Janet Wood, 73, has lived in North London her whole life. She spent forty years in the same rented council flat until moving to a flat at New Ground Cohousing in January 2017. She has lived alone for over ten years after her daughter moved out.
I was really struggling when I was living in private rented accommodation. It felt very insecure for me, I was paying £600 a month rent in Bristol and barely surviving.
The place was damp, it was in poor repair and it was costing me every single penny I had. My mental health was suffering because of the insecurity I felt. The uncertainty just wasn’t good for me and didn’t work at all.
I was more and more anxious about the future.
Then I heard about Bristol CLT and I thought maybe this would be a good thing for me.
I met my partner just before I got offered my CLT home but we don’t live together. We prefer to have our own spaces. Plus my home is a one-person space. It feels really good that at this point in time I don’t have to negotiate the space.
This is the first time I’ve ever had my own real home.
I’ve always lived in privately rented accommodation where I might have to move on and can’t make my mark on the place and I can’t really make it mine. You’re not in your own home really. I’m quite a creative person and I like to have my own bits and bobs all over the walls and that suits me. I like to express myself through my home, that’s quite important to me.
Having been through the mill a bit and a lot of life stuff, I’m really happy to be where I am now.
Jane, 61, moved into her flat within On the Brink Cohousing in May 2018. She has been single since she was 40 and brought up her son on her own in a terraced house in Sheffield.
Val Eugenia, 52, lives in Ealing, West London. She has lived on her own since her last relationship ended nearly a decade ago. Val is a member of London Older Lesbian Cohousing which is hoping to build 25 homes in North East London.