Moving towards independent living can be scary for young people, especially those leaving care.

We aim to make this process as smooth as possible with support from your social worker and personal adviser (PA).

We'll discuss what housing is most appropriate for you. This is important so we can find accommodation that will best support your move into your own home.

We'll work with you and other agencies to make sure you're well prepared for independent living. These plans will be included in your pathway plan.

The Specialist Housing Advisor in the service can offer extra advice and guidance about your housing options and how to navigate the processes.

They can also provide workshops on how to manage your tenancy.

To find out more, please contact your PA or the duty email or phone number.

moving house

Finding a home

We'll make sure you have suitable accommodation between the ages of 18 and 21. There are different types of housing available and we'll help you find the right housing option for you. 

We aim to help you find a home where you feel comfortable, safe and secure. We'll also help you to get all your necessary identity documents.

Once you're over 18, you are usually financially responsible for your accommodation and day to day living costs:

  • Your personal adviser should provide you with information and advice around your accommodation and finances, such as budgeting, setting up bills, applying for benefits and how to arrange a tenancy.
  • You are entitled to a ‘setting up home allowance’, which is usually around £2,000 (or £3,000 if you turned 18 after 1 May 2023). This is for you to spend on things like furniture and essentials for your home.
  • If you are aged 18, 19 or 20 and become homeless, you will automatically have a ‘priority need’ when applying as homeless to housing. If you are 21 or over, you may still have a ‘priority need’ if you are applying as homeless depending on your circumstances.
  • You are exempt from the shared accommodation rate up until the age of 25.

Support from your personal adviser

If you're over 18 your personal adviser will help you with: 

  • working with housing services to come up with suitable housing options for you, such as social housing or a foyer
  • remaining with your foster carers in a staying put arrangement, up to the age of 21
  • looking into different housing options such as private renting or living with a family member
  • your tenancy, including how to avoid getting behind in your rent payments, paying for bills and budgeting
  • practical support with moving into and furnishing and equipping your new home and access to the setting up home allowance. You will be practically supported to set up gas and electric in your new home
  • a 'starter pack'. When you move into your own accommodation for the first time you can be provided with a starter pack up to the value of £50. Examples of items that should be contained in the starter pack are:
    • basic food essentials such as milk, bread, margarine, powdered milk, crisps, biscuits, tea, coffee, cereal, cup a soup, 4 cans of beans
    • cleaning materials such as washing powder, general purpose cleaner, washing-up liquid, washing-up cloths, window cleaner
    • toiletries such as toilet tissue, toothpaste, shower or bath gel and deodorant
  • the cost of your first TV licence
  • getting contents insurance to protect your possessions
  • if you live in Medway with your own tenancy and evidence you're a care leaver, up to 100% of your Council Tax will be paid for you. If you're a joint tenant with someone who is not a care leaver, 50% (your share) of the Council Tax will be paid. If you live outside of Medway your personal adviser (PA) can support you with confirming what support there is for Council Tax payments
  • claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
  • a housing crisis, including helping if you're threatened with losing your tenancy, or if you have lost it. You will also have access to the specialist housing adviser in the 16+ Service.

See some of the different housing options below. 

Housing options

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