In December 2020 our home was destroyed in a gas explosion and subsequent fire, destroying the building completely and leaving us with nothing except, thankfully, our lives. (Read about it - blog dec 2020)
Time has passed and I am happy to say we are physically uninjured and currently relocated in rented accommodation. We did this entirely thought the support of family, friends, and a previous 100for100 fundraising exhibition back in January. We have received no insurance payouts and no help from any institutional service to date.
After discovering the insurance we believed existed was actually invalidated in 2019 without our knowledge, we are now facing a legal battle that may take several years. Meanwhile, we are being pressured by Lisbon County Council to source and pay for a company to clean up and make the site safe. This estimated cost of €50,000 is spread between us and the other four tenants of the building, and despite the other tenants having insurance, basically comes from all of our pockets.
And its not over
The only way forward for us is to invest in a complete rebuild of the property, which, all going well, should eventually allow us to regain a house of our own. This requires substantial bank loans, whilst paying off the old mortgage (on the house that doesn't exist) whilst also renting in Lisbon, a fairly precarious market.
Rua de Santa Marta, Lisbon, April 2021
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For the next six months, I will donate 10% of profit to CRESCER, assisting their projects helping chronically vulnerable homeless people in Lisbon who do not have the support mechanisms in place that we are still lucky to have.
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