One of our Housing Buddies, Shirley, writes about her involvement in the programme since September 2019.
Since taking up my role as a Housing Buddy with Housing Options Scotland back in August 2019, I have been involved in various activities. These are listed below in date order:-
September 2019: I attended a Triage Meeting in Glasgow which involved all Housing Options staff. The purpose of the meeting was to review current applications for support and allocate each case to a particular Broker. This was a very interesting session and gave me a real insight into Housing Options’ role.
- I was asked to assist in providing housing information which would help a particular case in the West of Scotland. I was able to contact an ex work colleague who was able to provide the necessary information to help the broker in her dealings with the client.
- I participated in my first case when I accompanied one of the Brokers on a house visit to a new client in Dundee. It was very interesting to meet the client, hear of her particular problems and discuss how Housing Options may be able to help. I have since had telephone contact with this client to assess whether or not further support is needed.
- I, and my partner, attended the Celebration & Launch event in Edinburgh on 22nd November. The event highlighted the work done by Housing Options and was a particular opportunity to highlight the role of Housing Buddies.
- Also in November, I was asked to accompany the CEO to a client meeting where the client is seeking appropriate accommodation for her son who has been on delayed discharge from a local hospital for many years. Following the meeting, I made contact with the local Scottish Government office to ascertain current housing developments that included special needs housing. This was followed up with a meeting in January with Perth & Kinross Council to ascertain progress with a possible housing solution. This case is on-going.
January 2020: I was approached by one of the Brokers to provide some local information on South Lanarkshire where I used to live. I was able to advise on housing associations in the area and the person to contact within the local authority regarding their new build housing programme.
All in all, I have had quite a lot of activity over the last few months and I am enjoying it very much. It is varied, maintains my interest in housing, and keeps my brain active. I look forward to continuing my role as a Housing Buddy in 2020.