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Types of Housing

We want all young people in Bedford to be able to choose where they live and who they live with.

Some young people may want to continue to live with family or carers and others will want to move out of the home they have shared with family and live with friends or even independently.

Whether a young person wants to continue to live with their family, or live with others independently or with support, there is much to consider. After finding somewhere to live, a young person and their family will need to consider the time scales for any move, financial issues and the level of support they will need to live as independently as possible.

The information on these pages provides advice and guidance on the housing options available and how young people and families can support each other to identify the most appropriate living arrangements to meet each young person’s individual needs and wishes.

If a young person has an Education and Health Care Plan the year 9 review is a good place to start recording what you think are the important things you will need to think about when looking for somewhere to live.

Being a tenant (renting) from the Local Authority/Housing Association

Being a tenant (renting)

People with SEND can rent a home from:

  • a local authority (the council)
  • a housing association
  • a private landlord

To be considered for social/local authority housing, you have to be on the housing register (a waiting list). There is a lot of demand for housing and the waiting list can be long.

Anyone over 16 can apply to join the housing register. Additional points are sometimes given on the grounds of disability (subject to eligibility). Click here for more information on how to get on the housing register

Housing associations

Not all housing association properties will be advertised on the housing register. They may be allocated via their own waiting lists. To find out more visit:

Being a Tenant - Renting from a private landlord

This means renting from someone who owns a property. Some rents will be above the levels covered by housing benefit, so it is important to choose a property you can afford.   Private landlords can be:

  • a company that owns lots of properties;
  • a person or family who owns one or more properties; or
  • a charity or group who just rent properties to disabled people.

Private landlords advertise their properties in these places:

  • a letting agency or an estate agent;
  • an advert in the local newspaper;
  • on a sign outside the property;
  • on the internet; or
  • on a shop noticeboard.

Supported Living

Supported living is a way of helping adults with learning disabilities to have the opportunity to live as independently as possible. The government and Department of Health and Social Care are clear that people with learning disabilities should be allowed to live as independently as possible to enjoy a more fulfilling life.

You must be eligible to receive services from the Adults with Learning Disabilities team in order to access the provisions listed in the Housing Options for People with Learning Disabilities Booklet which can be downloaded from the right hand section of the page.

For more information on the  Bedford Independent Living Team and the Huddleston Way supported living project offer support to people with learning disabilities living independently within the community click here

Huddleston Way video 

Vacancies are offered on a priority need – your Social Worker will need to complete a nominations form for you to access the waiting list for properties. There may not be vacancies currently available for the property you are interested in

If you are thinking of moving now or in the future please discuss your plans with your Social Worker/Community Nurse in the Adult Learning Disability Team. To be supported to move you will need to have been assessed as being eligible for services through Bedford Borough Council.

Your Social Worker/Community Nurse will talk to you about all the different options available and will ensure that you get all the support you need.

If you have an allocated Social Worker/Community Nurse, please contact them directly or alternatively contact the ALDT duty worker.on  01234 276762 email

Shared Lives

Shared Lives is a service that offers people an alternative and highly flexible form of accommodation and/or care or support using the Shared Lives carer’s home as a base.

Please watch the below video where Shared Lives carers in Bedford Borough talk about their experiences.

Shared Lives arrangements are set up and supported by Shared Lives schemes and the care and accommodation people receive is provided by ordinary individuals, couples or families in the local community. Individuals and their Shared Lives carers enjoy shared activities and life experiences.

How it works

Shared Lives Bedford provides three main types of support:

Short breaks offer a supportive and enjoyable stay within a safe home. This works best when the person stays with a Shared Lives carer on a regular basis and gets to know them and their family. Short breaks can provide you with the opportunity to make new friends, try new experiences, learn new skills and become more independent. Short breaks can be anything from an overnight stay through to a few weeks away like a holiday.

Long-term placements offer you the chance to live with Shared Lives carers and / or their families on long-term basis. This offers something different to supported living or residential home. 

Short session can include doing something different to your usual day care such as going to the cinema, local pub or a local sporting event. You can learn a new skill, get help with appointments  go swimming or to the gym. It can be almost anything as long as the carer and you are safe.

Matching you with a carer

We will meet with you and / or your family to find out more about the things you need help with, the things you would like to do and what is important to you. We record this on a matching profile. Carers also have matching profiles and we will give you a choice of carers based upon the sharing of the matching profiles. This helps us find the most suitable carer for you and your needs.

If the carer is a suitable match we will introduce you. This involves you and your family meeting the carer wherever you feel most comfortable. If this goes well, more meetings will be arranged. These meetings help you decide if you are happy to continue with the Shared Lives process. If this goes well the carer will work with you to plan your support and look at any risks which is known as support planning. 

For more information on shared lives please click here

Specialist Residential Care

Specialist residential care homes may be considered after all other options for remaining at home have been explored and tried. Access to specialist residential care is based on an assessment of your needs by your Social Worker. Residential care means having a room in a building shared with a number of other people. Twenty four hour care will be provided on site as will meals. You will pay most of your benefits towards the cost of this care and be left with a small allowance.

Residential homes are owned and managed by public, private sector or charitable bodies. Some specialise in particular forms of provision, for example for people on the autistic spectrum or those with sensory impairment in conjunction with a learning disability.

George Beal House Short Breaks Service - Transitions Guide

It is a big change moving from children’s services to adult’s, but it is also a very exciting time when young adults can make new friends, widen their social opportunities and broaden and develop new independence skills.

This transition can be scary but there is lots of support available to help prepare young adults including this guide. Every young adult’s preparation to move into adulthood will be different as every individual is different.

Therefore, this guide has been written to provide information about the transitions from children’s to adult’s respite and we hope that It will answer questions you may have and address common concerns and anxieties.

Contact details for George Beal House can be found at the end of this guide so please contact us if you have any further questions or wish to discuss anything further that is included in this guide.

To vew the guide click here to view the easy read guide click here