A home is much more than a building. Suitable housing is important to someone with a disability. If it’s in a supportive community, it can give someone a safe and secure environment, and help improve and maintain independence. The quality of the property, its location, and security of tenure are all important aspects that can affect whether a person thrives. This guide is written for families and supporters to share with young people. If you have a social worker, they should be able to help.
Think about whether you want to live alone or with other people, and how much privacy you want. Find out what the housing options are in both the public and private sectors, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. For more information, please go to: https://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/downloads/independent-living/no-place-like-home-guide.htm
If you are open to several areas this increases the availability of different housing options. It is worth looking at some areas that you don’t normally visit to see if you can add them to your list of possible locations. Consider access to transport, local amenities and job opportunities.
Search the internet for:
charities that help with housinghousing associationsthe council that deals with housing in your areaestate agents who let out propertieslocal housing workshops that you can attend
This will come in handy if you apply for housing or are viewing a property
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are used to calculate Housing Benefit for tenants renting from privatelandlords. LHA rates relate to the area in which you make your claim. You can find out what the local rate for a postcode is by going to: https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/
Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit that is intended to help meet housing costs for rented property.The local council is responsible for Housing Benefit and it can help pay the rent if you’re unemployed, on alow income, or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit. You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:
- you’re getting the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it- you got, or were entitled to, the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible- you have reached State Pension age- you’re in supported, sheltered, or temporary housing
Universal Credit helps pay your daily living costs and you may be able to get Universal Credit if you are outof work or have a low paid job. There is an easy read explanation of it here:
In order to be considered for social housing or local authority housing, individuals have to be on the localauthority housing waiting list. There is great demand for this kind of housing. General needs housing isprobably most appropriate for people with milder learning disabilities. Apply as early as you can becausewaiting lists can be long.
The system is often known as the choice based letting system. You can write in if you can’t get to thecouncil offices, or you can fill in the application form online. If that is too difficult, you can ring the localhousing department. You will need to make clear what type of place you need and that you will requiresupport, including help to complete their form.
If there is unlikely to be anything suitable available through their system, you can say that you will find itvery difficult to bid for properties and you wish to be considered for a direct allocation outside of thatprocess.
Your local area may have some shared ownership schemes running. Ask the housing department at the council for information. There is a government scheme designed to help people with a long-term disability buy any home for sale on a Shared Ownership basis (part-rent/part-buy). It is known as HOLD (HOLD stands for Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities). There are some specific conditions attached to HOLD so please visit the website: www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/hold/ for more information.
A tenancy is your agreement between you and your landlord. Your agreement has terms and conditions. Terms and conditions are rules about what you can do in your home. So if you break the rules, you might have to move out of your home. Your agreement will say how much rent you need to pay. You can hold a tenancy if you can understand that you, as the tenant, must pay rent in exchange for your home and that you must look after the property. It may help you if the tenancy agreement contains pictures or diagrams. If you cannot understand what it means to be a tenant, someone else can sign the agreement for you. This could be someone who already acts as a deputy for you or someone who has lasting power of attorney that you appointed. If you are at risk of losing a property and cannot sign, a Best Interests Meeting should be held to agree that you can have an unsigned tenancy agreement.
For renting, you can send in a query on the contact form: http://www.letsforlife.org.uk/ - For financial advice on shared ownership: https://www.mysafefuture.com/ - For housing advice and information: https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/housing
The current living arrangements for many young people often does not match their wishes or desires with 70% of individuals wanting to change their current living arrangements to increase their independence. This is also true for 89% of parents who want to see greater independence for their son/daughter who currently lives with themselves.