Michael Barton-Maynard - Policy Manager
Joining Homes for Scotland in July 2013 as Policy Officer, Michael works closely with the Director of Policy & Operations on the research, development and promotion of Homes for Scotland's wide-ranging policy priorities.
An Architectural Technology graduate from Edinburgh Napier University. Michael has previously worked within the architectural field including a number of freelance projects. He also holds a BA in History from the University of Stirling.
Michael's housing journey:
Having lived in both university accommodation and the private rented sector during my time studying at the University of Stirling, I was open to exploring my housing options when I returned back to Edinburgh with my partner (now my much better half) in 2005. With both of us deciding to undertake further study, we opted for PRS accommodation which offered us a lot of flexibility on cost and location.
Generally our experiences have been fairly positive. There have been exceptions, in particular with some (not all) letting agents who have for example: pulled out of a let at the very last minute and tried to withhold deposits for what could only be described as mythical cleaning and maintenance items. However, we have also met some excellent landlords, one which reimbursed me for materials and labour when decorating the property upon moving in! For us, renting gave us the freedom and flexibility to explore our lives as we were not tied down to a single location.
By 2007 we decided to venture onto the property market. You could say that we were fed up of the transient nature of renting; chasing good properties and reasonable rents, although it was partly because we wanted a place we could call our own.
We ended up buying a lovely "bijou" one bedroom flat in Edinburgh - close to the city, work, friends and place of study. We were ecstatic having jumped onto the property ladder, “onwards and upwards” we thought but then came the financial crash and global recession. For context, this was not a great time to be graduating given the rising unemployment and ongoing economic uncertainty let alone owning a property as values fell. Luckily our mortgage repayments were manageable, and we loved where we lived but I’ll always remember how trapped we felt at that time. Our only option was to wait and see how the market recovered before we could think about making our next step.
Seven years later, we purchased a nice period flat a little further out from the city centre. Despite all of the DIY jobs that typically come with a period property, we love our home. With the arrival of our first child in December 2015 getting those DIY jobs done can be problematic. Hopefully I’ll have all of it done before we write our next chapter of our story….. self-build!