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The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

A1: The residential care model and its

Pages 2 to 4

A2: Supported Living

Pages 5 to 6

A3: Housing Services

Page 7

A4: Support Provider

Page 8

A5: Providing Housing and Support


Pages 9 to 11

A6: Renting Privately

Pages 12 to 13

A7: Specialist Buy to Let, New Build and


Pages 14 to 16

A8: Family Investment

Pages 17 to 23

A9: Getting Housing and Support

together (Accommodation Based

Pages 24 to 25

A10: Shared Lives and Supported


Pages 26 to 28

A11: Support Tenants

Pages 29 to 32

A12: Community Support Networks

Pages 33 to 41


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

Appendix A1
The residential care model and its relevance
Residential care refers to long-term care given to people who live in a residential setting
rather than in their own home or their family home. The Care Standards Act 2000 describes
residential care as an establishment that provides accommodation and personal care.
Personal care is defined as assistance with bodily functions such as feeding, bathing,
In residential care, the accommodation, care and support needs of an individual are
provided by the same provider as one single service and package of care.
Care homes are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and can be owned and
managed by public, private sector or charitable bodies. Some will specialise in particular
forms of provision, for example for people on the autistic spectrum or those with a sensory
impairment in conjunction with a learning disability.
If someone is living in a residential care setting, they are living there as a licensee. This
means that the owner or managing agent of the Care Home has free access to all areas of
the property and (in theory) could ask the occupier to leave at any point, although this rarely
How it works: If people are eligible for a state-funded residential care placement, this will be
funded through the local authority or health authority (e.g. Clinical Commissioning Group
(CCG)), although many people will be expected to pay something towards the cost see the
section below for more.
There are assessments that determine if a local authority or CCG have a legal duty to provide
care and support services for someone. Local authority community care assessments look at
what social / community care needs someone has. In some cases, for individuals who are
not in hospital but have complex ongoing healthcare needs, the funding may come from the
NHS through something called NHS continuing healthcare or fully funded care.
What the care home will provide: The service provider of the residential care home will be
commissioned to provide a full package of support, including housing, care and support. This
could include all, some, or of the following services depending on what the care home is
able to provide:

Accommodation i.e. the core costs of the property, as well as repairs and

Housing management this includes things like building insurance and

management costs.


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014


Care and Support, this can include:


General social care things like assistance with daily tasks and help to get
out and about and access the community

Housing related support this can include things like support with money
matters and personal administration or support to use household

Health care for example, support with any health care need that has been
identified by primary health care consultation

Personal care - things like physical and intimate personal care

Personal services things like food, transport, TV license.

Daily living costs and welfare benefits in residential care: Individuals living in residential care
are generally required to contribute from any money they have to help meet the costs of
their package of care.
Care services from a local authority are usually means-tested, so if the person is eligible for
local authority care, their finances will be assessed. Depending on their income (including
benefits) and capital (including savings), they may need to pay towards their care costs.

DLA / PIP Mobility components are fully disregarded within the residential care
means test because they are not related to the provision of personal care and
Individuals must be left with a minimum amount of money called the personal
expenses allowance (currently 23.90 per week). This is intended to cover items like;
Clothing, Personal items, Entertainment outside the Care Home and Transport if /
where it is not provided by the Care Home

For many people with a learning disability, their only or main source of income is through
their benefits. In reality many people in residential care will be left with an income made up
of their DLA / PIP mobility component and the personal expenses allowance, with the rest of
their benefits going towards the cost of their package of care.
Relevance in current market: The residential care model itself places restrictions on an
individuals ability to choose who they live with and who cares for them, even if the
residential care is of high quality. This restriction in practice however, may not differ greatly
from supported housing. In residential care, the restricted income has a major impact on a
persons income, ability to control their money and lead an ordinary life. This reason alone
means that the residential care model has become less desirable for people with disabilities
and in wider policy.
Personal budget use for Residential Care services: People who are eligible for social care
funding should be offered a personal budget, including a direct payment. This means

The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

knowing how much they will have to spend and being able to plan and choose how they
spend it. Direct payments mean having the money to spend directly. Everyone who has a
personal budget will have a support plan that reflects their own choices about care and
Can a personal budget be used in residential care? At the moment, in theory, an individual
can spend their personal budget on any local service that person and the council agree will
make your life better, provided it is legal and available. Personal budgets cannot yet be
spent on residential care or nursing homes.
Until the guidance and regulations are final we at present have no further information to
support the possible use of personal budgets for residential care.
However, from 2013, every council is expected to:

Offer personal budgets to all older people who are eligible to receive council-funded
support services;
Personal budgets can be used to pay for care at home rather than residential care


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

Appendix A2 Supported Living
Many local authorities have moved away from the provision of residential care services for
people with learning disabilities to supported living options (see separate factsheet on
residential care for more).
In simple terms, supported living is an approach that is based on the belief that people have
a right to decide where, how and whom they live with, and who should provide them with
the support they need to do this. The fundamental principle is that you live in your own
home, shared, with a partner, or on your own and you get the sort of care and/or support
that works for you. This can look different for different people. For example, it might be:

Living in a place that is rented through an assured or an assured short hold tenancy;
this might be a joint or an individual tenancy, in shared or self-contained
Living in an owned property, either outright or as shared ownership.
You might have all your support paid for. It might be for a few hours a week or it
might be 24 hours.
You might have a mixture of paid-for support and informal or natural support
from family, friends and/or community support.
You might not have any paid-for support, but some natural support.
You might have set up your supported living from scratch, by planning for and
getting your housing and support as you have designed it.
You might have moved into an existing service some accommodation with
support that had a vacancy.

If you live in your own home, you have the right to stay in the property for the period and to
the terms stated in your contract (usually 6 or 12 months for an assured shorthold tenancy,
which can be renewed, or indefinitely, subject to certain conditions, for an assured tenancy),
and to control entry in and out of the property (subject to the conditions in the contract) If
you own your own home you can stay for as long as you are able if you own it outright, or as
long as you pay your mortgage if you have one.
The separation of housing and support: Traditionally, residential care provides a full package
of housing, care and support. A common element of supported living is the separation of
housing and support. This means that as a tenant or homeowner, the person has a right to
choose who provides their support and can change support arrangements without moving
home or move home without changing support arrangements.
With supported living options, subject to their fairer charging procedures, social services and
health funding can pay for care and support that is needed. The welfare benefits system can
help pay for housing and everyday living costs.
(The model below is an example of how it might look, but there is no absolute rule about the
way these activities are carried out and managed)


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014


In this model, the Commissioner funds the care and support. This may be commissioned and
paid for by a Local Authority or a Health Authority (e.g. the CCG).
The Housing Provider provides the housing, unless the property is owned outright. If the
property is rented the tenant will pay this privately or, if they are eligible (see factsheet 1),
may claim Housing Benefit to help with the rental costs.
If the occupier needs personal care services, the provider of the services must be registered
with the Care Quality Commission as a domiciliary care provider. For more details about this
look here:


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

Appendix A3 Housing Services
Housing services include:

Property Rent this includes things like your core rent costs (i.e. the costs of the
bricks and mortar) and repairs and maintenance.

Housing Management this includes things like building insurance and

management costs.

