Housing Options Scotland

Published on 16 Nov 2012
This article originally appeared in Care Appointments magazine in their Webwatch section.

The advent of self-directed support and personalised care will mean that over time, more and more individuals will have control of, and choice around, their own care and support, and this will include where and how they want to live. Housing Options Scotland is a public service organisation that provides a public access service to all people with disabilities throughout Scotland. It does not directly provide housing, but offers detailed information and advice that will enable people to find the right home.

Its main aim is to ensure that people with disabilities have access to suitable housing in the tenure of their choice. Recognising that gaining access to owner-occupation can be problematic, Housing Options Scotland continues to pioneer new approaches to funding and facilitating the home buying process. It has diversified its activities to take into account the new economic climate and can advise on social and private renting, as well as home ownership.

Housing Options Scotland has three main areas of activity. Firstly, it directly assists people with disabilities by advising them on, and supporting them through, the complex design, financial and legal processes involved in buying or renting a property. Secondly, it provides information, advice and training on housing and disability issues to the public, private and voluntary sectors to improve the service people with disabilities receive. Finally, it raises the awareness of the problems people with disabilities face in relation to their housing, and highlights the solutions and opportunities that exist.

Housing Options Scotland has a dedicated team of volunteers who are all ex-clients, who want to give something back to the organisation. These volunteers enable the organisation to learn about the housing problems people with disabilities face, by directly assisting them, and using the knowledge we gain to effect changes in policies and practice.

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