No marathon search for an affordable house

LAR Housing Pic Peter Devlin

SAMANTHA Kinghorn does everything at speed. A paralympic athlete, she represented Great Britain at the Rio games over 100m, 400m and 800m. But when she and her boyfriend, Connor Spence, decided to set up home together they were preparing for a rather slow and frustrating process to find their ideal property to rent.

But the young couple, both 21 years old and from the Borders, couldn’t believe their luck when they found out about the Local Affordable Rented Housing Trust (LAR), an independent housing charity that offers high-quality homes at affordable rent levels, known as mid-market-rent. The couple applied and were accepted within a month. A few weeks later they moved into their two-bedroom flat in a new development just off London Road in the east end of Glasgow.

Samantha said: “There was no hassle and no stress and LAR were extremely helpful in accommodating some of the minor adaptations I needed because of my wheelchair. We needed somewhere that was both affordable and accessible and the flat was ideal.”

LAR Housing Pic Peter Devlin

The bonus for Samantha is that she now lives very close to the Emirates Stadium and Crownpoint Sports Complex where she trains twice a day, six days a week as a full-time elite athlete. The expense of filling up her car three times a week and the tiring trips back and forward from her parents’ Borders home are over. And it also means being able to spend more time with Connor, a third-year Criminal Justice student at West of Scotland University.

Samantha says she loved the fact that the flat was unfurnished and they could put their own stamp on it. The only thing that didn’t go smoothly was the joint shopping trip to select furniture. “Connor is a typical bloke and tried to pick all the cheapest things! My pride and joy is the ceiling light in the sitting room, which was a bit pricey, but looks great.”

Samantha is spent the spring warm weather training in Tenerife and became a double world champion, world record holder and world bronze medallist in London Athletics championships this summer. She has now turned her attention to the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon and earlier this month impressed as she finished second in the women’s wheelchair event at the Great North Run. The first major event she took part in was the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 and she describes performing in front of home crowds as amazing. 

“It’s fitting that I’m now based so close to the scene of one of my proudest moments. Living here will be a huge boost.”