Service charges this includes things like the provision and servicing of communal
area furniture and fire safety equipment, as well as thing like communal heating and

If you are renting your property you may be able to claim Housing Benefit to pay for these
(The Regulatory Reform Fire Order 2005 covers Fire Safety legislation in your own home
when you receive support. In broad terms this means that there are no prescriptive fire
safety procedures as such, but a responsible person needs to carry out a risk assessment
and recommend measures appropriate to the level of risk related to the specific property
and the specific occupier/s. If the occupier themselves are unable to carry out this
assessment, it is likely that any support provider that may be in place will be best placed to
carry out the assessment and make recommendations to the housing provider/owner. If
there is no support provider it will likely be the housing provider)


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

Appendix A4 Support Provider
The support provider provides care and / or support, funded privately (by the individual) or
publicly by a Local or Health Authority, subject to local eligibility and charging procedures. If
it is funded publicly the payment may be directly to the individual as a personal budget. If
that is not possible, or the individual opts not to take the personal budget, the
commissioning body will contract directly with the support provider.
Care and Support services funded privately or publicly can include:

General Social Care this can include things like assistance with daily living tasks
(e.g. preparation of meals) and getting out and about.

Housing Related Support this can include things like support with money matters
and personal administration or support to use household equipment.

Health Care for example, support with any health care need that has been
identified by primary health care consultation.

Personal Care (Regulated by Care Quality Commission) things like physical and
intimate personal care.

(Payment for staff expenses such as transport, staff meals, entertainment can vary according
to commissioning and/or support provider policies)


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014

Appendix A5: Providing Housing and Support separately
Renting Social Housing
What this option is
Renting an ordinary house from a local authority or housing association is an increasingly
common choice. If necessary the property can be adapted if it is not already suitable.
Housing let by councils or housing associations is known as social housing. Housing
associations are also called Registered Providers. Registration, in this case, means with the
Tenant Services Authority.
Much local authority housing is on large estates while housing associations tend to have
more small estates or ordinary street properties that have been refurbished or converted.
Quite a lot of councils have transferred their properties to local housing associations. This is
called Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT).
Properties can be let to one person or two or three people may share a property either as
joint tenants or possibly with each having their own tenancy. Some , do not encourage
sharing of ordinary, general needs housing Support and care can be provided to disabled
people in their own home so this is a common route to independent supported living.
How to access
Local housing authorities are now required to operate what is called choice based lettings.
In most areas local authorities and housing associations have put their waiting lists together
so there is a common waiting list. You Rental series number 4 obtain social housing by
joining this waiting list. This is done by filling in a form about your circumstances and what
you need which you get from the local housing authority. This puts you on a register.
Choice based lettings work like this:

The applicant is placed in a band according to the urgency and need to move. There
are usually 3 or 4 bands A, B, C and D. Those in Band A are often statutory
homeless and get highest priority

Medical or social care needs tend to put people with a learning disability in Band A
or B and thus get high priority. It is important to fill these parts of the application
form in thoroughly. There may be scope for adding in additional reports or
supporting letters

Properties are advertised as they become available each week. This may be on the
authoritys website and a newsletter. There may also be a folder or display in the
council offices

People on the housing register bid for properties that are suitable and in the right
area or that they like


The Development of a Supported Living Model 2014


The highest priority bidders (perhaps 3 or 4) are invited to view the property

The successful person is the one who says they want the property and has been
waiting longest

People with learning disabilities may need help:

Filling in forms
Pro-actively bidding
Viewing property quickly
Making a decision quickly

Application processes vary and particularly where the landlord is a housing association there
may be an interview. Local authorities usually have the right to nominate, (put forward)
applicants for a proportion of housing association property in their area although the actual
decision on who to let to is the housing associations.
Pros and cons

17.7% of Englands housing stock is ordinary social housing

Security of tenure; tenants of RPs usually have assured tenancies offering good
security and council tenants have a secure tenancy

Rents in social housing are nearly always met in full by housing benefit for those
who qualify. They are also only very exceptionally referred to a rent officer

Social landlords management and maintenance services and quality are monitored
and inspected and should be of a good standard

Local authorities and housing association are expected to assess the most vulnerable
people in housing need get housed despite the fact (surprisingly) there is not any
duty to them


Demand for social housing far exceeds supply; long waiting list. It may therefore
take several years to get a suitable property

Housing associations are the only real way of getting new, purpose built social

In some areas there may be very few properties like bungalows and other people
such as those over a certain age may be given higher priority. What is needed may
simply not be available in the social housing sector, in the short term, if at all

Some large estates may not offer a secure and welcoming environment for a
vulnerable person
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How the money works
Housing associations and council rents are now very similar. Rents set by housing
associations or local authorities on ordinary housing are invariably covered by housing
benefit. This will include property maintenance and eligible service charges.
Other issues
RPs or local authorities may have other shared housing not part of choice based lettings
because it is more specialised or intended for use by disabled people. This is accessed
through Adult Social Care not the housing authority
Adult Social Care may also control access to a quota of ordinary housing
In some areas it may still be possible to apply directly to a housing association which
continues to control the letting of at least some of their stock

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Appendix A6: Renting Privately
What this option is
This is renting an ordinary street property from a private landlord. Private landlords are
commercial organisations or individuals, who are in business for a profit. This distinguishes
them from which are local authorities and Registered Providers who are social landlords.
Private landlords come in various forms including:

Companies with a large portfolio of properties

Individuals or families with one or two properties only
Individuals or families who buy a property specifically to rent to a disabled relative
(there is a separate factsheet on this)

Charitable organisations letting out properties often to a particular needs group are, for rent
and housing benefit purposes, also considered as private landlords despite the fact they are
not trading for profit.
How to access
Private landlords compete in a market place for tenants and in principle any one can rent a
property from them.
If it is on the market, in principle, it is available to a disabled person who can meet the terms
of the letting. The usual ways of finding a property are:

Through a letting agency in the area

An estate agent who deals in rental property Advertisement in local papers
To let board on a property
Web search
Shop notice boards

Pros and cons


14% of Englands housing stock is in the private sector extends choice

Sometimes the only way of getting the right type of property in the right place

If available, can move in quickly, do not have to be on a waiting list for years

Some landlords will buy to order and have developed good relationships with
councils who regularly use the private rented sector to obtain housing for disabled

There are some serious disadvantages for people with learning disabilities:

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Lack of security of tenure. Private landlords normally let on an assured shorthold

tenancy. This lasts for an initial 6 months, thereafter the tenant can be asked to
leave, with no rights of appeal, on what works out as 2 months notice. Note
however it is possible for landlords to grant a longer initial tenancy

The amount of rent eligible for housing benefit is limited by a Local Housing
Allowance. Often this is too little for the landlord so the tenant is faced with
topping up the rent from other benefits.

