Start planning early

Between the ages of 16 and 18 you will start to move from child health and social care services to adult services, including housing. 

Planning should start at the Preparation for adulthood review which happens in year 9 of school (13 to 14 years old).

Things to think about if you want to leave home

Some young adults stay at home with their parents or carers. Others get a place to live on their own or with their friends.

You should think about what you want, such as:

  • living on your own or with someone
  • renting, buying or living in a supported housing environment
  • living somewhere quiet or in a busy town centre

What's suitable for you will depend largely on how complex your needs are. 

You'll also need to think about :

  • housing costs
  • managing a budget

Types of housing for young people

Mencap's housing webpage gives an overview of housing options and gives you the pros and cons of different housing options.


Private renting is an option for young people with mild special educational needs or disabilities. You can search for properties on local letting agencies or online property websites.

You can apply for a council or housing association property through Dorset Homechoice, but you're likely to join a long waiting list and you're not guaranteed to get a property.

Read more about finding somewhere to live.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership offers you the chance to buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the remaining share at a reduced rate. 

Read a guide to shared ownership for disabled people from MySafeHome.

You can get advice on how to get a mortgage and your legal rights from the Money Advice Service

Residential care

Very few young people need residential care and this is often only for a short time.

Speak to your social care team to find out more about residential care.

Supported housing

Supported housing is for people who want to live independently but need support to do so. You could have daily visits from support staff or 24 hour support. They help you to live independently and safely. Their support could include help with:

  • personal care
  • cooking and cleaning
  • shopping
  • managing money and medication
  • accessing employment, sports and social activities

Supported housing is usually shared and has support teams to help residents live independently. There are 3 types of supported housing:

  • living alone
  • shared accommodation
  • cluster flats or housing networks (several flats in one building with a support worker in one flat)

Pay for supported housing

You can use your personal budget to help cover the cost of care and support. Find information about:

You can pay for it using:

You may be able to get Housing Benefit but this is normally if you get a disability premium.

Shared Lives

Shared Lives is where an approved carer shares their home and family life to give care, support and housing with a young person or adult who needs help to live everyday life.

Find out more about Shared Lives in Dorset.

Disabled adaptations to your home

If you feel your current home is not suitable for you, you could think about making adaptations and ways to pay for them.

Your Council Tax bill may be reduced if you live in a property where changes have been made to help a resident child or adult who has a disability.

If you're a tenant you'll need permission from your landlord before any work takes place. The Equality Act 2010 means landlords or managers of a property have to make reasonable adjustments or provide extra services. 

Read more about reasonable adjustments from Citizens Advice.

Financial help

We offer financial support for disabled people to be able to live in their home comfortably.

You may be able to get a Disabled Facilities Grant. Find out how much you can get and if you're eligible on the GOV.UK website. A Disabled Facilities Grant will not affect your other benefits.

Find out more about financial help if you're disabled from GOV.UK.

If the Disabled Facilities Grant or other benefits you get don't cover the full cost, you may be able to get a low-interest rate loan to meet the difference from our partner Wessex Home Improvement Loans.

GOV.UK has an alphabetical list of all carers and disability benefits. You should check what other forms of support are available, such as:

Find out more about benefits for young people.

Advice on living away from home

There are resources available to help you live independently. You can:

Local housing advice service

Contact the Housing Advice Service for your area.

This service can:

  • help you explore avenues into suitable accommodation
  • tell you on housing related and welfare benefits
  • give advice on joining housing registers and applying for accommodation
  • provide details of other agencies who can support you