What we’ve done in the past week
Temporary accommodation has been provided, and will continue to be provided, to all residents of 1-12 Willow House who have requested housing support. We are working with each resident to find suitable longer term alternative accommodation. We have made emergency funds available to every resident, and are now making an additional payment.
We have had a full structural integrity assessment of the block carried out to ensure it was safe to access and we have and continue to support the London Fire Brigade in their work and investigations. 24/7 security arrangements were put into place on the day of the fire, perimeter fencing and security for ground floor doors and windows is in place and scaffolding has been erected to enable assessments of remedial works. Urgent work was carried out to the gas and water supplies to the neighbouring Willow House block to enable residents of this block to remain in their homes.
We have, as far as is safe, enabled residents to go into their flats to retrieve essential personal possessions and have supported many to return over the last few days to remove other belongings.
We have also made positive links with local Community Groups in order to ensure we can provide residents with the most effective offer of support.
We are still awaiting confirmation of the cause of the fire, and will do what we can to ensure residents directly affected are informed before the London Fire Brigade announces it publicly.
How we are helping now
We will make an additional payment of £300 per adult resident and £150 per child resident and have been trying to contact all residents over the last couple of days to facilitate this. Any residents who have not made an appointment to receive this yet, should contact Irena Nadjfeji on 020 8359 7630. This emergency payment is to ease the stress of everyday living expenses that we know residents are experiencing, and for those residents in hotels, to cover the cost of meals. In cases where we have already met with residents, we will offer a bank transfer of funds to save people from having to come into the office but everyone will have the option of collecting the cash from Barnet House if preferred.
Retrieving personal belongings
Many residents have already collected essential personal possessions from their flats and returned to remove other belongings. To make an appointment to retrieve further items, residents should contact Pauline Duggan on 020 8359 2655. For safety reasons, only the ground and 1st floor flats can be accessed at the moment. The second floor remains unsafe to access, however we hope that the 2nd floor flats will be made safe to access within the next 4 weeks and we will keep residents of the 2nd floor updated regarding this.
Storing larger belongings
From Monday 19 November a storage container will be available outside Willow House for larger items prior to their transfer to an off-site location. To make an appointment to arrange storage, residents should contact Pauline Duggan on 020 8359 2655. As mentioned above, for safety reasons, only the ground and first floor flats can be accessed at the moment. If residents need assistance with moving larger items, they should speak to Pauline Duggan.
Housing related enquiries
Temporary accommodation has been provided, and will continue to be provided, to all residents who have requested housing support and we are working with residents on an individual basis to find suitable longer term alternative accommodation. We know that this process can be difficult and we have put in measures to ensure the process is as straight forward as possible. For any housing related enquires, please contact Jorden Moffett on 020 8359 4869.
Leaseholder related enquires
For any leaseholder related enquiries, please contact Firdous Abdullah on 020 8359 2613.
Barnet Homes and a variety of local Community Groups are working closely together to support residents through this difficult time. If individuals or families need information and advice, practical support or help to access any services please contact Helen Shannon on 078 6650 7609 at Hope North London. They are working with Community Barnet to identify organisations that can provide emotional and practical support in this time of need. There is also a crowdfunding page available at: www.gofundme.com/grange-estate-fire-fund.
Barnet Council and Barnet Homes do not have a corporate insurance policy for damage to household contents, so regrettably we cannot be of assistance with this. However if residents do not have contents insurance for their possessions and are in need of replacement items, we would advise them to contact Helen Shannon on 078 6650 7609 as the Community Groups have been working hard to coordinate donations from the wider community.
Recovering your deposit
If a resident is a tenant of a landlord who is a leaseholder in the block, they should seek to recover their deposit from their landlord. If this is proving problematic, they should contact Firdous Abdullah on 020 8359 2613
Our residents’ wellbeing is important to us. We are contacting the local GP surgeries in the area so that they are aware that residents affected by the fire may be seeking some support, so if residents feel they need professional help, we recommend they contact their GP.
Restoring the block
We are working hard with our consultants to assess the extent of work required and how long it will take to reinstate the block back to a habitable condition.