Housing Options Scotland to assist with disabled man’s home ownership dream

Like many 27-year-olds in Edinburgh, Calum Grevers lives with his parents and longs for independence.

Based in the capital his whole life and with a degree in Computer Science, Calum dreams of owning his own home. As a first time buyer, the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) Scheme is accessible to him. But because he has Muscular Dystrophy, he needs some extra help. 

Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive, muscle-wasting condition. Other than some dexterity in his thumbs, Calum cannot move from the neck down and requires a power-assisted wheelchair to move around and a ventilator at night to aid his breathing.

These additional needs have necessitated him to live with his parents up until now and it is unsurprising that this 27-year-old craves his own home: “I’m limited to the ground floor and I don’t have my own space other than my bedroom. Moving to my own place, adapted to my needs, would give me independence and self-confidence.” 

Calum took the first step to home ownership by contacting Housing Options Scotland, a charity which works with disabled people to explore their accommodation choices and find their own homes. One of their brokers Susan Mendelovich explained his options to him and he decided that the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) Scheme was the best route to take.

However, he quickly identified a shortfall: “I need a wheelchair accessible home with a bathroom that can be converted into a wet-room, a second bedroom for my assistant to sleep in when providing overnight support and be close to the friends and family I rely on. ‘Smart home’ tech, would enable me to answer the door, switch on the lights, shut the blinds and control my laptop by voice, giving me greater independence. However since disability benefit is my only source of income, I’m not eligible for a mortgage large enough to buy a suitable home, even with the help of the OMSE scheme.” 

Calum has looked into the adaptations and technology required to help him to live independently and needs £30,000 to achieve his dream. He recognises that it is an ambitious target, but the money raised will go beyond his home and he hopes to empower other people with disabilities: “If I reach my funding goal, I’ll create a blog and YouTube series that explores my moving out journey and the ‘smart home’ tech that enables me to lead an independent life. This would be both a way of giving something back to my supporters and showing the world just how able disabled people can be.” 

Calum has set-up a GoFundMe fundraising page for his cause: if you have been moved by the story or wish to donate, please visit here.

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