Colin’s story

Colin’s story

Colin contacted us through his support worker Dawn, from Sight Scotland Veterans. Colin had bilateral sight loss and his vision had started to deteriorate. Colin was living in a two-bedroom flat on the third floor in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, the problems with his sight meant that the stairs were becoming unmanageable.

His personal circumstances had also changed and the payments on his Mid-Market rental property were too expensive. Mid-Market Renting is a form of affordable housing where rents are set below the market rate. But the rental payments are often still above the traditional rent levels of social housing providers. His monthly rent was over £800 a month and he had very little money to live on once that was paid. The situation needed to change, as Colin says:

‘It was a perfect storm of events. My eyes had deteriorated. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I was going through a period of depression. I realised that I was in a hurry to move.’

Susan, one of our Housing Options Brokers, began to work with Colin. Because Colin was a veteran, he received help through our Military Matters service. Susan spoke to him to find out what he needed. Colin had decided that this would be his last ever move, so it was vital that he felt settled in this accommodation. The apartment needed to be on a ground floor. Because he was finding his rental payments expensive, he wanted cheaper housing too. Colin also worked at a local hospital and so he needed to be connected to bus routes.

Susan explained to Colin that it was unlikely that he would be able to get another property with his current provider. Susan mentioned that Sheltered Housing could be a possibility. Colin was unsure at first:

‘There is a stereotype about people in sheltered accommodation – they are sometimes seen to be infirm.’

But though he wanted to keep his independence, Colin realised that it was important to feel safe too. Sheltered Accommodation was becoming an option.

Susan found a vacancy in Blackwood Accommodation in Edinburgh. It was a smaller property than Colin’s current one, but it had access to a green space. The flat had been renovated and it had a walk-in shower and a wet room. Colin explains he felt a bit ‘shaky’ at the start, but realised he actually liked the property:

‘When I first saw it with Dawn, it was dark and it felt small. I couldn’t get a feel for the place. But I decided to go and see it when it was light and I got a good feel for the place. I could see myself having friends round in the garden in the summer, playing some tunes!’.

Colin decided to take the property, and after some teething troubles, he is now settled in his flat. Colin has enjoyed putting his own stamp on the property and making it his own.

‘Susan came up trumps!’

It is great to see Colin settled, and we are so glad he gave Sheltered Accommodation a go! Thanks to Sight Scotland Veterans for getting in touch with us.


Posted on

March 31, 2022