Thursday 1st October 2020 marks International Day of Older People. As Scotland’s housing information and advice charity for older people, we thought now would be a good time to reflect on the housing options available for older adults in Scotland:

Home ownership

Owning a property can be more affordable than you think. The Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity scheme helps older people to buy property for sale on the open market. The Scottish Government will pay up to 40% of the cost of a property, entering into a shared agreement with you. When your home is sold, the Scottish Government will get its share of the money back. There is no requirement to take out a mortgage if you are over 60. Proceeds from a house sale, savings or a combination of both can be used to pay for your share.

The scheme prioritizes people who are aged 60 or over, and who might need to move for the following reasons:

  • because their current property is too large and they need to downsize
  • because their current property is no longer suitable for their needs
  • because the current property is too far away from friends and family who provide care and support

You can read more about the Open Market Shared Equity scheme here.

If you’re already a homeowner and shared ownership isn’t for you, there are also options for remortgaging. Retirement Interest Only mortgages exist where homeowners only pay off interest accrued on their mortgage each month. There is no fixed end date to repay the mortgage as the loan is repaid when the home is sold or when the last borrower moves into long-term care or dies. The mortgage is a good option for those who want to keep payments lower than a standard mortgage and who are happy knowing that the loan will be repaid when the property is sold. You can read more about Retirement Interest Only mortgages here.

So, if you’re a home owner already and wondering about the future, or thinking about buying in later life, there is support out there to make it happen. Get in touch with Housing Options Scotland to discuss your options.

Social and supported housing

Social housing is another good option for older adults. Social housing generally offers more affordable rents, more secure tenancies and more support for tenants than the private rental sector. The following providers also offer additional support services for older adults:

Housing Options Scotland can help you apply for social housing in Scotland. Our broker team can offer information and advice, and our volunteer Housing Buddies can go through the application forms with you, helping you to fill them out correctly. Get in touch with Housing Options Scotland if you would like our help.

Other ideas

There are lots of other creative housing solutions out there. From intergenerational housing projects to co-housing models, our team at Housing Options Scotland have the knowledge and expertise to advise you on what housing solution is best for your circumstances. We’re here to offer free, independent information and advice about the future so get in touch – we’re here to help.