King’s students staying at Champion Hill are being forced to move out by the end of January because of fire safety concerns.
Students at the accommodation had letters sent to them on Monday the 13th alerting them to the situation despite the university knowing about the issue since 19th December. In a statement posted on 14th, King’s Residences confirmed that residents at Beech, Maple, Oak and Rowan blocks would be “moved to alternative accommodation” because of fire safety concerns at Maple block that needed further investigation to gauge the level of risk posed. Students in the Platanes block have not been affected.
Students will be relocated to “minimum 4-star” hotels within zone 2 and the few King’s student accommodations and partner accommodations where available. Students will have to indicate requests to live with their friends or flatmates by Thursday the 16th of January, two days after residents were first alerted to the risk.
Students have just over two weeks to move out, having to select a date between 22nd and 31st to make the move, with arrangements provided by professional movers Harrow Green guaranteed. Students will have to continue paying rent at their current rate unless they are not provided with equivalent accommodation and will receive three weeks’ rent in compensation if they take up offered alternative accommodation, and ten weeks’ rent compensation if they find their own alternative accommodation.
Provisions for mitigating circumstances provoked by the issue are currently uncertain and will be “discussed where appropriate over the relocation period,” aside from referring students to KCLSU help. The KCLSU Student Officers Team have released a short statement indicating that they are “sorry to hear” about the issue and “are working with King’s to ensure not only that our residences are fit for purpose but that those affected are provided compensation alongside help and support in the planned relocation.” The statement fails to clarify how this will be done or how the student officers will remain accountable to this promise.
The King’s Press Office has since contacted Roar, saying that King’s was “supporting our students in our many ways” but failed to clarify how other than by offering KCLSU advice which is available to every student already and by asking dislocated students to refer to their personal tutors about their concerns over mitigating circumstances.
Any students at Champion Hill are recommended to read the statement released by King’s and are invited to contact Roar News by Facebook, Twitter or Email if they have any other information or would like to share how the ongoing incident is impacting them.