There are additional problems when the tenant needs a second bedroom perhaps
for an occasional carer as Housing Benefit will only meet the rent for a one bedroom
flat if it is for one person

Adaptations where required may be difficult to get as the landlord may be very
reluctant to agree major changes to their property which does not add value

Legislation which in the past allowed people who need some care and support to get
a higher level of housing benefit to pay a commercial rent cannot be relied on
following a series of legal decisions referred to as the Turnbull judgement

Quality of management and maintenance service may be poor or unreliable and

service is not regulated and inspected as it is in social housing

It is common for the landlord to require a deposit equivalent to several months rent. Private
landlords may often require a working person to stand as guarantor before they let to
someone on benefits. Local
Authority may run a scheme to help pay for these deposits. A list of schemes to help with
rent deposit
can be found at www.privaterentedsector.org.uk
How the money works
Rent eligible for housing benefit is restricted by the local housing allowance (see
https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/Secure/Default.aspx) and subject to determination by a rent
Housing benefit departments have a small budget to make discretionary payments to cover
higher rents in exceptional circumstances. It would however be risky to rely on this for long
term housing.
Other issues
Despite reservations renting in the private sector can sometimes be a good option
particularly when someone wants a short term let, for example to try out living more
independently, and where long term security of tenure is less of an issue. There are
examples of commercial landlords buying property to order for disabled people and offering
an excellent service. There are also mechanisms where RPs lease properties from private
landlords and sub-let them. This provides better security of tenure and some assurance of

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Appendix A7: Specialist Buy to Let, New Build and
There are a range of specialist housing providers who are able to buy, build or develop
accommodation to a specific brief. They may use private or public capital, or raise
mortgages to fund this. In some cases this will result in higher than average rents for the
following reasons:

To cover purchase, lease, adaptation, maintenance and/or development costs

Need for extra rooms and /or space
Need to live in a specific, possibly higher cost, area
Need for higher quality housing
Additional housing management and voids costs
Need to provide special design, assistive technology or equipment features

How are these costs covered at the moment?

By using exempt Accommodation or Excluded Tenancy rules in Housing Benefit.
Exempt and Excluded guidance to HB decision makers summary:


Registered Provider or Not for Profit


Registered Provider (RP) landlord only

No suitable cheaper alternative housing

should be available

As Exempt

Only essential landlord services are

provided and these services should be
costed at a reasonable level

As Exempt

More than minimal care support or

supervision is commissioned and provided
by or on behalf of the landlord in addition
to any Local Authority commissioned
general social care or personal care

Not required

Full rent to be met regardless of amount if

the above is shown to be present

Rent can be referred to Rent Officer for

potential capping if HB feels that the rent is
unreasonably high. HB to have agreements
and guidance developed in partnership
with local RPs to what constitutes
unreasonably high

Partial Central Government subsidy repaid

to Local Authority

Full subsidy repaid to Local Authority

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Exempt Accommodation


Can be used by a wider spectrum of landlords

Less chance of being capped if all qualifying criteria are in place
An appropriate way to fund housing costs (while rules remain as they are currently
set) and/or accommodation based Supporting People funded services that have no
additional statutory top-up from Adult Social Care or Continuing Healthcare

Widely varying levels of understanding and application of the process between

different Local Authority decision makers leading to confusion, and instances of poor
decision making.
Care support and supervision is often provided by the landlord not because the
services need to be provided by them, or even at all, but because its what needs to
be in place to qualify. This service can often be more appropriately provided by a
separate support provider as part of the wider general social or health care
provision funded by Adult Social Care or Continuing Healthcare
Tying a level of care support and supervision to the tenancy can conflict with CQC
regulatory frameworks for Domiciliary Care and limits flexibility for tenants who
wish to live in long term own home arrangements rather than short term
supported housing schemes
Cost to local HB budget as payments are only partially subsidised

Excluded Tenancies


More in line with current regulatory arrangements, personalisation and good

practice principles as the they relate to living in your own home as it allows for the
complete separation of housing and care and support services (care support and/or
supervision does not need to be commissioned and provided by the landlord)

Widely varying levels of understanding and application of the process between

different Local Authority decision makers leading to confusion and poor decision
Only possible if you are a Registered Provider
The prospect of rent referral acts as a disincentive to use excluded tenancy
provisions while the lack of a cap exists in exempt accommodation rules and there
are no local agreements to what constitutes unreasonably high
Potential risk to tenants whose high housing costs take them over the Universal
Credit cap and are not exempt from that cap as they do not live in exempt

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accommodation, or do not claim DLA, or are not in the Support Group of
Employment Support Allowance

General Issues

Having two different regimes achieving the same end outcome is confusing
There are widely fluctuating local differences in the interpretation and application of
what is quite loosely defined guidance
Particularly there is scope for widely varying interpretations of reasonable which is
referred to frequently in the guidance
The guidance hasnt kept up with many of the regulatory and good practice
developments in social and personal care and ordinary housing

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Appendix A8: Family Investment
A family or other relatives may be able to provide housing directly. These are the main
options but is not exhaustive.
We explain each in turn outlining strengths and weaknesses and answering some of the
questions most commonly asked.
Buy to Rent
What this option is
Buy to rent is where a parent, or other close relative, buys (or builds) a property and then
lets it out to their son or daughter or relation. The parents fund the acquisition commonly
repaying the mortgage from the rent charged.
This property may be any ordinary house, flat or bungalow adapted if necessary. It can also
be an annexe to the parents home that is converted or a small bungalow built in the garden
of the relatives own home.
How to access
The housing is under the direct control of the relative although if a care or support package
is required this element will depend on the local authority agreeing to the funding.
Pros and cons
Any property that is affordable, potentially available extensive choice of type, location, size
and facilities
Can be an investment for parent (or other relative). In the long term the property could be
passed on to son/ daughter possibly free of debt. This in turn can provide financial security
and the ability to move and choose another dwelling if required in the future.
Family in control of housing
Property can be shared with others and the relatives can decide who to let it to
Can offer long-term, permanent housing
Not all families may be able to take on arranging a buy to let mortgage and the other tasks
Similarly, not all may be in a financial position to raise the mortgage, provide an initial
deposit and fund the legal, valuation survey and other set up fees

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Risk of fall in value of property
Where repaying the mortgage depends on the son/ daughter (or other relative) getting
Housing Benefit to cover the rent there may be difficulties getting HB, alternatively the rent
that is acceptable for HB may be insufficient to meet the mortgages repayments in full
All the legal and practical responsibilities of being a landlord have to be met including
managing and maintaining the property
How the money works
Commercial buy to let mortgages have become widely available and are a common source
of loan finance for the purchase. Mortgages for conversion or building projects are also
available. Parents will usually have to find a small deposit. According to the families personal
circumstances it may be possible to acquire a second property without borrowing or by remortgaging their own home.
Normally the mortgage is repaid via a rental charge. Most people with a significant learning
disability will be eligible for housing benefit and this is used to repay the loan the parents
have taken out. There are three financial issues:
The parents (or other relatives) will be treated as private sector landlords and the rent
housing benefit will pay is determined by the local housing allowance set for the area and
type of property. This may or may not cover the actual loan repayments. In addition an
allowance has to be made for property maintenance and repair and the family may have to
make up the shortfall. In some cases, relatives take the view that even if there is a shortfall
the gain in getting good, suitable, secure housing outweigh the disadvantages and/or that in
the long term the property is likely to appreciate in value
An income from the property, particularly if it is shared with others who also pay rent will
possibly effect the families tax bill although the maintenance and most other costs of the
property can be offset against the income
Housing Benefit departments may refuse to pay benefit where the landlord is a close
relative see Below

Other issues
The problem and risks with this option is the attitude of the local authority housing benefit
section. The key Statutory Instrument (SI) setting out the regulations is SI 3257. Broadly, the
Income Support Regulation seek to discourage renting between close relatives fearing that
arrangements will be set up to exploit the housing benefit system.
However, at the end of this SI it is explained that renting between close relatives is
permissible provided:
The property rented out is a separate, self-contained property. A close relative cannot for
example get HB to pay the rent on a room in their own home
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The letting must be on a commercial basis. The relatives must in all respects, act like any
other private landlord. This means for example, granting a proper tenancy, charging a
commercial rent, being prepared to agree they would let to someone other than a relative if
necessary i.e. acting commercially
Housing Benefit are persuaded the arrangements are not being set up purely in order to
take advantage of the housing benefit system a contrivance In practice, it is lack of
commerciality that is most commonly used to refuse Housing Benefit. There have been a
number of Social Security Commissioner decisions seeking to clarify what is and is not
acceptable, see for example, Commissioners Case CH/0296/2004 and CH/0215/2004, where
relatives take the initiative to provide housing.

