Young disabled people: finding a place to live

If you are a young disabled person, you are faced with the same housing decisions as a young person. In addition, you will need to make sure that your new home meets your needs. This page explains more about your housing options if you are disabled and what you can do to prepare to leave home.

Leaving home if you're disabled

From the age of 14 your school should have arranged for you to get together with your parents or carers, your teacher, a careers adviser and perhaps your doctor or social worker to talk about your plans for the next few years. They should have helped you to draw up a plan of action for your future, called a transition plan or future needs assessment. They should also have to help you work out what support you would need to carry your plans out.

Housing options if you're disabled

If you are disabled, you will have many of the same housing options open to you as a non-disabled young person. You will need to work out:

  • who you want to live with

  • what kind of accommodation you want to live in

  • how much you can afford to pay for your accommodation.

However, if you are looking for somewhere new to live, you will also need to consider:

  • whether your new home will be suitable for your needs or whether it will need any adaptations done

  • whether you will need additional support in your new home.

Getting your needs assessed

As a young disabled person you can ask the social work department to carry out an assessment of your needs to find out what can be done to make your life easier at home. You can find contact details for your local social work department on your council's website.

The social work department will recommend things that can be done to make it easier for you to live in your home. These could include:

  • getting some help with cooking, cleaning or other household tasks

  • getting help with personal needs such as washing and dressing

  • getting special equipment for your home, such as a stairlift

  • putting up hand rails to help you get about

  • installing a new bathroom.

Private rented accommodation

If you are disabled and moving into rented accommodation, you may need special equipment to help you live independently, such as a flashing smoke alarm if you are deaf, door handles that are easier to open or a ramp to help you get into the property. You may also need some adaptations to be carried out to the property itself, for example, you may want to have handrails put up or a stairlift installed. You will have to discuss with your landlord whether you will be able to make these adaptations.

Read the page on disabled people's rights in rented accommodation to find out more.

Council or housing association housing

If you apply for housing from the council or a housing association, your name will be added to a waiting list, and you may have to wait a long time before you will be given a place to live. However, most waiting lists work on a points system, and you may get extra points for being disabled. You will need to discuss any special needs you have with a housing officer, so they can ensure the property is suitable for you.

Read the section finding council and housing association accommodation to find out more.

Student accommodation

If you are disabled and moving away from home to study, you should be able to get accommodation through your university or college. Go to the page on students rights to find out more.

Supported accommodation

There are lots of different kinds of supported accommodation available if you're disabled, offering varying levels of support. If you are thinking of moving into supported accommodation, it's up to you to decide what kind of support you need. For example, you might consider moving into:

  • a shared flat in a specially adapted unit

  • a 'satellite flat' - a place where you can live independently but with support available when you need it

  • sheltered housing

  • a residential home.

The section on accommodation for people with special needs has more information about the different options available.

Buying your own home

If you can afford it, you might consider buying your own home. If you are claiming benefits, you should be able to get help to buy a place that is suitable for your needs. There are also grants available that could help you pay for a home.

Applying as homeless

If you're disabled and you can't stay living where you are because the property isn't adapted to your needs, the council may consider you to be homeless. This means you can make a homeless application to the council.

The council will offer you somewhere to stay while it looks into your situation and it may decide to offer you a permanent home, suitable for your needs.

Financial help if you're disabled

You may be entitled to benefits or grants to help you pay your rent and council tax, pay for support costs or get adaptations done to your home. Some benefits will depend on how disabled you are, others will depend on how much money you have. The website has information about the range of different benefits available.

Find out more about financial support for disabled people.

Help with benefits

Working out which benefits you can claim can be complicated, so it's a good idea to get some help from Citizens Advice or a disability advice service. An adviser can help you:

  • find out what you're entitled to

  • fill in the forms

  • sort out any problems with your benefits.

Find out more about financial support for disabled people.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 16 February 2018

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England