Housing for veterans – Vacancies with Scottish Veterans Residences



Scottish Veterans Residences have vacancies across their sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

They offer accommodation to veterans from all services including the Merchant Navy and Reservists. You do not need to be Scottish to move here and the only criteria is that you have served one day in the Armed Forces.

Scottish Veterans Residences provide housing support helping veterans transition into employment, training and into permanent, affordable accommodation. If you are a veteran, or aware of a veteran, who is homeless, at risk of homelessness or otherwise needs housing support please do not hesitate to contact Scottish Veterans Residences.

Follow this link to their Accommodation enquiry page: Accommodation enquiry

Dogfish Dan’s Blog – Entry 18


Dogfish Dan is a HOS client who is hoping to move from Wales to Edinburgh to be near his two daughters and his grandchildren.  He’s keeping us up-to-date with his experiences via his blog…

Dogfish Dan’s Blog Entry 18 – written on Friday 13th October

bluebellsI’m late, I’m late… I usually like to get my blogs done before now, and have time to edit them overnight.

A bit of a confusing week, so perhaps that’s why. I realised by Tuesday evening that my bid on EdIndex last weekend had not been successful, so started rethinking my tactics. Up to now, I have been looking at sheltered housing, based within an active community area, with fairly easy access to my daughters. After all, my main priority I suppose, should be my day to day life in and amongst other people. That is also partly why I have been looking at sheltered housing, as opposed to private flats.

Yesterday, however, a friend made the case for being close to my daughters being the main priority, with access to community activities coming second. Hmmm……. Now I am even more confused. We had a look at private flats for sale, (I find the Scottish system of “offers over…” a bit of a problem), and found a couple that seemed fine, and close to the girls. Also fairly well surrounded by facilities and activities. This needs further consideration. Perhaps especially because the friend in question keeps getting the words Prozac and Prosecco confused!

I suspect that because I have been in a state of suspended animation (housing wise), for six months or so, I may be getting a bit desperate. In fact, I’m fine, since another friend has offered me a roof after the end of this month, when the owners of my present one come back from their holidays.

The photo today may seem unrelated, but since the weather outside is pretty murky again, I have been dreaming of dappled sunlight and Bluebell woods. We have some music on tonight, with a lot of good friends and musicians coming along, so that will cheer me up.

Dogfish Dan’s Blog – Entry 17


Dogfish Dan is a HOS client who is hoping to move from Wales to Edinburgh to be near his two daughters and his grandchildren.  He’s keeping us up-to-date with his experiences via his blog…

Dogfish Dan’s Blog Entry 17 – written on Thursday 5th October

wet-walesA fine day here…made all the finer by a bike ride down the Mawddach estuary with the Canada Geese honking on the mudflats in the glow of an Autumn sun.  (Apparently this is where Theresa May made her fateful decision to hold a general election).

I passed a herd of Welsh Black cattle, to be reminded of a mistake made by a friend recently, whereby she referred to All Black cattle. I imagined the ones I was looking at gallumping around the field with a rugby ball. The bull looked as if he would make a grand hooker. And I could see a frisky calf who be a fine scrum half.

A couple of years ago now, I had major surgery on my left foot. Initially all was well, and there was a vast improvement on how it had previously been. Now, however it is possibly worse than ever, so that I am constantly amazed at the pain free mobility that being on a bike allows me. I hope that everyone with hip and knee problems etc realises this.

On the housing front, a vacancy has come up, for which I have bid. Now I have to wait until next week to see what happens. Until it came up on EdIndex I was not even aware of such a development. It is very close to another which I had discovered and liked the location of early in my search, so let’s see what happens

Onward with my anxiety distraction techniques…all the hens are still here, but have gone into moult, so that there are almost more feathers than wood shavings in the hen house. Still laying though. And the veg patch is full of lovely kale, cabbages and kings. (Where did that come from?)

We have another Live at the Club night coming up, so I’m busy learning a couple of new songs. I haven’t got much of a voice, so I’m concentrating on innuendoes. Anything to prevent people from listening too carefully.

Micro-volunteering – Could it be for you?


We’re talking to Danny, our micro-volunteer and Olivia, our housing options broker, to hear their experiences of micro-volunteering.

