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National Homeless Advice Service

Support when setting up home

A young person in supported accommodation should have move-on assistance to help them find and secure a home when their time in supported accommodation ends. Other young people may be unaware of the best ways to find rented accommodation, how to set up a home, organise utilities and claim benefits.



Access

Local authorities and commissioned partners may be able to help young people access good rented properties through access schemes - for more information, see the sections private rented sector and social rented sector.

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Costs

Deposits and help with paying rent

Most landlords in the private rented sector will require a deposit and rent in advance. Any damage to the property or unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy will be taken from the deposit.

Young people who are unable to raise the deposit may be eligible to apply to their local authority’s rent deposit scheme (also known as cashless bond or deposit guarantee schemes) - for more information see rent deposits and guarantees.

Furniture and household goods

Local furniture donation and re-use organisations can provide good quality second hand furniture, safety-tested appliances and other household items for young people starting out in their first homes.

Example - Furniture Re-use Network

Local charities may also provide starter packs with household essentials such as bedding and towels, a kettle, cups and plates, cutlery, pots/pans, cleaning materials, spare light bulbs etc. Some organisations providing starter packs do so only as part of a tenancy training agreement, with the overall aim of helping the young person with tenancy sustainment.

Example - Threshold tenancy packs

Move-on grants

Local charities may be able to assist with move-on grants, which can be used to pay for training and education costs and or buying household essentials.

Benefits

Young people who are entitled to housing-related benefit can apply to their local authority for a discretionary housing payment (DHP), to assist with setting up home costs. Different authorities have different criteria for these, and the amount given will be for a short time only.

Gov.uk - Discretionary Housing Payments

Budgeting loans

Budgeting loans may be available to young people claiming benefits. These must be paid back. Loan repayments are interest free and worked out at the time the loan is agreed. They are usually automatically taken out of benefits.

Budgeting loans can cover:

  • furniture or household equipment
  • advance rent or removal expenses for a new home
  • some travelling expenses
  • things to help young people to look for or start work
  • improving, maintaining or securing a home
  • repaying hire purchase or other debts.

Local support

Local authorities may provide support on a local basis. Such support will be at each authority’s discretion, and eligibility criteria and repayment will vary depending on the authority concerned.

Care leavers

Care leavers are entitled to different and additional support.

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Sustainment

Young people aged 18 to 25 have high rates of failure in their first tenancies. Support to maintain their first homes will be vital if young people are to succeed in living independently for the first time. For more information, see tenancy sustainment.

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Debt and arrears

Rent and council tax arrears and other debts can quickly lead to young people in their first tenancies losing their homes, and having to resort to loan sharks and payday lenders. For more information on helping young people manage their money, see helping young people manage money and debt.

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