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Preparing for adulthood - Independence & Independent living

Young people with SEND, housing and independent living


Preparing for Adulthood - Pathways maps

The Preparing for adulthood pathways maps (the illustrated maps at the tops of the Preparing for Adulthood pages) are from an older document but can still be used to help improve planning, prompt discussion and support young people and their families in thinking about what is “important to” and “important for” them as they move into adult life.

Find out more: Transition planning for full lives

Where we live and who we live with is really important. Young people including those with learning difficulties and or other disability should be able to choose:

•     where they live, and

•     who they live with

Because of their need for additional considerations young people with a disability and their families should be encouraged to think about where they might live in the future as part of their transition planning from year 9 at school or when they are 14 years old.

When they are older, some young people may want to live alone (with support if needed) with friends or with a partner.

It is important to begin to develop the different skills you will needs to live independently.

Support is available to help young adults with this for example from the Adult Occupational Therapy Services. 

Page last updated: 01/10/17

How do parents and young people begin to plan for independent living?

Think, plan do, review

Transition could be a time of creativity with greater choice around where people live, how they spend their time in education, employment and the community and their goals for adult life.

Using a think, plan, do review cycle is as helpful for parents/carers and young people as it is for those working with families.

If you child or young person does not have an education health and care plan it is still a good idea to think, talk about and plan for their future together.

It may seem that planning for housing when young disabled people are still at school is too early. However, it is important that young people and their families have good information from the beginning of the transition to adulthood planning, so that they can think about housing alongside everything else that is needed for them to plan to have full and satisfying lives.

Support needs are assessed individually to ensure support meets need and possible options are explored and understood.

Begin and develop a good person-centred transition and support plan for the young person and family. 

Year 9 Annual Review

In year 9, when young people reach the age of 14 they and their families should start to think and plan for how and where they want to live the future.

Annual reviews or planning meetings are a good opportunity to think about and get information from professionals about housing so an understanding of what may be possible for people with learning disabilities is developed.

Discussions should include where the young person would choose to live in the future. With friends, on their own or with a partner.

Real examples of older adults who live independently should be shared with families and young people. Your place to live (video)



Year 10 Annual Review

As young people and their families consider and develop their transition plans, they need the opportunity to help them think about becoming independent adults, and how they may eventually want to move out of the family home.

Some young people may already receive direct payments or a personal budget. They should begin to explore how these can be used to help prepare for future independence and living as independently as possible.

Families, young people and those working with them may wish to consider the following questions.

• How are young people supported to spend time away from the family home doing things they have chosen?  For example are they accessing Short Breaks?

• Are they included in inclusive school trips and taking part in club trips?

• Are they supported to stay with friends on “sleepovers”?

• Is support planning being used to enable young people to have time away from home?

• Are young people and their families aware of the local system and how to apply to be on the housing list?

• Are young people and their families aware of family investment, buy-to-let, private sector renting, home ownership and other housing options?


Year 11 Annual Reviews and beyond…

It is important that young people and their families have the information they need to plan for and move on to the next stage. Think creatively about how to support will be used. Include information about circles of support/friends.

  • What do those involved in planning need to explain? 
  • Even if the young person is staying on at school or college, it is important that this information is available.
  • If planning does not take place and information is not given at this stage, it could lead to the disappointing delays or the young person missing out on important opportunities.
  • Discuss if the young person and parent/carer know how to apply to be on the local housing register, as this is usually possible from age 16 and it can take many years to be offered a home.
  • Where can families and young people find information they need about welfare benefits, housing benefits and funding streams that are available to support people to live independently.
  • How will young people be enabled to meet up or stay in touch once they have left a setting?
  • What assistive technology and community support options could be explored or understood?


Adult Needs Assessments

As the young person moves into adulthood, their transition plan/support plan can develop with the help of new people in their life. Planning that took place when they were in education needs to be built on at college and beyond.

Adult social care, health and education services must work closely with the young people during the transition years, to avoid unnecessary and repetitive assessments.

Adult needs assessments must take place to ensure services and support can be planned for.

Find out more: Adult Needs Assessment - Hackney

Who can help?

