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Housing help for care leavers

If you are aged 18 to 21, you can get help from both Leicester City Council’s Children’s Services and the Housing Options Service.

If you are aged 18 to 21 and spent at least one night in care when you were 16 or 17, you are automatically classed as being in priority need until your 21st birthday, which means that our Housing Options service can help you find a place to live. 

Children’s Services can also help you by providing personal advisor support and help with training and education. You can find out more by visiting our 16+ team’s web page. 

Benefits for care leavers over 18 

When you turn 18 you are entitled to claim benefits.  Usually if you are aged under 35 and you rent from a private landlord, the maximum housing benefit you can get is the same rate you would get for renting a single room in a shared house. 

However, if you've been in care, this doesn't apply until you turn 22. Until then you should be able to get the full one-bedroom rate. 

Housing help for care leavers aged 21 years and above 

Some older care leavers can get accommodation from the Housing Options Service if they are in priority need.  You might be in priority need if you: 

  • are vulnerable as a result of having been in care,
  • haven't had a stable home since you left care, for example university,
  • have slept on the streets since leaving care. 

We can look carefully at your situation and see if you are vulnerable for housing purposes, which means you are more vulnerable than an average person. 

Other support for care leavers aged 18 to 24 

As a care leaver you should continue to receive help and advice from us until your 25th birthday. You can find out more by visiting our 16+ team’s web page. 

Your personal adviser should keep in touch with you to see how you are getting on.  Before you leave care you're given a pathway plan setting out what support you might need to live independently. 

Help finding housing in the private rented sector 

The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme is aimed at helping single customers and childless couples in finding a bedsit or 1-bed flat.  This is done by offering a guarantee for the deposit to landlords so you don’t have to find the money for this. 

It is only available to customers facing homelessness who have a local connection to Leicester. 

As the customer, you would need find a suitable place that you can afford.  This means the rent must be the same or less than the amount of Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance you can get.  If you do not how much you can get, you can contact our Housing Benefit Service to find out. 

Once you have found a place you can contact the Housing Options Service. We will talk to the landlord on your behalf and try to convince them to accept the scheme and rent the property to you. 

Apply for a council or housing association home 

As a longer-term alternative option, you could also think about applying for a council home or a housing association home. Please complete the online housing application on our website. Speak to your personal advisor about this.  If you are just about to leave care, and they think you have the skills to live on your own they can recommend that your application is placed in Band 1. 

Extra help for moving into a new place 

If you are a care leaver moving to a new place, you may be entitled to a help with moving expenses or household items.  You can talk t your personal advisor about this