What support will I get with accommodation?

18-21 year olds

As a care leaver you will be expected to claim housing benefit to cover the local housing allowance element of your rent, with the local authority covering the shortfall and any support costs for commissioned semi-independent accommodation.

If you later move into private rented accommodation as you are assessed as being ready for a tenancy, your landlord or agency, should agree for your housing benefit to be paid directly to them. It is essential that you maintain a housing benefit claim to not incur arrears and risk eviction.

Staying put

We know that if you have been in a settled foster home, the best plan may be for you to remain living there until you have finished education or achieved other goals that will help you move smoothly to adult independence.

All fostered young people have the right to remain with their foster carers until the age of 21. If you’re at university and in a staying put placement, you can remain there until the course has finished if this goes beyond your 21st birthday.

If you and your foster carers express a wish to enter into a staying put arrangement, and we think it’s appropriate, we’ll provide advice, assistance and support to draw up a living together agreement.

Your social worker will support you to access all the benefits you’re eligible for while in your staying put arrangement, including claiming housing benefit.

You’ll need to pay a portion of money from your personal allowance, job seeker’s allowance, or wages as a contribution towards your ‘rent’ and pay all of your housing benefit to your carer.

If you’re a student in higher education and you return to your staying put arrangement during vacation periods, 40% of your termly education grant will be paid to your staying put carer to cover the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays and the difference will be paid by the local authority.

Supported lodgings

If isn’t possible for you to stay with your carer, but it’s felt you’re not ready to move into semi-independent accommodation, your social worker may consider supported lodgings for you. Supported lodgings are similar to staying put with your carers but it means you move somewhere new to live. You’ll still be living in a family home and having the additional support that comes with being part of a family.

You’ll need to pay a portion of money from your personal allowance, job seekers allowance or wages as a contribution towards your rent and pay all of your housing benefit to your carer.

Renting private accommodation

If you want to rent a private property, it’s likely your landlord will require a deposit and rent in advance before they will agree to a tenancy.

If you’re over 18 and assessed as being ready for a tenancy, we’ll support you to access rent deposit schemes, or if appropriate, you could speak to your social worker about accessing your setting up home allowance to pay for this.

Other options

You may feel that staying put with your carers, or moving to semi-independent accommodation, supported lodgings or your own tenancy unsupported, will not be right for you post 18 and up to your 21st birthday. Being involved with reviewing your pathway plan will give you the opportunity to talk with your social worker about this. They will be able to explain the options you have and provide support in finding somewhere to live that will meet your needs.

Council tenancies

Every year the Leaving Care Service receives a number of tenancies in Hackney for care leavers, we therefore prioritise those aged over 20 years old to ensure they secure suitable housing by their 21st birthday.

21 -24 year olds

If you’re not in permanent accommodation by your 21st birthday or need housing support after your 21st birthday and / or aren’t assessed as ready for a tenancy, we’ll support you to access appropriate housing support and advice.

Page updated on: 10 January 2020

Hackney Children and Families Service


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY

Opening times

  • 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday - except bank holidays