Outright Purchase
Better off relatives may be able to buy a property, without borrowing, for their son or
daughter to live in. This might be treated as a long term investment and the son or daughter
lives rent free or, if they have an income, might pay a modest rent. In the long term the
property could be:

Inherited on death of parent

Put into a Trust Gifted to a son/daughter now
Gifted or leased to a third party such as a Housing Association

Some of the issues which need to be thought about and dealt with in more detail are:

The tax implications on which expert advice is required

As your principle home it does not count as an asset or savings for the purpose of
calculating entitlement to welfare benefits
How the property is managed and maintained in the longer term
Trustees employing a managing agent, a local Housing Association for example for
management and maintenance
Leasing or gifting the property to another organisation

Why do people gift or lease a property to a third party: a Housing Association, relevant local
charity or not for profit housing provider? There are usually several reasons:

to deal with management and maintenance of the property

to ensure there is another organisation to look after their relatives housing needs
to help ensure any sharing arrangements are managed properly
to offer alternative housing if needs change or someone wants a move
to eliminate the risk of the family member being refused Housing Benefit if they
need to claim to pay any rent due and where the landlord is a relative (see 5 Buy to
Rent for more details)
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to maximise Housing Benefit entitlement if any rent being charged needed to be set
at a level above Local Housing Allowance (LHA) (see 5 Buy to Rent for more details)
as LHA is not the system used for assessing Housing Benefit entitlement in these

Gifts disposals or leases like this are usually made on the basis of various understandings
about what the recipient will endeavour to do and provide in the future. They will probably
agree for example that the gifted or leased property or an alternative more suitable
property will be provided, managed and maintained for life.
Shared Ownership privately financed
In the mainstream part-buy, part rent programme offered by some Housing Associations
part of the property is bought by the occupier and part rented from the association. Housing
benefit may be payable on the rent and the purchased share eligible for Support for
Mortgage Interest (SMI). Another option is for the part purchased to be funded by relatives
rather than SMI. It is also possible for parents to substitute their money for Social Housing or
Home Ownership Long Term Disabilities (HOLD) Grant from the Homes and Communities
Agency (HCA), which is used in combination with a loan by the housing association to fund
the part they retain. This creates a privately financed Shared Ownership option, which is
often more flexible than the HCA regulated model.

Privately financed Shared Ownership Funding Arrangements

Individual takes out mortgage funded through SMI up to 100,000

Relatives fund around an agreed % of total cost through a loan to the Housing
Housing Association meets balance of cost of property by borrowing
The rent charged re-pays the association loan

The advantages of this model, apart from those that apply to all Shared Ownership, are
essentially freedom of restrictions that apply to HCA funded Shared Ownership which

No grant limits allowing higher design standards, better location, size and type
No restriction because of the size of HCA programme only the associations ability
to borrow
No waiting for HCA allocations can move more quickly
Less bureaucratic - only association/charity rules to be met
No HCA tests of value for money

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The big advantage of course is that Shared Ownership may be a route to getting the right
type, size, location of property at much less than the cost of outright purchase if that is the
only alternative. The disadvantages include:

Using HCA Grant as an alternative means no cost to the family.

In the loan model parents will be offered a third legal charge. The first charge will be
taken by the mortgage provider to son/daughter. The second charge will be taken by
the lender to the association or charity.
Return on the loan maybe low - not an attractive investment although the
son/daughter will share in any increase in property value.
Rents may be higher than with Social Housing Grant subsidy - but if housing benefit
pays the rent this is probably not a significant issue.

Joint Ownership
Joint Ownership is where a group of people pool their resources to buy a property between
them. This could be a group of families coming together to acquire a property for their
children to share.
Anybody who buys a house with a mortgage in conjunction with a husband or wife or
partner is technically likely to be a 'joint owner'. This means they will be 'jointly and
severally' liable for loan repayments. That is to say if one ceases to pay the mortgage for any
reason the other remains liable for all the repayments, not just half.
Joint Ownership is therefore commonplace. It is usual for two people to be joint owners but
in legal terms it is equally simple for up to four people to be joint owners. There can be more
than four joint owners but this is much more complex.

It is possible if unusual, if they have the resources, for up to four disabled people to
be the joint owners rather than the parents (or other relatives).
Where the owners are parents, those who live in the property will be tenants.

The real question in a joint ownership model where parents are the owners is often 'how
can we get our money out? An issue that arises where groups share a single dwelling is
what happens if one person wants or needs to move on?
This needs agreement prior to setting up joint arrangements. All parties must go into the
arrangements on the basis this will be each persons permanent home. No one individual or
family must be able to undermine the living arrangements or make the other sharers
homeless. As a consequence all the parties should agree no family is able to withdraw their
funds unless three conditions are met:

There is another family/individual able to replace the funding which one of the
families is taking out
The individual who is to move in must want to share with those already living in the
house and be compatible
The person moving in must be acceptable to those already living there
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Joint Ownership - parents and sons or daughters
A variant on the Joint Ownership theme is for a parent to buy a property jointly with their
son or daughter. The reason for doing this is usually not to increase resources but as a way
of satisfying a lender that the person they are lending to has 'legal capacity'.
Legal capacity can arise as an issue where the lender believes the individual they are lending
to has insufficient understanding of the nature of the obligations they are entering into e.g.
to pay the mortgage and consequences of breaking the terms e.g. becoming homeless.
Where the lender knew the borrower lacked legal capacity the contract is voidable by the
party who lacks capacity or someone with the legal authority to act on their behalf. This is a
risk lenders will be wary of and may prevent ownership. One solution is for the
son/daughter to jointly own with a relative whose capacity is not in doubt. When this is
done there must be doubt as to whether strictly speaking SMI is payable where one of the
joint owners is not disabled or eligible for any or all of the qualifying benefits
Company Ownership
An alternative to joint ownership for sharing is for a company to be set up to acquire or build
property. One example involves 8 parents becoming shareholders in a company set up with
the purpose of developing accommodation for people with learning disabilities. Some (or all)
of the parents will be directors of the company. Advantages of this route are:

A vehicle for bigger developments - can be used for example to buy a plot of land
and develop a block of purpose designed flats.
Forming a company forces all concerned in the process of preparing objectives,
memorandum and articles of association to think through in some detail what the
purpose is and how matters will be managed in practice.
As a legal entity the company can borrow - although families may be asked to offer
The company has a life which extends beyond the life of any individual parent.
It provides a vehicle for managing and maintaining property, also possibly of
providing or managing care and support in the long term.

