Tenants at the Butterfields estate in Walthamstow have been handed a lifeline in their fight against eviction after a housing association agreed terms to buy their homes.

Dolphin Living is close to signing an deal with the estate’s owner, Butterfields E17, to take on the 49 properties on the site.

The news comes just weeks after tenants launched a fundraising campaign to pay for legal fees in a last-ditch attempt to fight their evictions in court.

Jon Gooding, Dolphin Living chief executive, said: “We are pleased to confirm that we have agreed terms with the owners for the purchase of all 49 tenanted homes on the Butterfield Estate.

“It would be inappropriate for us to say more until we have signed a legal agreement, however we hope that process will not be lengthy and that we will be able to talk to the tenants and other stakeholders quite soon.”

Dolphin Living is a housing charity, which provides affordable homes for working Londoners.

It also stepped in to purchase the New Era estate in Hackney in December 2014, after previous owners, Westbrook Partners, announced plans to quadruple its tenants’ rent.

Homes at the estate were rented by Glasspool Charity Trust at affordable prices they were purchased by Butterfields E17.

The company, owned by Chigwell-based developers Jasbir Singh Jhumat and Pardeep Singh Jhumat, served eviction notices on some tenants, many of whom live on low incomes or benefits.

Several homes on the estate were then listed on the Savills auction list at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, eventually selling for more than £300,000 each.

Plans to evict tenants from their homes have proved controversial, leading several local estate agents to refuse to market Butterfields properties.

Foxtons withdrew a listing for a flat on the estate in August, stating looking after communities in which it operated was: “part of its company ethos”.