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Thread: Housing Query

  1. #1
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    Housing Query

    I'm trying to organise our next move... Me and my partner live in a second floor flat which we rent in Scotland and very soon the stairs will be impossible for him.

    We have applied to be put on various housing association lists, but apparently with Covid they're not taking any applications right now and also with some there's a 3 step verification required. I've been in touch with MND Scotland and a lovely advocate lady there is trying to call round as many housing associations as possible also to get us on the various lists, but similarly is getting the same response, so no movement at all right now.

    Being open minded and keeping our search quite broad for renting, but it's overwhelming to know where to begin and how long this is going to take to source a ground floor flat or bungalow that has wet room etc. Just recently I've had thoughts about if we should think about buying... and fitting the necessities (although would need to be fairly low budget unless a lottery win comes our way). Got to be proactive here as I know recently everything takes longer than usual.

    What are everyone's thoughts and experiences? Did people go on housing association lists? Did anyone find buying much easier and quicker? What other options or routes are there?

    Tess

    x

  2. #2
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    If only there was a crystal ball Tess, it'd make our lives so much easier

    There are a few here who got properties through Housing Associations and it did seem to take a while to get the right property, then sometimes a further wait for adaptions to be made and it's all about securing that all important medical priority to ensure you're at the top of the list! (hopefully our Lovely Lynne will post of her experiences, though I'm sure there are others too with equally valid tales to tell)

    It's good you have involved MND Scotland to help and advise.

    I recently moved from a 2 storey house to a bungalow with a wet room and it sure makes life easier for us all, but life in the old house was certainly doable with a stairlift, albeit I'd have had a big problem once my weightbearing ability went.

    If you were to buy a place, would you both be eligible to get a mortgage - notwithstanding that Lottery win, obvs

    Take care.

    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Limb Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No working limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

  3. #3
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    Hi Tess,

    Well done for looking ahead and being proactive about your future needs. I really hope MND Scotland are able to help and it's such a good idea to get the ball rolling. I'm no expert but your OT could advise and I think a wetroom, even on a private property can be funded by the council.

    You are doing so well, Tess to think ahead and plan and the current situation makes it even harder. I didn't want to change anything when I was first diagnosed ( denial!!) but after some gentle persuasion we moved to a ground floor home and had a wetroom installed .

    Good luck with everything.. Your mind must be in a spin. I have everything firmly crossed for a lottery win for you.
    Love Debbie x

  4. #4
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    Hi Tess

    I have heard of a company called Blackwood Homes who have adapted housing throughout Scotland for rent. They might be worth a try.

    Lucy x

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all of your responses there, I'll check out Blackwood homes also. I've been looking at 2 bedroom houses recently but then got side tracked looking at the lovely mansions (one can dream). I came across one property for over the million pounds mark and it didn't even have a jacuzzi or pool (the cheek hahaha).
    We've only ever rented up till now as we were previously always moving around, but I'm astonished at the cost of property these days and with my partner not working now and on PIP, we may be in a pickle for a mortgage.

    I guess the 'lottery win' saying would work, however I'd have to buy a ticket firstly haha!

    Will let you know how I get on (might be a response in 6 months time at this rate)...

    Tess
    x

  6. #6
    Forum Member Lynne K's Avatar
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    Hi Tess, we were in a 3 bedroomed terraced, rented privately “from ex in-laws of my husband (long story from the 2 of us who used to own properties). There were stairs in several places in the house and it wouldn’t have been suitable for conversation. Our landlords decided to sell around the time stairs were becoming difficult for me (they’d encouraged us to explore adaption possibilities first).

    I got us on to the Council Housing List as priority and also a Housing Association. Being on the Housing List is not a good experience. You have to log on regularly and bid for properties. The Council’s OT has the responsibility to assess people and decided who gets what. We were turned down for a new purpose built development (with care opportunities, a cafe and hair dressers). I was really disappointed but my husband didn’t want that type of home.

    When I was bidding it would only let me bid on 1 bedroomed properties, I was trying for a few months. Then I tried to speak with the Council OT. It was always nearly impossible. Even my OT couldn’t get hold her. But eventually the secretary of the Council OT (I’d spoken to her several times) rang me. She said that she thought that something that’d come up would suit me. It was a 2 bedroomed ground floor flat with wet-room. We were told that it was being refurbished but a date was set for viewing. The Council OT and the Housing Officer (not called this any longer but I can’t remember her title) came to the viewing with documents for us to sign. The Council OT gave me her direct number and said that she’d have the front door access sorted out.

