When to start planning, what to consider when searching for housing, financial help and advice on living independently.
Start planning early
Between 16 and 18 your child will start to move from child health and social care services to adult services, including housing.
Planning should start at the Preparation for adulthood review, which happens in Year 9 of school (13 to 14 years old).
Things to think about
Some young adults want to stay at home with their parents or carers, others prefer to get a place to live on their own or with their friends.
You should think about what the young person wants such as:
- living on their own or with someone
- renting, buying or living in a supported housing environment
- living somewhere quiet or in a busy town centre
What is suitable for your child will depend largely on how complex their needs are.
You'll also need to think about:
- housing costs
- managing a budget
Types of housing
Mencap's housing FAQ web page gives an overview of housing options, and details the advantages and disadvantages.
Private renting is an option for young people with mild disabilities. You can search for properties on local letting agencies or online property websites.
You can apply for a council or housing association property, but you're likely to join a long waiting list and you're not guaranteed to get a property.
Buying a home or shared ownership
Shared ownership offers you the chance to buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the remaining share at a reduced rate.
The guide to shared ownership for disabled people on the MySafeHome website has information about this option.
A residential care home means your child will have their own room in a building shared with other people. They'll have constant care and meals are included.
All residential care homes are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
You can use the Carehome website to search for residential care homes in the Bristol area.
Supported housing is usually shared and has support teams to help residents live independently. There are three types of supported housing:
- living alone
- shared accommodation
- cluster flats or housing networks (several flats in one building with a support worker in one flat)
Apply for supported housing through our Supporting People programme.
Buckley Court: supported living for deaf people
Buckley Court is a purpose-built supported housing property for deaf or deaf-blind adults. It has eight one-bedroom flats and two of these flats on the ground floor have disabled access.
Bristol Shared Lives
Shared Lives is where an approved carer shares their home and family life to give care, support and housing. Carers can fill in the Bristol Shared Lives online form to register their interest in providing this service.
Disabled adaptations to your home
Once you and your child have reached a decision you can start thinking about making adaptations and ways to pay for them.
Your council tax bill may be reduced if you live in a property where changes have been made to help a resident child or adult who has a disability.
If you're a tenant you'll need permission from the landlord before any work takes place. However, the Equality Act 2010 requires landlords or managers of a property to make reasonable adjustments or provide extra services.
The Citizens Advice website explains what this duty to make reasonable adjustments to housing is.
If you're a council tenant, you can get help to use or move around your council home.
Our pdf Financial Assistance Schedule (429 KB) details the grant products currently available and a Disabled Facilities Grant may be available to you. All the details about how much you can get and eligibility are on the GOV.UK website.
A Disabled Facilities Grant won't affect your other benefits.
If the Disabled Facilities Grant or other benefits you get doesn't cover the full cost, you may be able to get a low interest rate loan to meet the difference from our partner Wessex Home Improvement Loans.
You can also contact WE Care and Repair, a not-for-profit organisation that can help arrange any repair and make affordable adaptation to your home.
GOV.UK has an alphabetical list of all carers and disability benefits. You should check what other forms of support are available, such as:
- Housing benefit
- Personal Independence Payment
- Universal credit
Advice on living independently
There are resources available. You can:
- share tips and advice with other parents of disabled children on the Whizz-Kids and Mumsnet forum.
- join Mencap's FamilyHub online forum and ask questions to experts
- get information and training on independent living from the Disabled Living Foundation or FitzRoy
- Shelter details a person's rights when they live in supported housing