and it required ‘emergency legislation’ to be pushed through parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party has said that they would be willing to “find a way” to requisition properties and there is no reason why the prevailing Government and other parties couldn’t also support this view and join together in Parliament to support such legislation.

Whilst requisition would no-doubt be difficult and would likely face a legal challenge from property owners; it is both a possible and a practical solution to the crisis.

A provision could be made to compensate owners and there is also no reason why these properties could not be returned to the original owners, should more suitable, decent and safe housing be found within the borough, in the future.

Empty homes in the midst of a housing, homelessness and human crisis like this, should not be acceptable in a civil society.

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