    We took the flat but then the fun (not) started. My husband spent many hours painting before we moved in. On one occasion he wanted to get ready there and go out (to a music session. He plays the fiddle). So he showered and he noticed a stream of water running out of the wet-room, under the door and down the hall. We had booked for new carpets to be fitted so this was worrying. The front door and ramp were too small for my powered wheel chair. So I couldn’t go out with it. I had to use my walker to my car. This became increasingly difficult because we are on a bank so it’s downhill to the car, and uphill back home. When showering we had to use several towels on the floor each time to save from soaking our new hall carpet.

    For several months we waited for works to be done. I couldn’t get hold of the Council OT. My OT couldn’t get hold of her. We were all extremely frustrated. I thought that it was time to complain. So I made a formal verbal complaint. But even this wasn’t handled timely so I wrote a formal complaint to the head of the Council. I threatened to pursue this legally and in the media. I sent it recorded delivery. I sent a copy of my letter in an email to the complaints address that I had exchanged emails with. To cut a long story short I eventually got the head of the repairs section out to us. He was an ex Counsellor and was disgusted by how I’d been treated. He gave me his card and said to not bother ringing the Council but ring him direct for any issues. At last! Somebody was listening. It took another few weeks but the wet-room floor was re-done and a super duper ramp and wider front door were installed.

    All of this took a lot out of us. We felt frazzled. I hope that you have a much better experience. Love Lynne x
    Last edited by Lynne K; 7th June 2020 at 17:03.
    ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my ballance.
    I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.

  7. #7
    Forum Member nunhead_man's Avatar
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    Hi Tess,

    I'm into planning to which is why we have just moved to somewhere that we can convert when the place we lived in before could not be converted for my needs - have you tried talking to MND Scotland about possibilities?

    We spent the last two quarters of 2019 looking around at houses gradually learning what would work for conversion what would not, based on our original specification of a house with a garage where a downstairs room could become a bedroom and the adjacent garage a wet room. In the end we got something entirely different which is the conversion of an old builder's yard into a Marmite house which we love. Mind you it was a bit touch and go with Covid issues on exchanging contracts et cetera

    And you may be aware that the MND Association is going to launch its Act to Adapt campaign which is all about accessible housing and now includes the issue of people not only adapting the houses they have finding one they can adapt mostly at my urging.
    Last edited by nunhead_man; 9th June 2020 at 16:31.
    Warmly


    Andy

    ​Diagnosed 03/2015. Limb onset (arm) sporadic ALS/MND.
    MND hitting - now 50% left arm and 90% right arm, plus other bits including left shoulder

    "Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out"

  8. #8
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    What a nightmare Lynne, as if you needed any of that polava on top of the condition itself. I'm gobsmacked at the amount of paperwork and stages required for everything from pension and money stuff to housing. It's mad.

    I have now applied to a few associations for the area we're looking at closer to family and I do believe there are various building works up and coming but covid obviously threw a spanner in the works which is ideal (not). There was a medical form too so I think we have full awarded points (whatever that means) to bump us up the list.

    Andy yes, I have been in touch with MND Scotland and they are assisting as well as they possibly can, however with Covid alot of housing associations aren't even advertising for bidding etc till July earliest. But being on furlough and more time on my hands I've been more proactive myself with applications. That's kind of exciting though having a house project to focus on.

    Being in a second floor flat right now and with my partner not having tried the stairs in 3 months, let's hope there's no fire imminent as although I'm often active, I think it would be a comedy sketch me getting us both out the door.

    So all hands on deck, here's hoping things start moving soon.

    Tess x

  9. #9
    Forum Member Lynne K's Avatar
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    If there was fire Tess, this is what I’d have done if I was fit: Make sure that good shoes are on your parter. Kneel with you back to them grabbing their hands over your shoulders and pull them up, leaning on your back. Hold tight, don’t let go of hands or wrists if better and walk a little bent forward dragging your loved one behind you towards the stairs, proceed down. I’d lay bets on that you wouldn’t be humping that weight for long. Somebody will come to your aid.

    I think what would I do if the car broke down in a dangerous position. I couldn’t get to the side of the road, over a barrier or up a bank. Let’s hope that it never happens. Any suggestions?

    Good luck for a short wait for a successful housing application of an appropriate place.

    Love Lynne x
    ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my ballance.
    I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.

  10. #10
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    Good plan Lynne- lets hope that doesn't happen then in the meantime hahaha. I enjoy a good problem solving exercise, but lifting or dragging a 33 year old man hasn't come into the picture previously, so definately a new challenge (I reckon we'd need a phew practice drills)

    Thanks- fingers crossed!

    Tess x

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