At Risk of Homelessness in your 70s

Housing Options Scotland is a third sector organisation offering housing information, advice and support to disabled people, older people, and members of the Armed Forces Community.

Sandra, a lady in her 70s, approached Housing Options Scotland as she had fallen into financial difficulties – including mortgage arrears – after her husband had sadly passed away. Sandra was struggling with debt and her home was at risk of being repossessed. Sandra was understandably very stressed and upset.

One of our Housing Options Brokers spoke to Sandra and helped her to complete a Get Help form, and contacted Sandra’s local authority to arrange a Housing Options interview. One of our volunteers helped Sandra to complete social housing applications. Sandra was very worried she would end up roofless, but our broker reassured her that wouldn’t happen.

Shortly afterwards, Sandra’s house was put on the market. The broker contacted the local authority again, this time to ask if Sandra could make a homeless application. Initially the local authority refused – they said that because her home wasn’t being repossessed, they wouldn’t accept her as homeless. After some help from a solicitor, the local authority allowed her to complete an application.

Soon after, the house was sold. The local authority arranged for her belongings to be put into storage. The date for this was on Sandra’s wedding anniversary, which caused her great upset. While this was happening, Housing Options Scotland continued to support her. Sandra had no priority with mainstream housing associations, but due to her age, she did have priority with sheltered accommodation. Sandra wanted to stay locally, as her support network all lived nearby and she had been in the area for a long time.

The buyer of the property allowed Sandra to rent the house while she secured alternative housing, which also meant that, happily, she wouldn’t have to put her belongings into storage. 

Around a month later, a property became available through Hanover Housing Association. Sandra and her broker went to view the property together and Sandra absolutely loved it. Within four days, Sandra had signed the tenancy agreement and had the keys for her new home.

Sandra is delighted with her new home and has now made it her own, with new carpets and furniture. “As soon as I moved in it felt like home” she said. “Housing Options Scotland have really been brilliant. I would recommend them to anyone. If it hadn’t been for Housing Options Scotland, I don’t know where I would have ended up.”