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Housing options for young adults with a disability

Disabled young adults, just like all other young adults, often continue to live with their family. However, some young adults may no longer wish to live with and be cared for by their family or sometimes families are no longer able to manage, for example, due to increasing age or illness.

Housing alternatives are listed below with an outline of their access and eligibility criteria.

Housing provided through Merton’s Adult Social Care Services, for those assessed as eligible for housing support, are listed on Merton-i, Merton’s Community Services and Wellbeing website.

Family Funded Options

If families have funding available there are a range of ways that this can work such as shared ownership, joint ownership, buy to let and leaving a property in trust.

A disabled person can rent property from a family member and claim Housing Benefit if it is arranged on a fully commercial basis and it can be shown that this is not purely for the purpose of exploiting the benefits system. For example, if a disabled person is looking to rent from the open market and a family member owns a buy to let property that was previously rented to another tenant, this property could be let to the disabled family member under the usual commercial tenancy.

Properties can be purchased for a disabled person by their family or by the disabled person with a mortgage. This gives a wider choice of where to live and who to live with but leaves the disabled person in charge of repairs and maintenance and makes it more complicated if they wish to move at a later date. Income Support will contribute to Mortgage Interest if the person does not work for more than 16 hours per week.

Private Renting

There are schemes making renting easier for disabled people such as rent deposit schemes or housing association leasing schemes. Some charities also lease properties and provide a tenancy. As described above, a family buy to let is also an option.

Renting from a Housing Association

This can be a secure way of affordable renting especially if you are working. However, there is limited choice and often a long waiting time.

Cluster Flats or Key Ring Networks in other Local Authority Areas

Once you become an adult, you can choose to live in any local area you choose. Some have a system whereby you can live in your own flat but near others with similar disabilities and access a shared support system. A carer will live locally and provide support when needed, sometimes arranging social contact or gatherings amongst the group.

Merton does not have such a system at present.

Shared Lives

A disabled person lives with a local family who are paid to accommodate them and provide care. This can work well for some young adults. You would need to live according to the family’s rules and way of life. Sometimes independence is limited by this.

See Merton-i for more details. This option is provided by Adult Social Care and requires you to be assessed as eligible for housing support services and suitable for this particular service.

Shared Supported Housing / Supported Living

Disabled adults live in the same block or house but have their own living accommodation. There may be shared kitchens and living areas for which you would share responsibility for cleaning and paying bills.

You have full tenancy rights and access to full welfare benefits from which you would fund the tenancy. You do not have a choice of who to live with or a choice of who supports you. There are a range of supported options in Merton, some providing more independence and less support and vice versa.

See Merton-i for more details. This option is provided by Adult Social Care and requires you to be assessed as eligible for housing support services and suitable for this particular service.

Residential Care Home

For those with more profound needs, a residential care home may be the best option. It is for those who require 24 hour staffing.  You do not choose who to live with or who supports you.

See Merton-i for more details. This option is provided by Adult Social Care and requires you to be assessed as eligible for housing support services and suitable for this particular service.

Advice & Information

There are number of organisations who can offer advice some of whom are listed on Merton-i.

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