The Turley’s Story: Access Ownership

The Turley family (Kerr, Alison and their three youngest children) have recently moved into their new home in South Lanarkshire.

Claire, their seven year old, is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy.  In order to cater to her needs the family has had to move four times in five years.

Now, finally, with the support of Housing Options, they’re in a home that’s suitable for them.

In 2012, when they first made contact with Housing Options, they were living in a social rented house. While this was enough for them at the time, they were aware that as Claire grew older and her needs changed, it would become impossible to live without more space for her equipment. Living where they were, her room was rapidly becoming more about practicality than being comfortable; it was “like a garage conversion”, only big enough to hold her bed.

Aside from this there were more practical difficulties. It was semi-detached, so noise was unavoidable and disturbing. Claire, a light sleeper, and their other children suffered as a result. It was also hard for ambulances to access.  While the council installed a monolift for Claire, there were also problems with it.  A breakdown took over a year to fix and in the end was resolved by changing the battery. Clearly, a change was needed.

Following Housing Options advice they contacted an IFA to look into the possibility of a mortgage.  They also began to look at the possibilities with the Access Ownership scheme.  They started to look around at what properties they could buy with the scheme and a small mortgage.

However, until Alison’s father’s sad death there were not many properties that they could afford. While they could have chosen to sell his home, they knew that the money from it would have eventually just been used up and would still not afford them the type of home and space they needed. His house, on the other hand, was close to perfect and so they decided to explore their options regarding it.

While they were initially accepted onto the Access ownership scheme with Horizon Housing Association, they were refused a mortgage since their income comes from benefits. However, Horizon and Housing Options helped them through this and they were able to negotiate a shared ownership scheme whereby the Turley’s owned half of the property and paid rent on the other half.

The Turley’s have now been living in their new home for a few months, and love it. Despite being an older property and therefore not built to cater for Claire’s type of equipment, it is large enough to accommodate them and is almost completely adapted for her needs.

Next up is installing a wet floor shower room adjacent to Claire’s – a big modification which will make this house officially their long term home.

Having been built as accommodation for the Head Teacher, it is next door to the local Primary, allowing easy access for Claire and her parents. Also, as it lies on the town’s outskirts there are plenty of walks to enjoy and animals to see – something which all of the Turley children are enjoying immensely. In fact, they love the surrounding nature so much that they’ve expanded the family with some guinea pigs, ducklings and chickens.


Posted on

October 24, 2019