Homes for Kids

In Scotland there are currently over 17,000 children in homeless households. This is a shocking reality hidden all around us.

Our pilot project “Homes for Kids” will focus to provide homes for children in homeless households so that they can flourish in a safe and stable environment.

We are pioneering a debt-free model of home ownership where community land trusts are set up to provide homes at reasonable rent. Tenants can buy their home one share at a time without the need of a mortgage. We call this model Micro Equity Home Ownership (MEHO).

This model is suitable for all types of households including self-employed, co-housing, low-income, homeless and students.

 The map below shows the extend of homelessness in Scotland. Click the read more button to see our “Homes for Kids” project.

Homelessness and MEHO Projects by Council Area





Children U16




Introduction To
Caledonian Foundation

We’re committed to promoting the use of Micro Equity Home Ownership. We also want to provide organisations and communities with the tools and support they will need to realise the full potential of this new approach to housing provision.

The Caledonian Foundation is a registered charity dedicated to providing debt-free housing solutions for communities.

The Problem

There are over 45,000 households in Scotland that are homeless or living in temporary accommodation. The impact of not having a place to call home can be devastating for individuals, families and communities.

In recent decades the rate of home ownership in Scotland has more than doubled. However, the way the housing market is driven by profit means that large numbers of families and individuals cannot afford to reach the bottom rung of the property ladder. In short it’s clear that the current system of housing provision isn’t working.

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It is widely accepted that a number of major social problems – from poor health to crime and unemployment – are caused or exacerbated by a lack of quality affordable housing. In 2009-10 there were over 22,000 children living in households accepted as homeless. We think that these numbers are unacceptable.

The situation is going to deteriorate for the foreseeable future due to cuts to public finances. The changes to Housing Benefit will have a particularly negative impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Given the already depleted level of social housing provision the amount of affordable housing is likely to decline even further. Within the socially rented sector rents have increased by 53 per cent over the past 10 years. At the same time getting or maintaining a mortgage is becoming increasingly challenging with repossessions set to rise over coming years.

The state of housing provision in Scotland means that thousands of families wake up in Bed and Breakfasts or hostels every morning while hundreds of people sleep rough every night. Something needs to be done. Yet it is clear that neither the state nor the private sector is likely to have the means to fully tackle these issues. A new concept is needed to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis.

The Solution

We believe that the housing market needs to adopt radical new ways of working in order to meet the needs of Scottish society. Our framework for debt free home ownership will offer people from all walks of life the chance to take the first step towards creating sustainable and secure homes.

Micro Equity Home Ownership (MEHO) is a new method for providing debt free, affordable housing for people in need. It removes the burden of debt on the individual and creates a structure that allows people to build up ownership of their home by buying shares in it at a rate they can afford.

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Through the promotion of this model The Caledonian Foundation aims to:

  • Provide affordable housing for homeless people
  • Help those threatened by repossession to retain their homes
  • Provide individuals and families with the opportunity to own their own homes for the first time
  • Create improved community facilities

Why Micro Equity Home Ownership?

Because this model allows families to gradually build up equity, the many problems associated with debt and high mortgage rates are removed. The model combines the best aspects of ‘shared equity’ and ‘shared ownership’ giving tenants the flexibility to buy their homes over a time period that suits their situation, while getting rid of the need for deposits or loans. This opens up the option of home ownership to those on low incomes or people who have difficulties in obtaining a loan.

Non-profit making rents and the ability to buy equity shares one at a time hands control back to the tenant allowing them to move from crisis to security. It benefits families, individuals and the housing stock as profits are re-invested in affordable housing. It is good for the wider economy and reduces the burden on the state.

Find out more about how MEHO works

How we will make this happen

The Caledonian Foundation will create and support self-sustaining community initiatives throughout Scotland. We’ll partner with organisations, communities and local authorities to provide them with the structure and help they need to use Micro Equity Home Ownership to improve the housing stock in their area.

Find out about you can get involved

Here’s a video about how MEHO works.

How You Can Help

There are several ways in which you can make a difference. Whether you can see the potential of debt free home ownership in your area, want to help others find stable accommodation, or invest in one of our projects, we want to hear from you.

Homelessness is an issue that affects everyone in society. There are several ways in which you can play a role in us to establish a viable housing future for people throughout Scotland. We want to engage with individuals, families, communities and organisations from a variety of backgrounds to promote and grow the role of debt free home ownership in Scotland.

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Making a donation, however small, is the best way that you can help to provide debt free homes. We know that our vision has massive potential to restructure and invigorate the current state of Scotland’s housing sector.

Become A Tenant

Our financial model is reliant on support from a diverse range of people. The key aim of our work is to provide houses for those in challenging circumstances, each MEHO project will involve those on low incomes, or those struggling to make that first step onto the housing ladder. To register your interest in becoming a MEHO tenant or to discuss setting up a project in your area gets in touch with us by emailing


Increasingly, ethical investment opportunities offer an attractive alternative to volatile financial markets. The Caledonian Foundation works with land trusts who purchase property on behalf of MEHO tenants. This means that the structure of each trust will guarantee a stable return on investment. If you think that your organisation can help finance debt free properties we can offer a number of different mechanisms to make this happen. READ MORE

Talk To Your Community

Right across Scotland there is a need for good quality housing. We’ll be working at a grassroots level throughout the country and, although there is no upward limit to the size of each project, we know that the model can work with as few as six housing units. We therefore want to hear from community land trusts, local authorities, housing associations and advocacy groups, about their housing needs and how we can help to address them. For more information email

Join the Discussion

If you have questions, comments or ideas about our work, we want to hear from you. You can leave comments on our Blog, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Caledonian Foundation News