Last updated: 6 February 2024

Next review: 6 February 2025

It's important to make the right housing choice for you. That means planning ahead as much as possible and thinking about questions like:

  • Do I want to live on my own in a flat or house?
  • Do I want to live with other people?
  • How much privacy do I want?

Preparing for Adulthood guides

Housing options in Waltham Forest

We provide a range of housing opportunities. These include:

  • Residential housing
  • Supported housing
  • Council housing
  • Private rented accommodation
  • Shared Lives
  • Help to Buy: Shared Ownership.

To be considered for any of these options, you'll need to complete a housing needs assessment and meet certain conditions. These could include any of the following:

  • referral from another agency
  • be in receipt of disability benefits
  • lived in the borough for more than two years
  • have a diagnosed medical condition 

Your key worker will discuss your options with you and support you to get your new home.

Shared Lives

Shared Lives is a housing scheme which helps young adults who want to share in family and community life.

You can access Shared Lives if you have a learning disability, are a care leaver, or have a physical or sensory disability. It's usually a stepping stone towards further independence.

You'll be helped and supported by a carer who'll share their home with you and include you as part of their family. Support ranges from personal care to practical help.

There are Shared Lives carers throughout Waltham Forest and all are family homes that offer long or short stays, and can also include respite.

You’ll have your own bedroom and use of other rooms such as the bathroom, living room and kitchen. To access this service you will need to contact your social worker or SEN Officer.

Get in touch

Contact details

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is a Help to Buy scheme, where you part-own and part-rent the property. 

It works well for people who can stay on their own property for a long time and can do minor repairs like internal decorating. The housing association is responsible for the major maintenance and repairs of the property.


You can start owning the property by buying 25 per cent and renting the remaining 75 per cent.

This type of housing means you can't be moved if your support worker changes, and you don't have to share with anyone else either.

To qualify for this housing, you must be receiving benefits for disabled people the whole time you have a mortgage. So if you think at some stage you’ll be able to work, you may need to question if you can afford the payments.

You'll need to have a deposit and be able to pay the legal fees and the moving-in fees.

Supported living for people with learning disabilities

Outward has been providing support in Waltham Forest for people with learning disabilities for over 40 years. Their accommodation for people with disabilities is in Leyton.

Find out more about Outward Housing

Supported Housing

Supported housing is when you have a room or a flat and a package of support is made available to you. This could help with things like;

  • your personal care
  • accessing the community
  • gaining employment.
  • getting to college or work
  • housework
  • managing your finances

You'll have a support worker who will assist you will all your activities. They'll usually be available 24/7 dependent on need. The types of services include:

  • supported living services (floating support)
  • visiting support
  • tenancy sustainment

Some supported living homes may be shared by two or three people with similar conditions, such as a particular disability.

Is supported living for you

Supported living may be for you if you can no longer live with your family and need more independence.

To access supported living, your Assessment Planning and Review Officer will make a referral to the Preparing for Adulthood Panel. Then a social worker will conduct a Care Act needs assessment.

This assessment will set out all of your support needs. A package will then be put in place by the SEND team in partnership with either the Community Learning Disability Team or Adult Social Care.

This will be reviewed annually to ensure it still meets your needs and your circumstances haven’t changed.

Sheltered Housing

Residential accommodation provides 24-hour support. This can include personal care such as dressing, eating meals or helping you to access the community. 

Residential housing for young people with an Education Health and Care Plan is offered based on a Care Act needs assessment. The assessment will identify your needs, your care, support and the type of support package needed.

This type of housing support is available for vulnerable young people who have complex medical and learning disability needs.

Residential housing placements will not always be in Waltham Forest and you could also be put in another borough.

Accessing a residential placement

To access a residential placement, the Assessment Planning and Review Officer from the SEND team will present the case to a panel for direction. This will trigger a social worker to complete a Care Act assessment. Your housing needs will be explored as part of this.

Normally, if you require residential living, you won't need to maintain an Education Health and Care Plan. In this case, the Disability Enablement Service will review your current care package. It will then be transferred over to adult services where it will be reviewed annually.