Danny is sharing his blog posts with us as a micro-volunteer…


sunset-from-the-living-room-windowMy micro volunteering is for an hour or two weekly on my IPad. At the table, in front of the fire, in bed, or whenever I like. I write about 300 words about my life during the past week, particularly with relevance to my anticipated move from rural Wales to Edinburgh, to be near my two daughters. I find a suitable photograph, and then leave everything overnight.The next day, I read & correct what I have written, & send it off to HOS.

I have done quite a few different things during my life…I started off as a bank clerk, then became a teacher, did some voluntary work in India, & then was an outdoor pursuits instructor for about 10 years.After that I became self employed, & did building & roofing work, before dealing in architectural antiques & running an antiques centre. When trade lapsed some years ago, I moved into community development, finally retiring when I was 67.

danny-night-copy-2After retiring, I became involved with the U3A & other community groups, & set up a local jazz & blues organisation, so that eventually we were putting events on twice monthly. We also organised a couple of small festivals, & ran jazz workshops annually.

I am now homeless, in that I have sold my flat, & am living in a friends’ house feeding the chickens & cat, whilst he is away. (He does know!)

I am definitely getting something out of the experience, in that whilst I am hopefully helping others in a similar position, I am getting my worries off my chest, & looking objectively at my problems. I can see my next step forward more clearly, & am generally not too overwhelmed by my rather scary situation. I also have to see the funny side of things. (Essential!)

I would strongly recommend that anyone else considering volunteering with HOS or elsewhere should do so. Take care, however, not to take on too much so that it becomes a burden, & make sure that it is something that you are truly interested in.


Olivia, our housing options broker, tells us about her experience of micro-volunteering with a charity…



What were you doing? I helped to promote a charity event.

Can you tell us a bit more about the micro part? The ‘micro’ part was from me sharing Facebook posts from the charity.

How much time did you spend volunteering? Minimal – Sharing a post would take no longer than a minute!

What did you feel you got out of the experience? Happy to know that a little thing like sharing a post could have a big impact for the charity.

What would you say to anyone thinking of doing a little micro-volunteering at HOS or elsewhere? Micro-volunteering takes up very little of your time, but could make a big difference for the organisation you are helping. It’s definitely worthwhile!

If you’d like to join us as a micro-volunteer drop us an email at info@housingoptionsscotland.org.uk

HOS interns – postcards from America


We’re catching up with 3 of our HOS interns to hear what they’re up to now!




Since leaving my internship with Housing Options Scotland, I found the rapid pace I worked at then has not ceased. Besides working full time as a Service Operations Manager for Albertsons Companies, I have volunteered to teach and chaperone high school historical field trips.  The latest was a trip across the country that included historical sites and monuments in New York, Washington D.C. and Virginia. I live in Eugene, Oregon.  I enjoy having the ability to experience different career options.

When I’m not pursuing work options I take time to pursue my personal hobbies. I have entered track meets and competitive races, and have been fortunate to place well. Oregon is littered with microbreweries and I am knocking each one off of list, one sometimes two, ales at a time. Eventually, I will set up my own home brew again and develop the perfect Bellingham IPA.

brethossI am forever grateful and indebted to the experiences and people that I met through HOS. I hope to return soon to Bonnie Scotland to help out HOS and travel more.  My life has been forever positively affected, and I am thankful for every opportunity I received.


Bret Bellingham







After graduating from Oregon State University, I moved to Washington, D.C.. In August, I started my job as a Service Coordinator for The Coordinating Center, which is a non-profit integrated healthcare management organization. I will be advocating for low-income and medically complex individuals to achieve their aspirations for independence, health and meaningful community life.





isaacI graduated from UO in July, and have been spending a beautiful summer traveling around Canada and Washington, visiting family, and working at the county fair back home (lots of crazy people, met a few Brits). I’m now back up in Oregon preparing to start a job in about a week at the Friends of Old Town Stayton in Stayton, Oregon (about 20 minutes east of the state capital of Salem). FOTS works to preserve and protect the historic downtown through public projects and business development. I’m very very excited about getting started!

isaac2I’ve been thinking very fondly on my time at HOS a lot, and keeping updated on the goings on. HOS on Wheels seemed to be very successful this year, and looked like a ton of fun!




Rachel’s Story – Read one military housing story


Read one client’s story as part of our Military Matters project 5th birthday celebrations.


