Everyone at Housing Options Scotland has been terribly saddened by the news of the death of Julia Fitzpatrick.

Julia was the founding director of Ownership Options in Scotland, which was the precursor to Housing Options Scotland, and worked miracles for clients in her unassuming way. Everyone who met her was never in any doubt about her passion, her creativity, and her fundamental belief in equal housing opportunity for all.

Gordon and Margaret MacDonald were early clients of Ownership Options in Scotland. Gordon then served for many years, firstly on the board of Ownership Options, and then with Housing Options Scotland.

We feel that their words sum up her impact on the housing sector and on the thousands of individuals she helped over her long career.

“Julia made a phenomenal impact on our family by making possible our lifetime home which is the right home in the right place for us.

After 15 years on a local authority “urgent” waiting list, Julia came along and made our dreams a reality in just 15 weeks. 

Julia’s knowledge, understanding, empathy and compassion was always given with such graciousness that people wanted to listen and learn.

Julia shall always be our shining light “

Hilary Spenceley, formerly of the Ownership Options in Scotland Board, and of Margaret Blackwood Housing Association also shares her tribute:

“Julia and I worked together in the 1990s and early 2000s as members of SFHA’s Housing and Community Care Forum and the Scottish Disability and Housing Network, as well as on specific projects for our respective employers.  I enjoyed our connection immensely. She was an inspiring, talented, dedicated, and generous colleague who became a friend. I feel privileged to have known her.

Julia was passionate about inclusion and equality of opportunity for all, about challenging and changing attitudes and systems, valuing diversity, and about delivering for individuals. Her influence in all these areas has been far reaching.

There couldn’t have been a better person to be the first Director of Ownership Options in Scotland, the forerunner of Housing Options Scotland. Julia developed the initial ideas and brought them to fruition, recruited a first-class team, brought key stakeholders on board, produced and implemented policies and procedures to make things happen, and delivered tailored housing solutions for many households.”

We send our condolences to Julia’s family and friends and give thanks for her life.