Inaccessible flats in Edinburgh have left a disabled man unable to find his first home
A disabled Edinburgh man will finally have his own independence for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Cal Grevers, 28, was delighted to have raised over £30,000 which will not only allow him to put a down payment on his own flat, but also make adjustments to ensure it is accessible to his style of living life.
Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, Edinburgh Live spoke to Cal last year when he initially reached out to the community to help him achieve his dream.
Living at home all his life, Cal explained that he was desperate for his own independence and a property that would allow him to live safely on his own.
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Just over a year later, donations from around the world have helped Cal reach his fundraising goal, with a hoped-for move for some time this summer.
However, the 28-year-old explaining the idea of a move for someone with a disability is a much bigger challenge than for others.
Speaking to Edinburgh Live this week, Cal said: “I don’t expect this process to be easy.
“There’s going to be a lot of researching properties and finding it won’t work because unfortunately the information about elevators, number of steps to the front and such, they often don’t reveal that information on the website .
“But it’s an exciting process to start and I’m looking forward to it.
“At 28, I may not have had the same opportunities to live away from home that non-disabled people might have and I think that’s an important transition into adulthood, moving on. and take care of yourself.
“It will give me a boost in my self-confidence and give me more personal space. It would be a big step forward in the next stage of my life.”
Launching the GoFundMe in February 2021, Cal had been waiting on the public housing listing for over a year, with the system proving extremely difficult.
Due to the need for specialized accessibility, Cal shared that he would have waited at least a few years before he could get anything.
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He said: “I had already been waiting for social housing for a year and a half and I probably wouldn’t have found social housing until I was 30, the pandemic makes you think life is enough short and you want to make the most of things now so I didn’t want to wait.
“I’ve seen figures in Scotland that over 6,000 people were waiting for decent social housing in Scotland, and that was in 2020, so I’m sure the pandemic has made it much worse.
“On my part, when I looked at the online social housing allocation system, I should have excluded all those that had steps or were not on the ground floor, and then after that it remained like one or two and they don’t even show you pictures of the interior of the property so you can’t even see and make an informed decision on what to bid.
“I think it’s an overlooked problem, but a lot of it is unreachable.”
Despite accessibility issues, the kindness and generosity of thousands of people online has meant that Cal will start looking for his first home this summer.
Delighted to have his own space and put the finishing touches on a home that will make his life easier, the 28-year-old thanked everyone who helped him achieve his goal.
He added: “At the end, he [the fundraiser] kind of just skyrocketed and went from around £20,000 to £30,000 in a week, and the campaign has expanded now.
“Before, I was just trying to raise funds, but now I’m able to share more about the lack of accessible housing and issues like that.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who has contributed and I’m amazed at how great people have been during the pandemic and everything.”