Block Location: New Islington, Manchester
Block Stats: 60 flats, 6 floors
My Personal Story
I set myself a goal at age 25 that I would own my own property by 30. For 4 years I channelled all my energies into saving enough for a deposit to buy myself a city centre apartment. I spent months trying to find a place that I loved, and I instantly fell in love with Albion Works. After months of trying I finally got my offer accepted and I was unbelievably proud.
I spent the first year making the flat my home and making some great memories in it. It was a dream come true!
I remember watching the tragedy of Grenfell unfold thinking I cannot believe that in this day and age we are allowing fellow human beings to live in properties that are so highly unsafe. I thanked the lord that my property, which at the time felt like a safe haven, was keeping me safe.
Fast forward to 2019 when we received an email about the fire safety issues in my building. At first the communication around the issue was so full of technical jargon that nobody really understood exactly what was going on. Leaving myself and my neighbours confused and anxious for what was to come.
A year later the building has still not been touched and investigations are still going on. We are constantly being drip fed additional issues in the building that have now been deemed unsafe; Cladding, wooden walkways, balconies, compartmentation, and the fire alarms. A waking watch has now been implemented in our building. We are having to watch men walk around our buildings carrying air horns in case of a fire.
I feel sick every time I receive an email from RMG. I worry if it is going to be another issue to add to the list of safety concerns or a huge lifechanging bill. Not only are we living in fear that our entire building is unsafe, we are also living in fear of the increasing costs that are going to come our way. The waking watch alone is costing £10K a week. I have been so sensible with money my whole life, and now I am potentially facing a lifetime of debt. It’s a sickening thought.
At a time when we all just want to get out of this unsafe building, we are all trapped. Our properties are valued at £0 and are completely unsellable. We are prisoners in our own unsafe homes. This issue has consumed our lives for the last year and with the increasing list of safety issues and the looming bill it looks like its going to continue to do so.
We are helpless without the government's backing. How has it come to this?