Leaseholders at fire ravaged Daleham Gardens will be bought out of their leases

The Daleham Gardens fire in the early hours Tuesday morning

The Daleham Gardens fire in the early hours Tuesday morning - Credit: Archant

Leaseholders at Daleham Gardens will be able to be bought out of their leases by Camden Council, but the cabinet refused to guarantee social housing destroyed in a fire would be replaced.

The cabinet backed a move for leaseholders to be able to buy new homes on an equity share or shared ownership basis, with the council.

The general shared equity and shared ownership policy was put into place in February 2014 as part of the Community Investment Programme.

In doing so, the council would take on their leases, which would cost it £3.5m. Once it is brought back into use, the council will then sell 31 Daleham Gardens off to recoup the money.

Cabinet member for better homes, Meric Apak told the meeting on Wednesday night: “Following the tragic fire at Daleham Gardens last year, the first priority was to support tenants and for them to be properly rehoused

“The council housing tenants were permanently housed locally close to their family and friends, and the council’s insurance manager provided support to leaseholders in helping them be rehoused.”

Tory councillor for Frognal and Fitzjohns, Andrew Parkinson, asked Cllr Apak whether the council could guarantee social housing would be replaced on a like-for-like basis.

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Before the meeting he jointly wrote a letter alongside former Frognal and Fitzjohns Labour candidate Rebecca Shirazi calling for the social housing at the site to be preserved.

Cllr Apak referred the question to Camden’s director of housing management Mary McGowan. She told the meeting that she wasn’t able to give the assurance, and the matter would have to be brought back to cabinet.

She did, however, confirm the building was insured by the town hall, with repair and refurbishment costs included.

The building was badly damaged in a fire on November 21, when Magdelena Fink died.

The paralegal, originally from Germany, had moved to Britain in 2006.

Senior coroner Mary Hassell gave a rebuke to Camden Council, as it didn’t have any staff responsible for checking smoke detectors.

The meeting on Wednesday night heard the council will bring the building back into use, but according to cabinet papers, believes it will take three years to make the building habitable.