For Families and Carers : Financing housing

Housing Benefit/ Housing costs Universal Credit

Many people who have Down’s syndrome and are living independently in their own home may receive some form of Housing Benefit to contribute to their rent costs.

Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit administered by local authorities and paid to adults on a low income to help cover their rent. How much you pay will depend on your financial circumstances.

Generally speaking you are no longer able to claim Housing Benefit unless you receive the severe disability premium within your benefit (for or members this is usually income related ESA). This is because it has been replaced by Universal Credit.

Universal Credit contains a housing cost amount and you will have to claim this instead if you are not already in receipt of income related ESA.

If you have already claimed UC and you are moving into accommodation that is counted as ‘specified accommodation’, such as supported living, you will still be able to claim Housing benefit rather than having to claim UC housing costs.

For those in receipt of ESA who live in the family home but are thinking of moving into their own home, please give the benefits adviser a call to see how to remain on your ESA and claim an extra premium or have a transitional premium amount included in your benefit.

Housing Benefit works slightly differently for people in private rented accommodation. The local authority will have a Local Housing Allowance (LHA),  which gives a maximum level of housing benefit or housing costs set by the local authority according to the local rental market. Some types of tenancy are exempt from LHA; for example, individuals who rent from a housing association.

Support for Mortgage Interest

People claiming certain benefits used to be able to apply for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) to contribute to interest payments on a mortgage.

This has since been replaced by support for mortgage interest loans. The DWP now charges interest on the loan borrowed and this can be paid back once the property has been sold.

For information on mortgages, please see the link below:

MysafeHome (insert link https://mysafehome.info/ ) specialises in shared ownership mortgages for adults with disabilities.

You can read Gayle’s story here  


We can help

If you have any questions about social care, please contact us using Tel: 0333 1212 300 or Email: info@downs-syndrome.org.uk . If our information officers are unable to help, they will refer you to our social care adviser.

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