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Support My Fight For Independent Living

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I’m Calum, a disability and access consultant from Edinburgh, Scotland who lives with muscular dystrophy. My condition means I need to use a powerchair and get support with most aspects of daily life, but that doesn't mean I don't strive to move out of my parents' home and into my own place like any other adult. Please support my fight for independent living by helping raise £55,000 for an accessible flat with an adapted wet room, ceiling track hoist and second bedroom for my care staff to provide overnight support while respecting my privacy.

The right to independent living is enshrined in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and incorporated into UK law, yet a 2018 inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that only 0.7% of local authority housing and 1.5% of housing association properties in Scotland are wheelchair accessible. Across Scotland and the rest of the UK, the shortage of accessible social housing and backlog in the allocation system has disabled people living in accommodation detrimental to their physical and mental health, and stuck on waiting lists for years, even decades.

I applied for social housing in January 2020 and was told the council would have to carry out a needs assessment to assign me a priority level for accessible accommodation. Two years later, this assessment had still not taken place and, even if it had, I would have faced at least three years on the waiting list, according to figures obtained by Lothian MSP, Jeremy Balfour, following a Freedom Of Information request. I also was not eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) from my local authority until 2027 because I received one for an adapted wet room in my parents' home in 2017 on the condition that I remain there for at least 10 years from that date, otherwise they would "seek to recover the funds".

On the advice of Housing Options Scotland, I decided to pursue independent living with the Scottish Government’s LIFT Open Market Shared Equity scheme, purchasing a 60% share of a home with a mortgage and large cash deposit, and the Scottish Government holding the remaining 40% under a shared equity agreement. However, Edinburgh’s lack of accessible private housing within my budget and my ineligibility for a DFG means I have to crowdfund the deposit and adaptations to make it suitable for my needs. If LIFT’s valuation limit and ‘price thresholds’ prove too difficult to navigate in today’s competitive property market, I will instead use my supporters' contributions to buy a 25% share of an accessible housing association flat outright, claiming Universal Credit to pay the rent and service charges.

For media requests, please get in touch by scrolling down and tapping the 'Contact' button or messaging me on LinkedIn at

Media Appearances


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Calum Grevers

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