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Young people with learning disabilities should be able to choose:

  • where to live
  • who to live with

There are important things that need to be considered and put in place so that young people and their families know about and can plan for the right housing option for them as they move into adult life.

These may include:

  • home ownership  
  • shared ownership
  • private sector renting
  • homeshare  
  • public sector renting

A comprehensive list of definitions of housing categories can be found in the document below.

>> Housing choices - understanding terms and definitions [PDF] 352 Kb

Please choose one of the headings below to find out more about housing.

Help in finding the right housing choice

Everybody needs a home - a place where they are able to do the things they like to do; somewhere where they feel safe and secure; somewhere to be with friends or to just relax.

There are different ways to get housing in England and Wales. If you are a young person with learning disabilities who is thinking about moving into your own home, you can download the leaflet below for more information on the advantages and disadvantages associated with different types of housing options that you will find in your area.

>> Housing and support booklet for people with leaning disabilities [PDF] 1.4 Mb

Supported housing

Supported housing refers to accommodation and support provided by organisations with expertise in supporting people to improve their life skills and opportunities.

Support includes: 

  • assessment of ongoing care needs 
  • hands-on care and practical assistance
  • skills training 
  • escort to community settings 
  • advice and support  

People living in a supported living scheme have an allocated key worker to help them become more independent, develop and maintain social contacts, and lead an active life. 

A referral for supported housing for the young person will need be made via the care management team in the first instance, who will carry out a detailed assessment to see what type of accommodation is most suitable.

H&F Learning Disability Team provides a 'floating support' service for those who are over 18 and have learning disabilities. It is a flexible service, providing support as and when it is needed (serivice is withdrawn when it is no longer required). It is offered to residents with learning disability living in their own homes and enables them to gain skills and confidence to improve and develop skills to maintain their independence.

For more information on the floating support service, please call 020 8383 6464 or download the leaflet below.

>> Floating support for people with learning disabilities [PDF] 578 Kb

For more information and advice on supported housing, please contact H&F Learning Disability Team on 020 8383 6464 or via email to


Living independently

Young people who are able to live independently can apply for ‘general needs housing’. The Council’s Housing Department will carry out an assessment to decide if the young person is a high priority. If the young person is a high priority, he/she can join the housing register, which is a list of people waiting for housing or to be rehoused.

For more information and advice, the Council’s Housing Department can be contacted at

H&F Advice 

  • Address: Ground floor, 145-155 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9XY
  • Telephone: 0845 313 3935

Homeshare scheme

A homeshare scheme is when a younger or more able adult lives with an adult with disabilities as a lodger. Under a homeshare agreement, the lodger (homesharer) either lives for free or pays a reduced rent in return for offering a few hours of their time each week to helping the householder with tasks around the house.

A homeshare scheme might be suitable for you if:

  • You have a spare room or rooms in your house
  • You want to continue to live in your own home but are struggling with everyday household jobs
  • You prefer not to have paid care workers coming to help you in your home
  • You already have paid care workers coming to help you, but would like more help and companionship
  • You would be reassured to have someone living with you in case of an emergency, particularly at night-time, or to make you feel more secure in your home
  • You would like to help someone who is struggling with accommodation costs

The criteria for joining a homeshare scheme differ between different providers. For some, you must own your own home, while others will accept tenants.

Homesharers are able to help with tasks like shopping, housework, gardening, preparing food and providing companionship. However they are not professional care workers so they aren't able to help with personal care or administering medications.

There are a number of organisations who can help you if you want to join a homeshare scheme, including:

You can also search for homeshare schemes available in your area at these online national homeshare scheme portals:

Shared lives schemes

Shared lives schemes support adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or other needs that make it harder for them to live on their own. 

The schemes match someone who needs care with an approved carer. The carer shares their family and community life, and gives care and support to the person with care needs.

Some people move in with their shared lives carer, while others are regular daytime visitors. Some combine daytime and overnight visits.

Shared lives schemes are available across the country and are an alternative to traditional kinds of care, such as care homes.

The schemes are also known as adult placements.

Find your local shared lives services or read more about shared lives schemes here.

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