Planning on where to live and housing options

When you become an adult, you may decide that you want to rent or buy your own home, or you may decide residential care is best. You may instead prefer to live in a supported living arrangement with others or stay at home with your family.  This article will explain the different ways you can consider getting your own home.

The council have developed five transition guides which includes a guide on housing and My Own Home.  This will help you understand the housing options in South Gloucestershire and the local support that is available.

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It is important that you plan for housing as early as possible from year 9 in education, and to think about the different ways you can try being independent.  It will be good to think first about whether renting or buying would be best for you. 

Options to rent

When you rent this means that you will pay someone else to live in a building that they own.

When you rent a home, you will be 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.

Council’s housing register- HomeChoice 

HomeChoice is the name of the council's housing options service in South Gloucestershire. You will need to register your details online to be considered for any houses that become available (lettings) 

The services they have include applying and bidding for housing if you are eligible, and free and impartial advice regarding your housing options. 

Private renting  

A private landlord is a person or company that owns a property and rents all or part of it to one or more people.  This means that you would pay them to live in the house as a tenant.  

The main advantage of renting privately is that you will be able to choose exactly where you want to live.  You may also be able to find somewhere to rent quicker.  

Some properties will already have furniture. Renting somewhere that already has cooker, fridge/freezer and washing machine will save you a lot of money.  

The disadvantages can be:  

  • private rented accommodation may offer less security than social housing 
  • you may have to pay a deposit and rent in advance  

If you are on a low income or receiving certain benefits, Local Housing Allowance (Housing Benefit) may pay all or some of the rent.  It works as follows:  

  • they will provide the deposit and rent in advance so that you can rent a property  
  • they can issue it to you as a loan, so you will need to pay it back 
  • when you move out of the property, they will give you that money back (if you have paid it to them in full).  

The council have further information and advice about private renting on their website.  

Supported housing and accommodation  

The council work with various housing providers so there is more choice for people with learning difficulties.

They do this by:  

  • having schemes to build new houses 
  • working with providers to change properties that they already have 
  • making use of empty houses and rooms 
  • paying for people to receive support in their own homes 

The council’s supported housing landlords may be private businesses, charities or a housing association.  Some of these may be able to give you help and care on a daily or weekly basis.   

Residential placement 

If you are unable to live by yourself and need support all of the time, then a residential placement may be best for you.  

A residential placement has support staff working every hour of every day, so they can support and care for residents.  NHS England has more information on care homes on their website. Further information is also available on our adults information section on finding a care home.  

Buying and owning your own home   


You may have enough money to buy a new home.  If not, you may be able to apply for a mortgage from a bank or building society.  This is where you pay the mortgage company back some money each month, to repay your debt to them.  

It is important that you work out how much money you get each month and how much you need to pay to reduce your mortgage and pay other bills, such as your electric and food.  This is called budgeting.  

If you pay for a house yourself, either by using your own money or having a mortgage, then you have outright ownership of it.  This means that you will have to look after it, keeping it clean and paying for things to be repaired when they are not working.  

For general information and advice about buying your own home you can visit the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice.

If you have a disability find out about getting a mortgage if you have a disability.

There are some schemes that can help you to buy your own home.  


Homebuy is the name given to a range of government backed schemes for first time buyers and social housing tenants.  

There are two schemes: 

  • shared ownership 
  • shared equity  

There are different types of low-cost home ownership schemes you can use to buy your own home.  

Find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Shared ownership 

Shared ownership is when you buy part of a property and rent the other part from someone else. You would normally rent from a registered provider, also known as housing associations.    

The government provides some of the finance to the housing association to help keep your rent down.  

Shared ownership is normally only available on new properties.  

  • You will need to use your savings or take out a mortgage to buy a share that you can afford 
  • The registered provider will rent the rest of the property to you - you may be able to claim housing benefit for this 
  • You are usually able to buy a larger share or the whole house later 
  • The responsibility for repairs and maintenance will normally be yours 

Further information

A home is much more than a physical building; having a home where you feel safe, comfortable, and close to the people and things you love and need are important to improving and maintaining independence. The quality of accommodation, its location, and security of tenure are all important aspects that contribute to your wellbeing.

Once you have found a home you may need to think about any support that you might need. The following article about support to live in my own place may help.