Type of housing

Hopefully you have thought about what independent living skills you already have, and have a plan to build up the skills you will need. You have also had a chance to think about whether you would like to live alone, or with other people.

So, now you need to find out about what the housing options are in Lambeth.

Social housing

To apply for social housing in Lambeth (council and housing association homes), you will need to join the housing register.

If your application is accepted, you will be put into a band with people who have similar needs to you, and you will be told what type of housing you are eligible to apply for.

You will only be able to bid on properties that you are interested in and eligible for. Some people with additional needs may be given a higher priority, depending upon their needs.

Complete the self-assessment first to see if you qualify for the register.

Private renting

This is renting a house which is owned by a private organisation or another person.

To rent a house, you will need to enter into an agreement with the house owner, which is called a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement sets out how much rent you need to pay and what other things you are responsible for paying for, such as your bills and damage.

Extra care housing

Extra care housing aims to help you to live independently for as long as possible. It gives you the security and privacy of having your own front door, but with services being available to support your needs if you want them.

Shared ownership schemes

This is where you have part ownership of a property and rent the other part from a registered provider.

You will normally have a mortgage, which is a sum of money that you borrow in order to buy the property. You then pay back the money using your welfare benefits. There are some rules around shared ownership, including having to find money to put down when buying the property (called a deposit).

Sheltered housing

This is usually a small block of flats or bungalows with some communal areas shared by all. There will usually be an alarm system and a visiting or on-site warden.

Supported accommodation and lodgings

This is where a landlord agrees to provide rented accommodation plus support services. The accommodation can be a room in the landlord's own house or in a separate property. This accommodation is usually for people who require a low level of support.

Supported living

This is living in an ordinary or purpose-built property with other people as tenants with support. The landlord should be a different person or organisation from the provider of support.

Some supported living schemes have housing associations as the owners of the property, or the housing association will rent directly from a private landlord, and then sublet to the person with additional needs.

Buy to Rent

This is where your parent or other close relative buys (or builds) property and then lets it out to you.

If the property has been purchased using a mortgage, then the landlord who is your parent or close relative may use the rent to pay the mortgage.

Where repaying the mortgage depends on the son, daughter or relative with additional needs getting Housing Benefit to cover the rent, it is very important to make sure that the tenancy is regarded as a commercial arrangement, as it may be refused if it is regarded as a family arrangement.

It is also important to make sure that the Housing Benefit will be enough to pay the rent.

Shared Lives scheme

This is where you live with a family (not your own family) in their home, and the family provide the support. The organisation in Lambeth which operates this service is called Grace Eyre.

Find out more about the Shared Lives schemes.

Residential home

This is having a room, or sometimes a flat, in a building shared with a number of other people where there is 24-hour support and meals provided.