I’m 42 and I’ve lived in East London for 22 years. I moved from Yorkshire as I didn’t feel I could be the person I wanted to be there. Because of my family’s religious leanings, I did not fit in, so I ran to the city.
I’ve built my life and my own family here. I don’t find relationships easy to build and maintain, and as my friends marry and settle they have access to the sort of money that allows you to buy somewhere.
When I broke up with my partner, I had to find somewhere to live, somewhere I could afford. My flat was tiny, claustrophobic, and I would have had to spend 75% of my wage to afford anywhere nicer. I needed to be close to the people I love, I couldn’t stand the idea of being further away.
I used to live in possibly the most depressing place I’ve ever lived in my entire life. It was just grim. My old living room had two windows, both of which were completely rotten. There was a deluge drenching the whole carpet every time it rained. The legs of the furniture were rotten, the carpet stank, the water even blew the telly up! That was the only time my housing association intervened. There were drips of brown down the wall, paint peeling off. It never felt like a home.
I have two degrees, I work and have put time and effort in to get where I am, and there was still no way I could afford to live in the community I work in and where I’ve lived for over 20 years. I got to a point where I needed to settle for the future, but I’d resigned myself to never having what I needed.
Then I heard about London CLT’s scheme through a friend. It feels like winning the lottery! Now I can relax, I don’t have the anxiety of where I’m going to be in a number of years. It might be the best thing that’s happened to me in my adult life. It’s amazing that London CLT exists. Moving to St Clement’s means I now look forward to going home.
Adrian explains how living in a CLT home has turned his life around: