For Families and Carers : Financing housing

Housing benefit

Many people with Down’s syndrome who live in their own home receive some form
of Housing Benefit to contribute to their rent costs. Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit administered by local authorities and is paid to adults on a low income to help cover their rent. How much you pay will depend on the financial circumstances of your relative, not the family or carer.

Housing Benefit is the only welfare benefit available to pay for rented housing. It is available to tenants over the age of 16 renting their homes in either the private or social rented sectors; it does not provide help with mortgage costs or non-rent related housing costs. The majority of people on a low income or who receive some form of income support or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) will be eligible for Housing Benefit. To find out if your relative is eligible for Housing Benefit, visit the Gov.UK website.

Housing Benefit works slightly differently for people in private rented accommodation. You can apply for Local Housing Allowance, a maximum level of Housing Benefit set
by the local authority according to the local rental market. Some types of tenancy are exempt from Local Housing Allowance; for example, individuals who rent from a housing association. Call our benefits advisers for more information.

Support for Mortgage Interest

It is possible for some people who are claiming certain benefits to apply for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) to contribute to interest payments on a mortgage. If you qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest, your interest payments on a new mortgage payment you take out will be partly subsidised.

The applicant must be claiming the higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance or the daily living component of Personal Independence Payments and one or more of:

  • Income Support
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment Support Allowance (Support Group) Severe Disablement Allowance and/or Pensions Credit.

The Learning Disabilities England website has a range of helpful resources on this subject.

MysafeHome also specialise in shared ownership mortgages for adults with disabilities.

You can read Gayle’s story here.

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