What being in your own home can mean
Having your own home can help you to be more independent.
Some ways that people feel more independent are:
- having their own front door
- choosing where they want to live
- doing what they like to do
- choosing who they will see
- deciding how they want to live and be supported
When you get your own home, you may need some support with:
- paying bills
- learning to do things yourself
- finding a job
- making new friends
- finding new things to do where you live
Independence doesn’t mean that you have to live on your own, but most people want as much independence as possible with their living arrangement.
This could mean:
- Living on their own in a flat or house
- Living in their own flat in a block of flats for people with learning disabilities
- Living on their own with a support person
Some people with support needs live with others in shared housing: a flat or house or maybe a larger building, with staff either present all the time or just visiting when needed. We will look at all the options for getting the best housing arrangement for each person.
To begin this process you need to have a discussion with your social worker or advocate, they will discuss with you what support you may need to become independent and move on.
In Warrington every few years the council tenders out its business with care providers to ensure that we get great standards of care and good value for money.
The current 4 main care providers in Warrington in 2018 are
These providers generally support Warrington’s main group of Supported Living Schemes for people with learning disabilities.
This may be people sharing a house, or small clusters of individual flats with shared communal facilities. Sometimes these are self-contained units where each person has their own home. Often, support is provided on site but sometimes there is a visiting support service. Additional support to meet specific needs can usually be brought in as needed.
If the 4 main providers are unable to offer you somewhere to live and support then your social worker can look at other options, these could be:
KeyRing is one of the best-known housing network providers. KeyRing's support is based on people living in their own homes but sharing their skills and talents with each other and with their communities. There is a volunteer in each network. The volunteer sees members of the network regularly and helps the group work together. The volunteer is like a good neighbour who will help out if difficulties arise. The volunteer lives in the same community so knows what is going on and is able to help members make links. In addition, Community Support Workers and Supported Living Managers make sure that members get the support they need. If you wish to find out http://www.keyring.org/Home
In a Shared Lives Scheme, you would live with a family who have been checked to make sure they are trustworthy. You would share family life and live with, or near to, the family. The family gives you support and care. This can either be a short- or long-term arrangement. Some people stay for a few hours a week, others for respite or living with them full time.
Each Shared Lives Scheme will have a person who makes sure that you are matched with a family that is right for you. You would have a chance to meet them first and usually have a trial stay before deciding if you want to go ahead.
If the Council pays for your support, this would be organised by an Adult Social Care team, Social Worker or Care Manager. If you pay for your support, or you have a personal budget, you or someone who supports you might be able to organise it.
Supported Living Schemes with other providers which are very similar to the schemes offered by the main providers, they also may have a small selection of shared houses. There are a number of other providers who support people who have other identified needs, such as physical disabilities and mental health support needs.
Many people with a learning disability live in registered care and nursing homes but this is now changing as more people choose other housing options. They should only be considered for people who need the higher level of care they offer, due to the lower amount of independence they offer.
A registered care home is a home that is set up for people who share a similar disability. This may mean that there are a lot of people living together, although some homes are small. Residents usually have their own bedroom and sometimes have their own bathroom, but other parts of the home are shared between all residents.
Care homes are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who make sure that care homes are providing good enough care.
Nursing homes are similar to residential care homes but must have a registered and qualified nurse available 24 hours a day.
You will need time to think about where and what type of house/ flat you would like to live in and how your support needs can be met.
It is a good option to be able to have a look at some of the schemes where support can be offered but this could mean visiting somewhere that other people already live so your social worker would need to see if they can arrange this for you.
You can then look at the
and points of the places to help you decide.
There is a handy form that has been created to help you note down the things that may help with your decision making
This is where you can record the key points from your discussions. The answers should give a good idea of where to start on your housing journey.
Your social worker will look at the things you have said you would like and discuss with you their thoughts, once you have reached an agreement about what you are looking for they will then see what current vacancies are available.
Part of the process that can take some time is making sure that any placements are suitable to meet your physical needs if you have any such as bathing aids, ground floor. It is also really important to look at the needs and personalities of the other people either living in the house or the schemes, this is to try and make sure you will all feel happy and safe living together. The levels of staff support in the house also needs to be checked out to make sure all of your needs can be met.
Your social worker may need to get the funding approved to make sure your care and support can be paid for.
Once somewhere has been found that maybe suitable your social worker will arrange for you and whoever you want to support you to go and have a look around, you will hopefully meet some of the support staff and maybe some of the other people that live there. If everyone then agrees it’s looking like a good place for you more visits will be planned. This can be going for tea, meeting up with the other people and doing something in the community or at the house/flat and then eventually staying overnight a few times or if you are all happy you can move in earlier- this is all very much lead by what you want and what everyone agrees is the best way forward.
We do have to take into account the needs and feelings of anyone else who may be already living in the house and include them in the plans.
Your needs might mean that you and your support network decide its best for you to look at finding a place all of your own and not with others either in the same house or flat scheme. This would mean you would need to register on “Under one roof” someone can help you to fill out the forms on a computer if you want help with it. Under one roof is the organisation that Warrington works with and social landlords to find places for people to live, you will need to tell them a bit about yourself and your needs to ensure they help to find the right type of home. Your social worker can then work with you to see about who can support you in your home to make sure all your needs are being met.
You can also look at someone called a “private landlord” this is someone who owns a flat or house and they rent it out to other people or tenants. Sometimes these homes can cost more to rent than homes offered by “under one roof” you would need to make sure that you have enough money to pay for this before agreeing to move in. Housing Benefit or Universal Credit may still give you some money towards the rent if you are eligible but it may not be the full amount that you need. You can get some help to make a claim to see what monies you would be able to claim.
Moving into a flat or shared house will mean the rent will need to be paid for, someone can help you to find out if you are able to claim some money to pay your rent, and this would then make you a tenant.
When you rent a home, you are called a ‘tenant’. In order to rent a home, you will normally need to sign a ‘tenancy agreement’. This is a contract agreed between you and the landlord. It gives you the right to live in the home as long as you pay the rent, look after the home and keep to any other rules in the tenancy agreement.
Tenancy agreements cover the rights and responsibilities of the tenant(s) and landlords, and must comply with housing law. This applies to all Councils, housing associations and private tenancies.
You must always read the terms of the tenancy and look at:
- When the tenancy will start
- Whether you have a tenancy or a licence (a tenancy gives more security)
- How you can end the tenancy
- What actions or behaviour, from the tenant or landlord, would be considered breaking the rules of the tenancy
- What things might lead to eviction or being told to leave the accommodation
- What type of accommodation is covered
- When the rent should be paid
- Tenants’ responsibilities in relation to things such as noise, pets, looking after your home
- Who will/can do repairs and decoration