Independent living – When you are 18 you can legally hold your own tenancy. It is important that you are prepared for this responsibility as you are then responsible for rent and paying all the bills. You will still be eligible for support from your Personal Adviser – or other accommodation support workers.
If you are a Care Leaver aged 18 and over, you may be entitled to a ‘setting up home allowance’ (SUHA) of £2,138. This will help you buy things like furniture, a fridge, a cooker and bedding. Your Personal Adviser will help you buy them.
Your own tenancy – All of the accommodation providers above can help you to access training to build your skills in being a good tenant in the future, through P2i.
The training scheme is called the Tenant Accreditation Scheme (TAS) and achieving this will help you convince private landlords in the future that you have the right skills and attitude to manage and pay for your own place.
Speak to your Personal Adviser or staff at your accommodation scheme, to find out more about this.
The Leaving Care Team also offer the Preparation for Adult Living and ASDAN schemes to help you prepare for doing the TAS.
Managing your household – We can help you with practical support when you move into and furnish your new home.
We can also help you claim housing benefit and universal credit.
Being a tenant – Your Personal Adviser (and supported housing staff) will give you advice about holding down a tenancy, including avoiding getting behind on rent or Council Tax payments, paying bills and budgeting.
We know it can be very hard having your own place for the first time. We will do whatever we can to ease the pressures.
We can also support you if you have a housing crisis, including helping if you are threatened with the loss of or lose your tenancy.
In 2019 there is work in Somerset to help exempt all care leavers from Council Tax payments. Any discounts or exemptions could be applied to your Council Tax account.