The biggest difficulties are likely to be:

Finding like-minded parents in the position to contribute to the company.

Reaching agreement will inevitably mean some compromises and can be a source of
friction and resentment.
Like joint ownership some restrictions on withdrawing funding is needed. However,
a shareholding structure means in principle shares are tradable and getting money
out may be more straightforward than in other cases.

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Direct inheritance - If the property is inherited with the intention that it continues to be
occupied by the disabled relative then the various benefits of continuing to live at home may
be realised. In addition, the advantages of direct inheritance are:

Legal capacity is not required as no contract is involved

It avoids the trouble and expense of having to set up a Trust
Avoid doubt as to how Trustees will exercise their discretion

The disadvantages and risks are:

The person may be unable to manage property and maintenance themselves

Without other funds held in Trust, paying for major repairs may be difficult
The property is more vulnerable to financial claims from Social Services who may
seek to levy charges for services
The property may need to be sold in order for tax demands, such as Inheritance Tax,
to be paid
It can be difficult to secure agreement for any care and support package from Adult
Social Care when the exact start date is not known

Discretionary Trusts
Discretionary Trusts have increasingly been seen as a key mechanism for making long-term
financial provision for disabled relatives. Discretionary Trusts are a legal way of putting
assets - money, shares and property - aside for a 'beneficiary'. Advice of a solicitor with
expert knowledge of Trust law is required. To work in the way intended Trustees must have
discretion as to how funds are used, the beneficiary should not be the sole beneficiary and
must not have a right to either the assets of the Trust.

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A9: Getting Housing and Support together (Accommodation
Based Services)

Un-registered shared group homes

What this option is - A common form of provision for people with learning disabilities is
ordinary or purpose built houses shared by a small number of disabled people. Typically this
is 3, 4 or 5 people. Each person has their own bedroom, very occasionally two people may
share. There will be an established and funded level of staff support, from visiting to 24 hour
The rest of the property is communal space used by tenants collectively and normally this
will include at least a lounge, kitchen and dining area. There may be additional facilities like
a sensory room, laundry, staff sleep-in room and some schemes will for example have en
suite bathrooms rather than a shared bathroom. Staff may or may not also live in the group
What distinguishes an unregistered shared house from a similar building which is designated
as a registered care home is whether the care and operational arrangements require
registration with the Care Quality Commission as an establishment or not. This is explored
more fully in the notes section.
If personal care is provided (defined as physical and intimate touching and not including
general social care or housing related support) the care provider will have to be registered
as a domiciliary care provider by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but this is different
from the whole building and service being registered as a care home. In this circumstance it
is only the personal care element of the service that is regulated and monitored by CQC.
Extra Care, Sheltered Housing and Core and Cluster
What this option is - Sheltered housing, extra care and Core and Cluster are three forms of
specialist provision. The firs two are usually intended for older people, usually aged 55 plus.
They can be allocated to younger people with a learning disability but are particularly
relevant for older people including those with learning and/ or physical impairments.
Sheltered housing is usually a small block of 20-40 flats or bungalows. There will be some
communal facilities like a lounge and possibly a laundry and guest suite. The dwellings are
purpose designed for older people and will incorporate at least an alarm system. There will
usually be a visiting or on site warden. Their roles vary from being a good neighbour and
providing help in an emergency to a more professional care co-ordinator or manager.
There are sometimes reservations about thinking of sheltered housing as an option for
disabled people as it implies grouping people together and a possible separation from the
community. However, for some older people, who are not disabled, it is a positive choice.
People can rent or choose to buy so this must also be a consideration for older people with a
learning disability. It is not however, going to suit everyone.
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Extra care extends the basic sheltered concept. Developments vary but typically there will
be more extensive communal facilities including a lounge, activities room, IT suite, shop,
provision for at least some meals, which is commonly by incorporation of a restaurant or
caf in the scheme, and 24 hour care available on site through a team of carers. Extra care
schemes are again based on a collection of self-contained dwellings but can be much bigger
extending to extra care villages of up to 300 properties.
Core and Cluster is usually on a smaller scale than Extra Care, typically 8-20 self-contained
flats and a staff flat or base within a single site development.
Residential Care
What this option is - A residential care home is an establishment providing
accommodation together with personal care.
Residential care means having a room in a building shared with a number of other people.
Twenty four hour care will be provided on site as will meals.
In the past there could be 20 or more people and services were inevitably institutional.
More recent care homes are usually smaller, 4 8 people. Residential homes are owned and
managed by public, private sector or charitable bodies. Some specialise in particular forms
of provision, for example for people on the autistic spectrum or those with sensory
impairment in conjunction with a learning disability.
Care homes are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under the Care
Standards Act 2000. Homes have to meet certain physical standards; they are inspected by
the CQC whose reports are published (www.cqc.org.uk/ ). Staff are required to be trained to
a certain level and staffing ratios are laid down.

Intentional Communities
What this option is - Intentional communities is a term to describe a variety of planned
residential communities from eco villages and housing co-operatives to Kibbutzim and
Ashrams. Typically members hold common social, religious or spiritual views and share
responsibilities and resources.
In the present context intentional communities refers to schemes of this type set up
specifically to house disabled people who live together as part of a supportive community.
Historically, intentional communities were often set up as small villages or farms in rural
areas but some are newer developments in towns like Milton Keynes or may consist of a
number of properties spread across an area.

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A10: Shared Lives and Supported Lodgings
Description and Characteristics
One way the inherent problems of shared group housing or living in large institutions can be
overcome has been for people to have the opportunity to live with a family or in supported
Accommodation with a family, where sharing family life is part of the arrangement, is
referred to as Shared Lives (formerly Adult Placement). Accommodation in the home of a
landlord where family life is not shared is known as Supported Lodgings. Confusingly some
Shared Lives families are also called Supported Lodgings providers this usually means that
they offer a lower level of support which is often housing related. Shared Lives families can
offer a full range of support including personal care. Supported Lodgings providers do not
offer personal care.
People using both type of scheme have to be over 18 years of age. There is no upper age
The two types of scheme are funded differently and subject to different levels of support
and supervision.
Shared Lives
Shared Lives (SL) arrangements are distinguished by the following features:

SL arrangements are part of organised SL Schemes that approve and train the SL
Carers, receive referrals, match the needs of service users with SL Carers and
monitor the arrangements
People using SL services have the opportunity to be part of the SL Carers family and
social networks
SL Carers can use their family home as a resource
SL agreements provide committed and consistent relationships
The relationship between the SL Carer and the person placed with them is of mutual
SL Carers can support up to three people at any one time (two in Wales)
SL Carers do not employ staff to provide care to the people that they support

In a Shared Lives arrangement that offers accommodation, the individual usually shares the
whole house and mealtimes whilst having the privacy of their own bedroom.
Shared Lives Schemes are registered by the Commission for Social Care Inspection. The
Schemes in turn monitor individual placements. Families offering Shared Lives
accommodation and care no longer have to register as small homes.
Matching is a key feature of Shared Lives arrangements. Matching of the individual and the
Shared Lives family is usually done by a Shared Lives Worker in close consultation with the

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person and their family, their care manager and other key people who know the individual
In Shared Lives the host family undergoes a thorough assessment and approval process to
make sure that they have the skills and knowledge to carry out their work. The process
involves a number of meetings, a comprehensive training programme and presentation to
an Approval Panel.
Shared Lives families receive on-going support from a Shared Lives Worker. They receive a
weekly payment for their work.
There are now more than 200 Shared Lives schemes around the country with an estimated
10,000 people making use of them.
The majority of Shared Lives Schemes are directly managed by local authorities but there is
mounting interest from the independent sector to win contracts with Local Authorities to
run such services.
Shared Lives Schemes originally offered long term accommodation and support but there
has been growth in the last ten years of a range of other services including short breaks and
day time support. Kinship support (where the Shared Lives family supports someone living in
their own home) is the most recent area of growth and is offered in most areas of the UK.
Supported Lodgings
In Supported Lodgings individuals receive a low level of (usually housing related) support
and do not share in the family life of the landlord. Supported Lodgings Schemes are not
registered with the Commission for Social Care Inspection as they do not offer personal care.
Landlords do not undergo the same level of assessment as Shared Lives Carers and usually
receive less support from the Scheme. They are more independent and are not subject to
the same matching process. All the costs associated with placements are met by the person
living in the accommodation.
Supported Lodgings can cater for more than three people.
Who are they for?
Shared Lives schemes and Supported Lodgings schemes have been developed for a range of
different groups of people.
Details of whether schemes for people with learning disabilities exist in a particular area can
be obtained from the local authority Social Services department.
It might be anticipated that Shared Lives arrangements would be more likely to suit
particular groups of people more than others but this has proved not to be so. It has been
found to be successful for a wide range of people coming from differing circumstances with
both high and low levels of need or disability.
Arrangements are likely to be most successful where they meet the wishes and needs of the
individual either because they have expressed a preference for this type of accommodation
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or because people who have got to know the individual assess the person concerned would
be particularly suited to the type of support available.
In general Supported Lodgings are likely to be more appealing to a group of people who are
independent but vulnerable and therefore need someone to be available to monitor,
prompt and advise on problems.
There are few, if any, criteria people applying to either type of scheme have to meet other
than an assessed need and a desire to access the service.
Shared Lives Short Breaks Services are available to a widely divergent group of people. They
have proved particularly successful for people with learning disabilities.

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A11: Support Tenants
This factsheet explains how someone with a learning disability can be supported by a tenant
who lives with them. It draws heavily on the experience and practice of the Ling Trust who
specialise in providing support for people in this way.
What is a Support Tenant?
A support tenant shares the home of someone who has a learning disability (it might be a
couple). They live with them as a friend or 'flat mate'. They share household tasks and bills
just like any other unrelated friends sharing a house might. In addition the support tenant
agrees, with the care provider, to do some additional things which help the person with
learning disabilities live more independently than might otherwise be possible.
Support tenants are part of a range of choices for people with learning disabilities.
What Sort of Things Do Support Tenants Do?
A list of the activities a support tenant might do taken from a typical contract is attached to
this factsheet. The kinds of things a support tenant usually agrees are to:

be at home between certain hours e.g. 7pm to 8am

be at home on an agreed number of nights each week
give notice to the care provider if they are not going to be around during the
contracted times or prior to going on holiday
help the person they share with make breakfast and/or an evening meal a number
of days each week
involve the disabled person in daily living tasks and social activities

What is Particularly Valuable About Support Tenants?

For many disabled people this may be the first (only?) opportunity to live with and
share activities with someone who is not also disabled other than perhaps parents
It can be a very positive, genuine, friendship
It can be the key to making independent supported living economically feasible
It can play a part in linking someone with the wider community helping build a social

Shortcomings of Support Tenant Arrangements

The risks most frequently mentioned are that support tenants will leave, prove unsuitable or
that there will be a high turnover of support tenants.
Some of these risks can be reduced by:
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careful selection of support tenants

training and supervision of the support tenant
involving the person with learning disabilities in the selection process - essential
regular reviews and monitoring of arrangements
employment by an experienced care provider agency

There is likely to be turnover; students may sometimes be attracted to doing this for a while.
In evaluating this option it should be borne in mind:

there is turnover of staff in any residential home or care service this is not unusual
if the philosophy of promoting an 'ordinary life' is accepted then it is 'normal' to face
changes in relationships from time to time Having said this compared to living at
home with parents this is likely to be a more variable arrangement.

Supervision and monitoring of the support tenant is required to safeguard the resident and
get the most out of this arrangement.
What is the Status of the Support Tenant?
The learning disabled person will normally be the tenant or owner of the property. The
support tenant is likely to be a lodger. This means they have no security of tenure. This helps
to protect the more vulnerable, disabled resident.
The contract with the support tenant will provide for a period of notice if they want to leave
- say one month and indicate how long they are expected to stay in the first place - say
twelve months. However, neither is easy to enforce in practice.
The nature of the agreement with the support tenant will require careful thought and legal
advice. What you need to ensure is that you have a service contract so that if the support
tenant no longer provides the necessary support they have no right to continue living in the
The support tenant would also be entitled to one months notice.
How Do You Recruit and Select Support Tenants?
Support tenants come from a variety of sources where the opportunity can be promoted or

GPs surgeries
recommendations from former support tenants/care workers
previous carers

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The keys to successful pairing are:

attitude must like people and company, easy going

local connections and network
commitment to supporting independence
compatibility mutual regard
motivated to become a support tenant
ability to stand back

Involvement of the disabled person in selection is vital and often family, friends, previous
carers or advocates are involved as well.
The Role of Support Tenant
The support tenant will:

involve the individual in a social occasion at least once a week

be available to the individual in accordance with the attached timetable i.e. be at
home between certain hours/certain days
offer friendship, support and companionship to the individual
offer support and general advice to the individual with any care plan, risk policy or
any policy regarding drugs
help and advise the individual to develop his/her sexuality through appropriate ways
and encourage social interaction and develop relationships - in general be a good
role model
help the individual in dealing with certain household issues:

household emergencies
household management and maintenance
personal and household security
daily living activities

help the individual to deal with messages and correspondence if appropriate,

encourage them to write down appointment times and telephone messages.
Support workers will help on a daily basis but Support Tenants may at times be
needed to help immediately.
help to ensure the individual understands issues relating to security. This will also
relate to personal property
attend reviews or meetings as required.
help the individual to get up in time for appointments or work
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encourage the individual to live as independently as possible and also develop their
be a good role model. For example, introduce friends and visitors, helping to extend
these networks.
agree house rules with the individual regarding smoking, visitors, music, telephone,
cooking, bills and tidiness of rooms
pass on any worries or concerns that the individual might have to the appropriate
person or support tenant co-ordinator
respect the individual's confidentiality and not discuss details with inappropriate
contact the individual's Social Worker if for any reason the support worker has not
arrived to support them at the specified time
inform the co-ordinator as early as possible if they cannot support the tenant due to
sickness or an emergency or any other reason

