Upon arriving in Anne’s home from the outside, her street is noticeably peaceful and quiet, despite being located one block in from a major street filled with cafes and shops. Anne welcomes us in with a warm hug and a tour of her new place. Earlier on in life, Ann was a graphic designer and painter, and her eye for art is apparent throughout her lovely new home. While Anne has only been in her new home for a short three weeks, there are already beautiful flowers in the window sill and artwork hung on the walls. The flat is light and airy with open windows to let in the streaming Spring sunshine. Her flat is on the ground level and had been previously adapted for a wheelchair user. With a large kitchen and wheelchair accessible bathroom, Anne can move freely through her new home. Even from the few initial minutes of conversation, it is apparent how comfortable and happy Anne feels in her new home. Anne says,
“This home makes me feel like a person again… Without Housing Options (Scotland), I would have been totally devasted. More devasted than I (already) was.”
However, it took some time for Anne to finally find her new home. Anne’s Multiple Sclerosis began progressing, and she realized her previous home would no longer be suitable for her changing needs. She owned her previous flat, but it was located at the top of a hill and it was on the fourth floor with no lift. She bought the house eleven years ago, but it was no longer conducive to someone with progressing mobility and sight issues. She began searching for a new home on her own, but 5 years had passed without any affordable and accessible homes in the area she wanted. Anne contacted Housing Options Scotland for help, and after 2 years of persistence and collaboration, she finally found the perfect home.
Anne’s biggest obstacles to finding a suitable home were affordability and availability within the local Housing Associations. She was also set on staying in the same area to stay close to her social support network, as well as centrally located to stores and restaurants to have a connection to the local community. The use of Housing Options Scotland’s services gave Anne the extra help she needed to sort out her finances and narrow her housing search down to affordable and accessible places. However, Anne says Housing Options Scotland provided her the most help due to
“the fact that they gave me hope that I would get some place, and they gave me lots of help when I said I saw some place I liked”
Housing Options Scotland was able to accompany Anne to visit possible flat options to assist her with transportation, provide a second set of eyes on the place, and help her move around the flat during the tour.
Since moving to her new home, Anne feels confident that she will never need to move again because she no longer feels trapped by her own home. Her favourite feature of her new home is that she is able to get outside by herself and that she has had her independence returned to her. Her new house makes her feel “like a person again” and that she is happy to feel a regained sense of personal freedom.