A disabled man from Edinburgh has finally managed to achieve his dream of living independently after raising thousands of pounds.
Cal Grevers, who has muscular dystrophy, wanted to move out of his parents’ home but was told he faced a three year waiting list for a suitable council house.
After reaching out to charity Housing Options Scotland for advice, the 28-year-old decided to use a special scheme open to people with disabilities.
The open-market shared equity (OSME) programme allows him to pay 60% of a property’s cost, with the Scottish Government holding the rest in a shared equity agreement.
But despite being eligible for the initiative, Cal still struggled to come up with the £30,000 needed for a deposit, as well as the additional money he would require to make the adaptations necessary to make a house accessible.
Speaking to STV News he explained: “Two years ago I joined the social housing waiting list but I shortly found out that the average waiting day is around 1,000 days.
“Originally the goal was to raise around £30,000. In the end I managed to raise £52,000 and I managed to find this house nearby.”
Cal was delighted when he finally had an offer accepted for a 25% share of a housing association flat in the Gorgie area.
Thanks to the crowdfunder, he also has enough money to make adaptations to the home and plans to convert the main bathroom into a wet room and install a ceiling track hoist.
Thanking the generosity of kindhearted strangers for making his dream possible, he said: “It’s kind of been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
“I‘m amazed at how generous people can be especially when they are going through a cost of living crisis.
“I’m amazed at what they have managed to contribute and how big a difference it’s made to my life. I can’t think them enough really.”
Now Cal is campaigning to raise awareness of the barriers disabled people face when trying to live independently.
Olivia Lindsay, head of casework services at Housing Options Scotland spoke to STV News about the additional challenges disabled people currently face when trying to acquire a property.
She said: “The housing market at the moment is very oversaturated. It’s hard for anyone right now to be purchasing a home but add on to that, that you might have a particular need.
“The main issue is that there is a lack of accessible housing or adaptable housing. Especially if you are looking in cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow.
“A lot of our housing stock is old Victorian tenements; it’s not really possible to adapt properties like that for a specific need.
“More does need to be done. We need more accessible housing and we need more advice and more support for people with disabilities on how they can access the housing that is most appropriate for their needs.”
Cal is hoping that he will be able to finish the adaptations and move into his home by August. He will be updating people on his journey on his crowdfunding page.