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A12: Community Support Networks
What this option is
Community support networks are based on a small number of disabled people (up to about
10) who live in close proximity to each other. Each has their own home or flat although
some may choose to share.
One property in the network is occupied by a Community Living Worker, a part-time
volunteer. The worker provides a small amount of practical help to each member of the
network, for example, help with paying bills, correspondence, organising appointments,
getting the right benefits the worker is however also employed to bring members together
and help them form supportive relationships.
There is also a Network Manager who supports the workers and also helps tenants with
specific, possibly complicated issues like benefits. Each Network Manager will look after
three or four networks. There is also an out of hours helpline.
The actual housing could be owned or rented and come from any source but in practice
most networks are based on renting property from a local authority who want to have a
community network established as an option in their area.
Keyring is a relatively low support option. Network members usually have an individual care
package; the Network Manager and Community Living Worker and other members are not
expected to be the sole basis of care and support although it is possible for some people
they could be.
How to access
Keyring is the leading charitable provider of this type of community network and the best
starting point to check whether there is a suitable network nearby - www.keyring.org and
how to go about applying.
Pros and cons

Focus on abilities of network members; can contribute to feelings of self-esteem and

Can be a way of addressing risk of social isolation of disabled people living
Non-institutional and promotes independence
Can get help in an emergency
Care and support separated from housing


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Schemes are not universally available and depend on a local authority taking the
initiative to set up a scheme with Keyring and provide funding. About 40 authorities
currently have an established Keyring network
So far has most often been thought of as an option for people with more mild or
moderate disabilities
Require sufficient, suitable properties, fairly close together, being available at a
similar time

How the money works

The housing will be funded according to the type and tenure most often via Housing
Benefit. Individuals if they meet the criteria are likely to have an individual package of care
funded through Adult Social Care and possibly the Independent Living Fund as community
networks are based on the concept of each person having their own home and living
independently. The cost of the staff and running the network is most likely to be met by a
Supporting People Grant payment from the local authority

Paying for Housing Costs in Supported Living

Housing Benefit is the only welfare benefit available to pay for rented housing. Housing
Benefit is paid to those on a low income to help cover their rent. It is possible to apply for
Support for Mortgage Interest to contribute to interest payments on a mortgage. The detail
behind these payments is explored in detail later in this factsheet. .
Types of Housing Benefit:

Housing Benefit when renting in the social housing sector

Standard lettings in the Social Housing Sector (Housing Associations and Local Authority) are
straightforward (unless Spare Room subsidy applies, see below); Housing Benefit will always
match the rental requirement as this is an affordable housing option
Social Housing is allocated on a priority need basis, based on an application to the Local

Housing Benefit when renting in the private sector

Where the rental is in the private sector Local Housing Allowance rules apply

Housing Benefit to cover higher rental costs

Where property has been specifically obtained on behalf of an individual or group of people
and a higher level of rent(i.e. above the standard housing benefit amount) is required then
Exempt Accommodation or Excluded Tenancy rules may apply. For example, this may be the
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case for some people with a learning disability who have very specific housing requirements,
resulting in the need for a more expensive property type.
Local Housing Allowance, Exempt Accommodation and Excluded Tenancies in Detail:
Housing Benefit - Exempt Accommodation
Many people with a learning disability require a level of support alongside their housing
provision through, for example, supported living schemes. The special treatment of
exempt accommodation dwellings enables Housing Benefit to meet the additional costs of
providing this type of specialist housing.
Accommodation should be treated as exempt from general Housing Benefit rules if the
landlord is a:

County Council or metropolitan council, or

Housing association, or
Charity, or
Voluntary organisation.

The landlord, (or someone acting on their behalf) has an obligation to provide care, support
or supervision to the tenant. On behalf of should be taken to mean that the care, support
or supervision if not provided by the landlord should be provided for them. There should be
some form of interposition for the landlord in providing these services.
The amount of care, support or supervision provided by the landlord can vary considerably
but it must be more than minimal. It could be the case that the tenant has a very intensive
package of care or it could be that the support is fairly minor, but, nevertheless goes beyond
that which is normally provided by a housing provider.
As with the provision of accommodation it should be the landlord that has ultimate
responsibility for providing care, support or supervision or provides a level of support that
the authority is satisfied is more than minimal. It is not sufficient for the landlord to simply
facilitate, co-ordinate or just be involved in the provision of care, support or supervision
either on behalf of others, ie social services, the NHS or within a joint responsibility.
The care, support or supervision does not need to make up the entirety of all care support or
supervision provided, that is additional services provided by a different provider can be in
If the care, support or supervision is not directly provided by the landlord or by someone
acting on their behalf, for example if all the care, support and supervision are independently
commissioned by Social Services, then exempt accommodation status will not apply.
(HB/CTB Circular A22/2008)
If a local HB office is satisfied that the accommodation is exempt then eligible rent and
HB entitlement should be assessed under the old HB scheme rules (Housing Benefit
(General) Amendment Regulations 1995 (SI 1995 No. 1644, now revoked) which originally
introduced the Local Reference Rent (LRR) Otherwise the eligible rent will be calculated by
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the new HB scheme rules including the maximum rent (LHA) (HB/CTB Circular A22/2008)
(described at para 1 above).
Exempt accommodation is currently being reviewed by the Department of Work and
Pensions . Details can be found in the consultation paper Housing Benefit Reform Supported Housing (July 2011)
Future Changes to Exempt Accommodation regulations
From 10th April 2014 the regulations will be amended to add the following specified
accommodation to the definition of exempt accommodation:
provided by a relevant body; into which the claimant has been admitted in order to meet a
need for care, support or supervision; and where the claimant receives care, support or

This new specification applies to an individual exemption from the Universal Credit benefit
cap only. Any housing provider wishing to set rents at high levels will still need to satisfy the
provision of care, support and/or supervision test as exempt accommodation described
above as those regulations remain in place.

The DWP have indicated that longer term reform of the exempt accommodation regulations
within Universal Credit will be needed. It is anticipated that this may mean taking high
housing costs out of the benefit system altogether, probably by passing the responsibility to
meet these costs to Local Authorities. More detail on this is expected to be released in due
Housing Benefit - Excluded Tenancies
Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 Schedule 2 Regulation 14 defines excluded tenancies as
those that are provided by a landlord who is a Registered Provider (ie registered with the
Homes and Communities Agency)
There is no requirement to refer an application (for HB in an excluded tenancy) to the rent
officer unless the accommodation is larger than reasonably required by the claimant and any
others who occupy that dwelling (it is important to bear in mind that the size criteria applied
by the rent officer are different from the test to be applied by the LA here. The test here is
whether the dwelling is larger than the claimant reasonably needs, whereas the rent officer
is simply applying a formula based on the number of occupants), or rent payable for the
property is unreasonably high (HB/CTB Circular A22/2008)
The decision to refer a registered Housing Association case to the rent officer rests with the
LA, but for the sake of transparency the LA should have a policy for determining whether a
referral is appropriate as a high rent or a large property is not wholly determinative: the test
is unreasonably high or larger than reasonably required. HB officers are encouraged to work
closely with their RSL partners and to create a Service Level Agreement between parties:

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letting them know what criteria (for referral are being used). This raises confidence in the
HB system.
HB/CTB staff will need to liaise with other departments within the local authority (notably
Housing and Homelessness Sections) in developing and implementing procedures in regard
to RSL referrals to the rent officer. (HB/CTB Circular A28/2002).
Housing Benefit - Local Housing Allowance
The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is applied to private sector rentals and is a flat-rate
based on the average of local market rents, covering quite large geographical areas. These
figures will be public information, and will be up-rated every year by at the Consumer Prices
Index rate. These figures are not increased to include extra service charges. Service charges
eligible for housing benefit are included as an item of 'gross' rent and subject to the
maximum appropriate LHA. There are different rates for the type of accommodation you are
entitled to. These are

