It feels like frivolity to talk about day-to-day issues as the death toll from the devastating Grenfell Tower tragedy continues to rise.
My heart breaks for the families who have lost loved ones, and for those whose homes were destroyed in the fire. What they are going through is just unimaginable.
The tragedy was made all the worse by the fact that apparently it was avoidable. Residents had raised their fire hazard and safety concerns with management several times.
There are many serious lessons to be learned from this, and it’s beyond disastrous that so many lives had to be lost for them to be heeded.
The survivors of the tragedy are angry, and unsurprisingly so. They say they felt as though their voices weren’t listened to and didn’t count, resulting in the worst possible outcome. There are so many questions to be asked about how this was allowed to happen and inevitably it will take some time before there are any answers.
Housing issues should be top of the agenda to be discussed and highlighted at the highest level so that those who do have the power can step up and develop solutions.
We now have hundreds more people in London without permanent accommodation at a time when supply is already under serious strain. While in this magazine we regularly highlight the struggles of first-time buyers and those who are unable to get a mortgage, there are others who will always depend on social housing or rented accommodation.
The necessity to make safe, affordable housing available to the many low earners across the UK has never been more crucial; it is something the Government must prioritise without delay.
The one positive that has come from this tragedy is the kindness of the human spirit that has been demonstrated in many ways, including by those in the industry who I’m aware have been quietly making financial donations and holding collections for the Grenfell victims. It’s at times like these that we must pull together to help others and highlight their plight.
Here’s hoping the Government will follow that lead with the swift provision of housing, particularly for those currently living in questionable accommodation and others struggling to keep a roof over their heads.