23 February 2020
Residents of flats in Greater Manchester who are facing huge bills to replace flammable cladding have told of “anxiety so extreme I can’t function” and feel they are members of “generation stuck”.
A survey carried out by the Greater Manchester High Rise Task Force found 53% of owner-occupiers in tower blocks had been hit with increased service charges after the Grenfell Tower fire.
One resident said their monthly charge had increased from £90 to £480 to cover cladding replacement, with another saying their management company had proposed the cost be added to their maintenance charge to the tune of £1,000 a month.
“Nobody seems to be thinking of our mental safety,” said Johansson on Friday. “The anxiety is so extreme I can’t function. We’ve constantly got this money hanging over our heads through no fault of our own.
I go to work and can’t concentrate, I come home, look at these four walls and think: ‘Will they set on fire, will I be bankrupted?’ How can you relax in this flat, knowing it’s a fire risk? Right now the reality is I’m more of a danger to myself than a fire.”