Shared Room Rate

One bedroom Rate
Two bedroom Rate
Three bedroom Rate
Four bedroom Rate

If your rent payable is more than the appropriate room rate, you will need to top up the
difference from other income. If it is less you will receive that amount.
If a tenant occupies a self-contained one bedroom property but are under 35 years old they
will only be eligible for the shared room rate, unless they claim DLA Care at the middle or
higher rate, in which case you will be eligible for the one room rate.
A bedroom that is used overnight by an overnight non-resident carer can secure the 2 room
rate. A person who requires overnight care is someone who

receives Attendance Allowance (AA), or

receives the middle or highest rate care component of Disability Living

Allowance (DLA), or

if they do not receive either of the above, has provided the local authority (LA)
with sufficient evidence to show that this type of care is required

In addition, the claimant, will only meet the definition if the LA is satisfied that the claimant,
reasonably requires, and has in fact arranged, that one or more people who do not occupy
as their home the dwelling to which the claim or award for housing benefit relates should
i be engaged in providing overnight care;
ii regularly stay overnight at the dwelling for that purpose; and
iii be provided with the use of a bedroom in that dwelling additional to those used by the
persons who occupy the dwelling as their home.

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The claims will not be retrospectively applied but existing claimants who required a room for
a non-resident carer before 1st April 2011 will be able to claim from that date
The provision for an extra bedroom for a non-resident overnight carer does not apply over
and above the property size cap of four bedrooms that will also be introduced from 1 April
2011. i.e., if a claim is received for a single household entitled to four bedrooms, a fifth
bedroom that is used by a non-resident carer cannot be included in determining the HB
Help with the extra room will also be available to those who have their own individual
tenancy agreement in a property that is shared with other tenants who also receive care and
there is a bedroom that is used by a non-resident carer. Any or all of the residents receiving
the overnight care and claiming HB could have the same carers room included in their
benefit assessment provided HB are satisfied they meet the requirements as individuals.
This means that individual tenants will each be able to claim the 2 room rate in their own
right, limited to the value of the their individual overall rental liability or the property size
cap for a 2 bed property, currently 290. .
Claimants under 35 eligible for the passport from Shared Room rate to self-contained rate
(those who receive mid or high rate DLA or Severe Disability Premium) will also be eligible
for the uplift to the 2 room rate as described above.
Once it has been established that the claimant has an extra bedroom, LAs will then need to
be satisfied that there is a medical need for the care. Anyone receiving AA or the middle or
highest rate care component of DLA will be deemed to have a medical need for care
There may be a small number of claims where a claimant (or partner) has overnight care,
but does not receive either AA or the relevant DLA component. In these cases, LAs have
discretion to decide what alternative evidence, if any, is needed to demonstrate that
overnight care is required, given the circumstances of the case - for example a letter
provided by the claimant from a GP or other medical professional.
Finally, LAs will need to satisfy themselves that the claimant or partner actually receives care
that requires a carer, or team of carers, to stay overnight. Again, LAs have discretion to
decide what evidence, if any, is needed in each case, and from whom it should be obtained,
such as from adult social services or the care agency providing the care.
Claimants do not need to be receiving overnight care every night of the week. The regulation
stipulates that a carer should stay overnight regularly but does not prescribe a minimum
number of nights that would satisfy this requirement. However, it is not intended that the
provision should apply for regular but infrequent care, but rather for claimants where the
need for care and therefore the bedroom is frequent, thereby enabling them to continue to
live in the community.
Housing Benefit - Spare Room Subsidy
New Housing Benefit rules came into force in April 2013. These affect people renting from
social landlords (local authorities, registered housing associations and other registered
housing providers).

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An allowance of a room each is made for:

An adult individual or a couple

A person who is not a child (age 16 and over)

Two children of the same sex (below the age of 16)

Two children (of either sex) under the age of 10

Any other child but not a foster child nor a child whose main home is elsewhere

A carer or group of carers, providing overnight care.

Any rooms in a property over this allowance will be counted as 8under occupied and
Housing Benefit will be reduced by

14% of the total eligible rent for under-occupying by 1 bedroom

25% of the total eligible rent for under-occupying by 2 bedrooms or more

The following exemptions apply;

The claimant or Partner is of State Pension Credit age

The claimant needs an extra bedroom to accommodate a carer or a group of carers who
stay overnight to look after them

The claimant lives in a shared ownership property

The Claimant lives in temporary accommodation organised by the council because they
have been homeless

The claimant lives in exempt supported accommodation (see above)

The claimant lives in Non-mainstream accommodation, eg in a houseboat, mobile

home, or in an old Rent Act regulated tenancy

The claimants child who would be otherwise expected to share needs their own room
because of the severity of their disability. Local authorities have to make individual
decisions in these circumstances.

How much can be claimed

In accommodation allocated through standard Social Housing allocation processes the full
rent will be met unless any of the provisons of the spare room subsidy regulations apply
In Exempt Accommodation and Excluded Tenancies Housing Benefit can only be restricted to
less than the full rent if the Local Authority considers the overall rent to be unreasonably
In private tenancies the appropriate room rate of Local Housing Allowance will be the
maximum that can be claimed even if the rent paid is higher. Room rates vary widely around

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the country as they are based on local market levels. It is possible to find out rates by
postcode or Local Authority by entering data here:

Eligibility and Capital restrictions

Individual or joint tenants are able to claim Housing Benefit against any rental liability they
have. They will be entirely ineligible for payment if they have capital over 16000, and will
only be able to claim full entitlement when they have less than 6000. Housing Benefit will
be paid at a gradually increased taper level for capital between 6000 and 16000. Income
from paid employment of more than 16 hours a week will also be offset against full payment
Deprivation of Capital Issues
Some people living in ATUs may have capital over6000. If that is the case they me be able
to reduce that amount before claiming Housing Benefit, with due regard to the rules around
deprivation of capital. These say that deliberately getting rid of capital in order to claim or
increase benefit counts as still possessing it. Each situation is unique and must be assessed
on its own specific circumstances. The essential test for deliberate deprivation is not what
the money may have been spent on but the intention of spending the money. For example,
expensive holidays are more likely to be seen as deprivation than the purchase of furniture
or personal items that someone moving into a new home needs but doesnt currently own
and cant reasonably be expected to be provided from another source.
Support for Mortgage Interest
How to access
Obtaining SMI is dependent on meeting the criteria set out in Schedule 3 of the General
Income Support Regulations (paragraph 4, sub-paragraph 9).
In essence this says:
'Housing cost shall be met in any case where the loan was taken out, or an existing loan
increased, to acquire alternative accommodation more suited to the special needs of a
disabled person than the accommodation which was occupied before the acquisition by the
claimant'.(Ownership series number 15)
The eligibility criteria are:

The applicant must be claiming DLA Care Higher Rate and one or more of: Income
Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance (Support Group) Severe
Disablement Allowance, Pensions Credit

Require alternative accommodation more suited to the special needs of a disabled


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If you qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest your interest payments on a new mortgage
payment you take out will be partly subsidised. On a 100,000 mortgage you would need to
contribute around 25 per week from other income to meet the full mortgage payment. You
will also need a 5% deposit and mortgage broker fees.

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