Rachel is ex-Royal Navy.  When she first contacted us, she was living in a private rented flat, sharing with a male flatmate who had alcohol problems.  She didn’t feel safe at home but didn’t think she could afford to move or know where to start looking.

We advised Rachel on her safety at home.  We then worked with Rachel to make sure her social-rented housing applications were up-to-date so she stood the best possible chance of finding housing.  Rachel didn’t have high priority for social-rented housing and this could prove a stumbling block.  We kept in frequent telephone contact as her living arrangements were clearly difficult and causing Rachel distress.

We supported Rachel to find the right council department to speak to about her housing and to get a housing options interview with them.  Unfortunately, just 3 months after making contact with us, Rachel contacted us to say she had had to leave her flat and check in to a hotel overnight as she was being threatened at home and didn’t feel safe.

Rachel was assessed by the council under homelessness legislation and classed as unintentionally homeless.  This meant the council did have a duty to find Rachel temporary housing and to continue to support her until she found a permanent home.  She was moved into temporary Bed & Breakfast accommodation.  Meanwhile we continued to contact military charities who could offer support with moving costs and white goods for a future home.

Since Rachel was in employment, we began to advise her on the option of Mid-market rent.  Mid-market rent properties are rented via housing associations at a price below market rate of private rent properties.  This could provide a way for Rachel to rent an affordable home, by herself, and with a secure tenancy.  Rachel completed an application with the council to apply for mid-market rent properties and soon a property became available with a well-known housing association.

6 months after Rachel’s first contact with us, we spoke with her to find out she had not one, but two housing offers!  Both mid-market rent properties.  She was deciding which was one the most suitable.  Rachel is now suitably housed after accepting a mid-market rent offer from Link Housing Association.

Dogfish Dan’s Blog – Entry 16




Dogfish Dan is a HOS client who is hoping to move from Wales to Edinburgh to be near his two daughters and his grandchildren.  He’s keeping us up-to-date with his experiences via his blog…

Dogfish Dan’s Blog Entry 16 – written on Thursday 27th September

Well..high drama in the hills…

A couple of nights ago, after the cat had sneaked up onto my bed, I was suddenly woken up at daybreak, by two resident crows making enough noise to awaken the dead. Ella (the cat) leapt off the bed, and almost out of the window in her eagerness to see what was going on. The din eventually died down, so being a bit of a dumbo, I went back to sleep.

When I later got downstairs, I was first of all greeted by a dead rat, that Ella had kindly brought me for breakfast. After telling her that I preferred fruit and yoghurt, but thanks for the thought, I opened the front door to get rid of it, to be greeted by a glowering big black Tom. By the time I had got the anti Tom cat water cannon from the kitchen, he had disappeared with a yowl and a witch’s curse.

So, after yoga and yoghurt, I went out to feed the hens. I am usually met with a stampede of galloping gourmets eager for their layers pellets and left over scraps, but this morning it was as silent as the grave. And later I did have to dig a grave. I found poor Topsy’s horribly mutilated body under the oak tree, and seven other chastened chickens huddling in the hen house.

It must have been a goshawk, since there are a lot of forestry plantations around here that they rather like to nest in, and the way in which the poor hen had been killed, with all her innards viciously torn out from the back end was typical of the way in which they kill. A friend in choir had lost some goslings to one last year.

Not much happening in my housing situation, but HOS have been giving me good morale and practical support in this ongoing situation. And a good workout on a bike on this sunny afternoon has helped a lot.

Listen in! Radio 4 this Sunday – Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch


One of our clients, Colin, has lived with progressive multiple sclerosis since his 30s.  In his Radio 4 programme Hardeep Singh Kohli travels the UK cooking Sunday lunch for people with remarkable stories.  In June this year Hardeep turned up to make Colin and his friend Rona a haggis curry.

Follow this link to find out how they get on on Radio 4 this Sunday at 1.30pm – Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch

Accessible Housing Policy Update



The Accessible Housing Policy Update from Habinteg outlines the latest policy developments in housing in relation to accessible homes.  You can find it here: Accessible Housing Policy Update


It outlines what the government should do next to address accessible housing and highlights what you can do to support their campaign for accessible homes.  You can follow @Habinteg or tweet using #ForAccessibleHomes  You can find more information on their website: Habinteg For Accessible Homes