History

The origins of The Caledonian Foundation go back to 1985 when Richard Lo began buying and letting residential properties. He developed his knowledge of this business and began to make a good living out of it.

 

Developing awareness

Fast forward to 2001 and Richard was becoming increasingly aware of the plight of the homeless. He felt that providing houses and homes was about more than just making money, and he realised that he had to do something to help provide safe and secure homes for people who needed to rebuild their lives.

 

The model develops

In 2002, Richard was beginning to develop the specific concept of Micro Equity Home Ownership. This was a model that combined renting and micro share purchase to give tenants on low-income the ability to begin owning their home. One of the objectives was to provide micro share purchase mechanism to encourage homeless clients with self-esteem to maintain their tenancy on a secure footing. This model was made even more appealing thanks to the mechanism that allowed shares to be ‘gifted’ from friends and family to build community good will.

 

Working with the homeless

In 2003, with a conviction to provide practical help, Richard worked as a relief support worker in a homeless hostel in Edinburgh.  While he provided care to the clients, he built up an understanding of the challenges associated with homelessness.  The MEHO model tallied with the principle of gradually building up responsibility and self-sufficiency as the best way to get a person’s life back on track.

 

Financial issues

In 2009, Richard faced financial difficulties himself and experienced the burden of a heavy debt.  Realising there are tens of thousands of families each year facing the daunting prospect of home repossession, he began to extend the MEHO model with an aim to help people in financial distress, as he believes a safe home environment is paramount.

 

Building a foundation

In 2011 Richard took the next step and began to work with highly experienced not-for-profit fundraiser Douglas Turner on transforming this idea into reality – together they set up the Caledonian Foundation and the Caledonian Land Trust to take the model forward. At the end of 2012, Richard sold his investment properties and raised the seed capital to recruit a motivated team to develop and promote the model. As a result the most interesting part of the Caledonian Foundation’s story is just beginning.

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Contact Details

The Caledonian Foundation is a registered charity in Scotland
Scottish Charity no. SC042872.
2 Lower Gilmore Place
Edinburgh
EH3 9NY

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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