Paul's story

I grew up tough times, but had the benefit of a mum and dad who both believed in a better life.

I grew up when times were hard and money harder to come by.  But my parents both taught me to work hard and strive to take care of those around us. 

Mum raised us as a single parent and had to put food back at the supermarket checkout. Dad, who fled another country and sought refuge in the UK, worked damn hard to scrape every penny he had just to get us new school uniforms.

I thought we’d left those dark days behind in the 1990s but unfortunately this government has started to make history repeat itself. 

I’ve listened to people up and down the country – from Leeds to Lincoln, Selby to St Andrews about the housing crisis they face. I’m stuck in an unsellable flat with flammable cladding. Many have it much, much worse. 

Our futures have been put on hold because we can’t afford to live in the places we want, or  fix our broken houses.

If our campaign has taught me one thing – it’s that we stop those with deep pockets walking over us by standing up and organising together. 

With Ritu Saha and Giles Grover (End Our Cladding Scandal – EOCS) we’ve started a national campaign to push the Government into making sure that hard-working families up and down the country didn’t have to pay for the mistakes of dodgy developers.

Three years later, and we’ve got the Tories to U-turn, secured £10 billion in funding from Government for cladding victims, and made sure we won’t be ignored.

The Government need to remember who they serve. They don’t represent hard-working people like my mum and dad. They’ve taken them for granted.

So many people talk to me about how their dreams of a better future for their children have been dashed, or how they can’t even afford to get on the housing ladder. If home is where the heart is, this Government has ripped that heart right out of Britain. 

Through the cladding campaign we’ve built a movement of thousands of homeowners up and down the country, in London, in Yorkshire, in Lancashire and Scotland.

We’ve shown that people power works. That when we come together and fight for the things that matter, we can win.