8am: The sound of a circular saw reminds me I might have people walking past my sixth floor window at any point.
9am: Every Monday around 9am I am shaken out of my skin by our Klaxon alarm. I never remember it is going to happen and I’m inevitably on a work call which I have to immediately mute. Sometimes it goes on for a long time and I wonder if I should be leaving.
Noon: Check my mail. Always nerve wracking as you are never sure what bill might be coming next. I’ve heard rumblings that our costs are going up too. This keeps me up at night. Call my mum to brighten up my day.
Afternoon: Startled by a HUGE noise and look up to see there is a man with a circular saw outside my window. They are removing the wall. Even my noise -cancelling headphones that I had to buy due to the noise and needing to work from home don’t work. (Yet another cost to add to the huge increase on my service charge and remediation costs, which are estimated to be £40k+ for my little one-bed flat). I poke my head out of the window to ask what they are doing. Apparently I’m the test case for insulation change behind brick.
Finish work: should be around 5pm but work has been completely overwhelming for a few months now so I’m never quite sure when I’ll finish. This combined with my personal situation has really affected my mental health in the last few months. Crying a lot.
Evening: It’s not unusual to have three evening meetings about cladding and fire safety on a Monday. Sometimes I don’t have time to grab dinner. At least I have a few extra lockdown pounds to tide me over. I’m trying to make notes and do actions while on the calls as I’m not sure when else I can do it. These can start at 5pm, if I can make it, and run straight through to 8.30 or 9pm. During the meetings I notice my room now feels breezy from the missing bricks.
9pm: Work out if there’s anything else I need to do. Cook dinner. Normally the flat needs a tidy, washing up has piled up in the day. For one person I make a lot of mess.
11pm: Need to try and wind down but depending on the intensity and news from our meetings it can be hard. One of the hardest things is not knowing how or when we will be able to get out of this nightmare.
Remediation could take years.
No idea of interim and remediation costs I will have to pay.
Even when buildings are remediated there is no guarantee they will get a clean EWS1. It seems many will not.
We have no idea if insurers will reduce premiums or banks will mortgage our flats at the end of this process.
And yet – I am lucky. My building is over 18m and we will get some funding.
The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign calls on the Government to lead an urgent, national effort to fix the building safety crisis.
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