The most accurate housing information is provided from the service that deliver housing support in Hackney. 

Hackney - Housing Options and Advice

Because of a housing shortage in Hackney, we can't offer a house to everyone but, we can advise you about the alternatives.

Everyone with a housing need will be offered a housing options interview, where we will explore a range of solutions.

  • advice and help to people looking for a home
  • advice on how to pay for it
  • deposist rent schmes 
  • full housing option service covering:
  • renting from the council
  • renting from a housing association
  • private renting
  • low cost home ownership
  • mobility options
  • supported housing
  • assistance with keeping your home
  • council tax reduction schemes and advice
  • practical support and funding for essential items for example arranging moving vans, buying equipment like fridges, cookers or bedding
  • personalised referrals to other sections if we cannot help you

Phone: 020 8356 2929 (switchboard)

Phone: 020 8356 2300 – after 6pm

Web: Hackney – Housing Options

Medical Assessment Team (Housing)

Phone: 0208 356 6058

If you / your son or daughter has a Learning Disability and their assessment shows they are eligible for adult social care, the Integrated Learning Disabilities Team can support you both with their independent living and housing needs.

Integrated Learning Disabilities Service


Phone: 020 8356 7444

If you want to find out more about housing options for your son or daughter, talk to your Social Worker in Children’s or Adult Services.

Disabled Children’s Services / Adult Social Care in Hackney

F.A.S.T. (First Access and Screening Team):


Phone: 020 8356 5500

There are other organisations in Hackney that provide information, advice and support to navigate housing related issues.

Some provide regular drop in sessions in community settings, libraries and GP surgeries others specialise in specific areas like benefits advice.

In the directory section of this site you can find listings of housing services or services that provide support to access housing.

Other organisations that may be able to advise on housing matters: 

What different types of housing are there for young people with disabilities?

Living at home with your family

Most young people in Hackney live with their family until their late teens or early twenties, when they begin the journey to independent living.

Renting or buying in Hackney can be very expensive because the area has become a popular choice for many people to move to.

Living at home can be a good choice if it is a choice. However young people, families and people working in services need to know what options are available to consider as they get older and what support to access these options is available.

There is often a lot of anxiety about young people with SEND moving out of the family home but options and support are available.

Mainstream renting

Rented property open to people with and without care and support needs

  • Private renting - Property rented from a private landlord
  • Social housing - Property rented from a local authority or housing association

Note: Social or Council Housing - Young people can apply to be on the local housing register from the age of 16. In Hackney it can take a long time (more than 10 years in some cases) to be offered a council home.

Find out more:

Social Housing in Hackney – What you need to know

Join the social housing register in Hackney

Hackney Council - lettings policy


Home ownership

Owned property open to people with and without care and support needs:

  • Owner occupied - Property owned outright or with a mortgage
  • Shared ownership - Part owned and part rented property
  • Matched home sharing scheme (e.g. Homeshare) where the occupier (typically a home owner) offers free or low-cost accommodation to another person in exchange for an agreed level of support

Find out more: Hackney Sales – Shared ownership


Designated shared housing

Shared rented housing for people with specific care or support needs

  • Shared housing with no support attached - Shared housing for people with care or support needs where the support provided is separate from the accommodation
  • Shared supported housing - Shared housing for people with care or support needs where at least some support is provided by the accommodation provider

Find out more: Sheltered and supported housing


Supported placement

 Accommodation where the owner or landlord of the property provides some care or support

  • Shared Lives - Someone with care and support needs moves in with a Shared Lives carer as part of a supportive household
  • Supported lodgings - Lodgings where the landlord provides a low level of support

Find out more: Shared Lives - Plus

Find out more: Supported Living Schemes in Hackney


Clustered housing

Self-contained housing for people with care or support needs, based around a geographical location, sometimes with shared facilities, with some level of care or support provided with the accommodation

  • Sheltered housing - Owned or rented self-contained flats with some communal facilities, and some services such as an alarm system or warden
  • Extra care - Owned or rented self-contained flats with more extensive communal facilities, provision for at least some meals, and 24 hour care available on site through a team of carers
  • Retirement villages - Communities of older people offering a range of accommodation options, services and facilities, typically comprising 100 or more purpose-built residential units which are owned or rented
  • Close care - Housing that is near or adjacent to a care home - the care home provides personal care services and often allows for a future move to the care home if needed. This can be included in extra care and retirement villages.
  • Supported living networks - A network of people living in their own home who live in close proximity to each other and provide mutual support. One property in the network is occupied by a volunteer who provides a small amount of support to each member of the network


Residential home

A room in a home where meals, care and support are all provided – these can be private, voluntary sector or local authority run.  

