Where you will live

Your accommodation needs should be planned before you turn 18 as part of your Pathway Plan. Planning should look at all options that best support your circumstances. These options are:

‘Staying Put’ – staying with your foster carer after age 18

If you are in foster care and it is agreed by you, your carer and your social worker that the best thing is for you to stay living with your foster carer after you turn 18, you will be given the option to stay until you are 21. You will be given other options of where to live before this decision is made.

‘Staying Close’ – keeping in touch with your children’s home after you stop living there

If you live in a children’s home it is possible to move somewhere near to that home and keep in touch with the people you have met whilst in care for all different types of support as you make a transition to more independent living.

Semi-independent accomodation

A home in a shared house or group of single flats with support workers (or they might be called ‘keyworkers’) who will either live there too or be there for certain times of the day. Your keyworker will help you settle in and support you with your day-to-day needs and with any problems you may have. They will also help you to learn skills to live independently for example budgeting and cooking.

You will have you own room and your own key but may share a bathroom or a kitchen with other young people.

Independent housing

When you turn 18 you are expected to pay for your own rent and accommodation.

  • If you get Job Seeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance you can apply for Housing Benefit/Universal Credit to go towards or cover the cost of your accommodation.
  • If you are in Higher Education, you are expected to apply for grants and loans and use this funding to pay for your term time accommodation and living costs.
  • If you are working part-time how much you earn will be considered to see if any contribution towards rent will be required.

If you are receiving Universal Credit, your worker can apply for your rent to be paid from your Universal Credit payment direct to your landlord without it coming to you first.  This may help you manage this payment better.

There are some circumstances where the Leaving Care Team will pay towards your accommodation costs including:

  • If you need to stay at your residential placement because of complex or Special Educational Needs
  • You are at university or a residential Further Education establishment and you need accommodation during the holidays

If you are in Further Education on a part-time course and you pay for your own rent, you may be able to get Housing Benefit payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Your worker can help you with this.

A ‘Setting Up Home Allowance’

£1400 to buy furniture and appliances for your home.

We will put you in touch with a maintenance person who can give you advice and information you need about your property. This person can also help you make improvements to your property if needed.

What is your responsibility?

To attend the compulsory Money Management Course to learn how to budget (your worker will tell you about this).

You will need to be in education, training or employment before you will be considered for housing.

You will need to show that you can cook, manage your money and keep your home tidy.

Once you have been giving your housing you are responsible for paying your bills and abiding by your tenancy agreement. You will have a Housing Officer who is there to support you during your tenancy so it is important that you keep in touch with them.

What other support is available to me?

You will have a housing officer who will advise and support you to keep your tenancy and with any problems you are experiencing. It is important to keep in contact with them.
There is a Housing Officer in the Leaving Care Team who is here to help too.
Liam O’Sullivan – 02085833192l

If you are struggling to understand anything related to where you are living or having problems paying your rent, bills or council tax speak to your worker or your housing officer straight away. Ignoring any problems will make things worse and you will end up with extra costs.  Keep all letters and documents about your housing and bills safe.

Council Tax support

If you live within the London Borough of Hounslow

Care leavers on a low income and who qualify for council tax support (CTS) will receive up to 100% reduction on their Council Tax Bills (Ages 18 – 20).  You will need to complete an application form for CTS. Council Tax discounts

The Leaving Care Team will pay Council Tax Bills for care leavers on a high income who are not eligible for CTS. Social Care will provide the information to Revenues & Benefits (R&B). Social Care will pay the council tax liability on behalf of the care leaver.

If you live outside of the London Borough of Hounslow

Social Care will pay Council Tax for Hounslow care leavers who do not live in Hounslow (Ages 18 – 20). You will be asked to present the Council Tax Bill to your worker.

You will be asked to ensure that you apply for a Council Tax Reduction/Support, in the area you live in, before you present your Council Tax Bills to your worker.

End of Council Tax Exemption

A letter will be written to you 3 months before your Council Tax Support ends to advise you of the date you will be expected to pay your own Council Tax.

Important – if you are unsure about you Council Tax Reduction or if you are receiving letters about late payments or arrears contact you worker as soon as possible. The quicker you do, the easier it will be to sort out. DO NOT IGNORE LETTERS ABOUT YOUR COUNCIL TAX OR ANY OTHER PAYMENTS -ALWAYS SPEAK TO YOUR WORKER.

Accommodation during the holidays if you are away at university

You will receive a student loan to cover the cost of your accommodation at university.

Hounslow Council can help pay your accommodation during the holidays if there is a need. The amount paid will be discussed with you.

REMEMBER – If you are unhappy with where you are living or with the support from your keyworker, or with any of the plans being made for you please talk to someone. We cannot help if we do not know about the problem. Speak to your personal adviser or see the Getting Your Voice Heard section of this offer.