Types of Housing

Independent living

  • Owning your own home
  • Renting private property

If you rent a property, you enter into a tenancy agreement with a landlord. The tenancy agreement sets out what the landlord has agreed to provide and how much you (the tenant) must pay. Most private rented accommodation is advertised through local estate agents and online property websites.

  • Renting social housing (including Council Housing and Housing Association properties)

You can contact your local housing department to find out if you are eligible for Council Housing.

Most Council properties are allocated according to a points, or priority “banding”, system. The more points you have, or the higher your banding, the better your chance of being offered a property.

In most cases, people can be eligible for extra points due to health conditions or disability. If you are eligible you either go on a waiting list or, more commonly, you are able to “bid” for available properties. The Council advertises vacant properties; if you are interested in the property you bid (i.e. let the Council know that you would like that property). The bidder with the highest priority is then allocated the property.

The ways in which you can bid may vary from area to area but can include telephone, online or at the local housing office. Your local housing department will be able to give you further information. 

Another option is Housing Association properties. A Housing Association is a not-for-profit organisation which owns, lets and manages rental housing. Housing Associations are sometimes registered charities, and some may be geared towards assisting particular social groups – for instance, older or disabled people. Rent may or may not be subsidised. 

Most Housing Associations allocate their properties through the same system as the Council.  Some may still accept direct applications but this is now rare. You will need to find out from the Housing Association or your local Council how to apply for properties.

Council and Housing Association housing is in very short supply and not everyone will be eligible for inclusion on the allocations list. Even those who are included on the list often remain waiting for a very long time without ever getting a property. 

Semi-independent living

Cluster housing

This is small blocks of self-contained flats with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Support is provided by a Manager, Warden or Support Worker on site. There may also have some communal facilities.

Supported Living networks

This is a self-contained house or flat which is close to similar houses and flats occupied by people with disabilities. Support staff would be nearby and supports community members like a good neighbour, providing information, advice and a sympathetic ear when needed.

Sheltered Accommodation

Sheltered Accommodation is usually, but not always, provided for people aged at least 55 (sometimes older). It can be either rented or owner occupier.

Rented Sheltered Accommodation is usually provided by local authorities or housing associations and allocated in accordance with their priority policies. You do not usually need to be assessed by Social Care in order to access it. Sheltered accommodation is designed for those who would prefer to live in a private flat but with others of a similar age around them.

Living with others

Supported Living

Supported Living is a flexible type of support that helps a person with a disability to live in their own home rather than in residential services. You might live on your own property with a carer or personal assistant visiting on a regular basis or, if you need more care, you may have a live-in carer providing 24-hour support. The level of support depends on the needs assessment that your local social services department carries out. Residential Care

Residential Care

Some people with autism require specialist, 24-hour support in a Residential Service throughout their lives; others may find that they develop health problems in later life that require this high level of support.  In these circumstances, it can be difficult to find residential care that is able to cater to both needs.Funding your Housing

Funding your Housing

Social Care funding

After considering the various housing options available to you, make a shortlist of your preferred options. If these options are ones that require support (i.e. not independent living or sheltered accommodation) you should write to your local Social Care Team to request a ‘Needs assessment’. This will assess your needs and identify the support you require.

It doesn't matter if you have previously had a Needs assessment and were not eligible for support then. You can still request an assessment if your needs have changed. Carers are also entitled to a ‘Carer’s assessment’ to assess their needs.  If you are assessed as eligible, Social Care will provide a budget to cover the cost of meeting your needs. Social Care can provide the services directly (e.g. find you a residential care placement) or provide you with direct payments so you can pay for the services yourself (e.g. employ a personal assistant who can help you with daily tasks).

Social Care support is means tested so your income and savings will be taken into account.  This means that even if you are assessed as eligible for support you may still have to pay some (or all) of the cost of your care yourself. For more advice on this contact our Autism Advice Service.


Some people living independently or semi-independently can claim a variety of benefits to help pay for food and bills, among other items. They may also be entitled to Housing Benefit, which can be used to pay rent. The rules are different for those living in residential care.

Useful contacts

Council Housing and Housing Association

Local Offer: Housing

Autism Anglia’s recommended residential placements

  • Lambert House, Norfolk, a purpose built property suitable for up to 11 people looking for residential or respite care with challenging behaviours. 
  • Whitstone House, Norfolk, can accommodate up to 10 people with or without challenging behaviours.
  • Walnut House, Norfolk, our residential service for up to 4 people who are more independent.. 
  • Bourne House, Essex, can accommodate up to 4 adults with or without challenging behaviours.
  • Peldon Campus, Essex, which consists of 4 homes which can support up to 23 adults altogether. The following 4 properties are within Peldon Campus:
  • Ashton House, within Peldon Campus, Essex, a complex needs unit for up to 3 adults who are supported on a 1:1 basis.
  • Peldon Old Rectory, within Peldon Campus, Essex, an 11-bed property situated in the beautiful countryside. 
  • John Jones House, within Peldon Campus, Essex, a purpose built complex needs unit for people who require a higher level of support in terms of behaviour and needs.