“I was living in a shared ownership one bed flat with my son and daughter with no prospect of finding anything bigger in Tower Hamlets. I was involved with the London CLT from the very start with London Citizens and we pitched tents outside City Hall to demand a meeting with the Mayor about the first CLT. St Clements came on the market and we said, “This would be ideal!” and we started lobbying for it.
I applied for one of the homes and after a long, tense process, I was eventually offered a three bedroom flat! It was quite exciting seeing it all being built and it was looking like the plans – the new buildings looked beautifully sympathetic to the old buildings. It was incredible moving in to this beautiful, big, bright, spacious flat which was ours! Throughout the development there was a feeling that it was part of the community and the Shuffle Festivals really helped that.
Both my boy, 9, and my daughter, 11, have shared a bedroom all their life and they now have their own space where they can do their own thing and I have my own bedroom instead of sleeping in the living room on a sofa bed! It has been tremendously important for the children – my daughter has started senior school. She is at a sensitive age and she now has her own private space to start experiencing herself as an individual.
The whole community seems community-minded here – we had a Christmas event and there was real interest in what’s going on – even amongst the private residents. For the CLT residents it feels like we finally have our own house, our security. I just can’t believe that we’ve got such a beautiful house in the area – light, spacious and everything has been thought through really carefully, it’s really beautiful.”