  • Residential care home - A residential home which provides personal care
  • Residential nursing home - A residential home which provides nursing care

Find out more: Hackney iCare – Care homes / residential care


Intentional communities

A planned residential community in some cases based on a common support need.

  • Co-housing - Communities created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, private home but residents come together to manage their community and share activities
  • Learning disability intentional communities - Communities set up to provide housing for people with learning disabilities who live together as part of a supportive community. Professional care is replaced with a model based on mutual support and help.
  • Therapeutic communities - Communities primarily for people with mental health problems, which focus on rehabilitation and communal living and often encourage individual and group therapy


Charitable housing

Other housing schemes run by charities not included in the above categories

  • Almshouse - Run by charitable trusts, mainly for older people. Each charity has a policy about who it will assist, such as residents in a particular geographical area or workers who have retired from a particular trade
  • Gifted housing - Older homeowners can donate their property to an organisation, in return for the organisation taking responsibility for maintenance of the property and giving help and support to stay living independently in their home.


Source document for different types of housing: Housing Choices - Discussion Paper 2: A proposed typology of housing and support options NDTi – National Development team for Inclusion Feb 2017

What’s other areas of life can be planned for to help young people be independent?

A range of information and support is available to young people with disabilities and includes: 

Some housing related support for people living in Hackney may be culturally specific e.g. for the Orthodox Jewish community. 

Also see: What's On? 

How do you pay for where you live?

If you live independently it is important to get the right support and information about welfare

benefits, housing benefits and any funding that is available.

Make sure you get advice about the situation you are in. This will help ensure you are not missing out on benefits or opportunities.  

Housing Benefit may pay for the rent in most rented situations if you receive ESA (Employment Support Allowance) or Income Support or if you work but are on a low income.

If you work, you may have to pay some or all of your rent or mortgage from the wages you earn or your own money.

Registered or nursing care - Social Services and/or the NHS may pay for your housing and care however these services usually expect you to pay for some or part of the services you get.

Useful sources of information...

Housing in Hackney

Hackney council’s website provides information on range of council services.

Registering for a council One Account offers online opportunities to find out or apply for:  

…and much more.

Find out more: Hackney Council – Housing Options and Advice


Hackney iCare

Hackney iCare is an online resource that provides information and advice about adult social care, health and cultural and wellbeing services available locally and provided by statutory, voluntary and private sector providers.

Find out more: Hackney – iCare – Housing and Supported Accommodation


Disabled Children - a legal handbook

Steve Broach practices across the areas of public law, advising and representing individuals, charities, companies and public authorities. He has a particular interest and expertise in the health, education and social care fields, with a focus on disability and children’s rights cases. He is a passionate advocate of children and parents rights with regard to SEND and author of Disabled Children: a legal handbook.

The book is available to buy but is also available to view and download for FREE from The Council for Disabled Children's website.

Chapter 6 of The Disabled Children’s Handbook explains more about the law, disability and housing. 

Find out more: Disabled Children: a legal handbook - Steve Broach

Steve Broach has made a series of short videos available about the legal context of:

  • school transport
  • school funding
  • short breaks
  • personal budgets and direct payments
  • health developments
  • welfare reform
  • housing benefit and council tax benefit

Find out more: Videos on law and disabled children 


Learning Disability England

Before Learning Disability England was created, they were known as Housing & Support Alliance (H&SA). H&SA published lots of information and resources on issues that affect people with learning disabilities, their families and organisations.

Learning Disability England offers information about advice and support helplines.

They also offer free advice for members on everything to do with housing, support and rights.

Phone: 0300 201 0455


Find out more: Learning Disabilities England - Resources Library

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