Housing advice for people leaving care
If you are leaving care and are homeless or worried you might be made homeless we can help.
Speak to your Personal Advisor (PA) to make sure your housing needs have been looked at.
Our team will work with you, your PA and other organisations to check your housing and support needs and work out the best options for you.
Our team will ask you for proof that you are leaving care and of any medical or support needs you have. Letters from doctors or benefits you get will be useful. You will also need to show us proof of your identity and your pathway plan, your PA can help with this.
Get in touch with us as soon as possible as it will be easier for us to help you. You can contact us 56 days before the date you need to leave your care placement or before if you are aware that you need to leave.
Are you homeless now?
Children’s Services will have a responsibility for you if you are under 18 but if you are approaching 18 or your care placement immediately breaks down and you have nowhere to go, you will need to contact us.
If you don't have anywhere to stay contact us. We may be able to help you find somewhere to stay for a short while and will look at your needs for the longer term. We can also refer you to our Young Person’s Pathway Worker who can support you throughout this process.
Do you need help to stay where you are?
We can work with you and your PA to look at a staying put arrangement. That is where you stay in your placement for a limited period whilst you search for accommodation and means you won’t have to be placed in temporary accommodation.
The team may offer you financial support if you have your own place but are struggling to afford it.
Do you need to move soon?
If you are living somewhere now but need to move soon our team will be able to look at your options.
The type of accommodation available to you as a care leaver will depend on whether you can live independently.
Most councils and housing providers will not provide you with social rented or private rented properties without you first showing that this is both suitable and sustainable. Instead they are likely to consider other options such as shared houses or foyers, you can use this time to show that you are suitable for self contained housing. We can then work with you to create a pathway, this could be in the social or private rented sector. Help is available for rent bonds/deposits.
When registering for Homechoice Plus, if you were 'looked after' by the county council you are seen as having a connection to all the districts within the county.
Worried about money?
If you are 16 or 17 and a care leaver, you are not eligible for benefits but Children’s Services may help you with subsistence allowance to cover your living costs.
If you are 18 or above you may be able to get some help with your living costs. This help may include:
- Universal Credit
- Personal Independence Allowance
- Rent Bonds (to help with private rent deposits)
Our team at the Hub or Job Centre Plus can help you with this.
Changes to the shared accommodation rate exemptions for care leavers and former residents of homeless hostels apply from 31 May 2021.
Care leaver exemption - the upper age limit to qualify for the for care leavers’ exemption is extended from 22 up to 25. As a care leaver you are exempt from the shared accommodation rate of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) but only until your 25th birthday. After this you will need to make up the difference between your rent and your benefits.
Homeless hostel exemption - the lower age limit of 25 for the homeless hostel exemption has been lowered to 16
Support from your personal advisor
You will have a personal advisor whose job it is to make sure you claim everything you are entitled to. They can help you with your Personalised Housing Plan (PHP) and application forms for housing, benefits, education and training courses, they can also help with life skills such as budgeting.
Personal advisors should stay in contact with you and provide ongoing help and support until your turn 21 or until 25 if you are studying full time.