Select Page

Tenant and Board member, Paula Goddard, shares how being tenant has made a huge, positive impact on her and her family’s lives

Paula Goddard family home

I have been proud to be a tenant since July 2014. I became one after a three-year journey of struggling with debt, mental health, unemployment and then faced with eviction when my private landlord needed to sell the house. Imagine my joy when I was told on the day we were due to be evicted that we had been placed first on a property we had been bidding on – a lovely two bed maisonette.

My family and I moved again in February 2018 and I’m now blessed with a fantastic three bed home, where we love being part of an amazing community. I have been so fortunate to be involved with Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) through my job role as manager of a local charity, and I have loved seeing how important the tenants and leaseholders are to CBH, how valued their opinions are and how important their voices are.

I’ve always loved filling in surveys after repairs or when they come through the door. I really agree with CBH that the customer’s voice and experience is so important. I had thought that being part of their Resident Panel was an exclusive role that only certain people were invited to, so I was over the moon when I was sent me an email asking if I was able to attend!!

It turns out any tenant or leaseholder can be involved, I have met some great friends and reunited with some old ones at various meetings. I have loved hearing from various team members from CBH, who share exactly what their role entails and how the processes currently work.

Most of all, I love being asked how services work for tenants at the receiving end or how things can be improved for a better quality of homelife.

I have never come across such a caring organisation where the customers are so valued. I wanted to give more to the process and put myself forward as a candidate for the Board of Directors and was so happy when the chairperson, Dirk, called to say I had been successful. Then the Chair of the Resident Panel, Michael, asked if I would be his Vice Chair. I was more than happy to accept. It’s been privileged to present awards and find out more about various events that I had not heard of before, as well as be involved in the judging panel for the Community Fund, which awards funding to local organisations that benefit Colchester’s communities.