Finding suitable housing when discharged from hospital, or adapting your current home, can make a huge difference to your quality of life, whether you need support yourself or are caring for someone else.
If you are likely to be homeless when discharged form hospital, you should tell the hospital nursing staff as soon as possible. They have a duty to refer you to the Council for help and may also arrange for the hospital discharge team to visit you.
If you are going to be homeless on discharge
If you are within 56 days of discharge and have no home to return to, the Housing Options team will arrange an assessment. We will owe you a prevention duty and work with you and any agency supporting you to find accommodation to go to on discharge.
If this isn’t possible then we will assess if we owe you a duty to provide temporary accommodation. The fact that you have been in hospital doesn’t automatically mean that you are classed as a priority need or vulnerable – this will depend on your individual circumstances.
Adapting your Current Property.
If you have a home already but it needs to be adapted, the hospital will refer you to adult social care who will arrange for an occupational therapist to undertake a needs assessment. They will decide if your home can be adapted and what work is needed. You may be eligible for a disabled facilities grant to carry out this work.
If you rent your home, then there is a duty for landlords to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for tenants with disabilities. Your landlord doesn’t have to make changes which affect the structure or which would substantially and permanently alter the building. For example, they don’t have to remove walls, widen doorways or install permanent ramps. But there are some things they must do to adapt your home if you’re disabled and if it’s reasonable to do so. For example, you can ask your landlord to do the following things under the Equality Act:
- Remove, replace or provide any furniture, furnishings, materials or equipment, as long as it would not become a permanent fixture when installed
- Replace or provide signs or notices
- Replace taps or door handles
- Replace, provide or adapt your door bell or door entry system
- Change the colour of any surface – for example, a wall or a door
- Changing practices, policies and procedures – for example, allowing an assistance dog in a place that normally doesn’t allow pets
Help from North Yorkshire County Council
The Local Authority has a duty to assess anyone who appears to have care and support needs under the Care Act 2014. Your local authority should:
- Assess your needs and give you advice, whatever your financial circumstances. This assessment should ascertain what type of accommodation is suitable for you, or what adaptations might be necessary to allow you to return to your own home.
- Provide information about services and support options available to you in your area.
- Give you a Carer’s assessment if you are an unpaid/family carer. The assessment by the local authority is important because it will help you work out what your difficulties are and consider what support options, including your housing arrangement, you might have.
Short term support after discharge
Help is available for up to six weeks after discharge. The service aims to help people be as independent as possible by offering a rehabilitation service that can help you rebuild your skills and confidence in doing everyday activities. If you think you may need help when you leave hospital, you can ask to see someone from social care services. They will talk to you about how you will manage at home and what help might be available. They will also see what support needs to be in place before you return home.
Living Well can support adults who are currently not eligible for on-going social care support and who:
- are lonely and / or socially isolated;
- have had a recent loss of a support network, including bereavement;
- have had a loss of confidence due to a recent change / event; or
- require face-to-face information, advice and guidance.
This may be older people, or people with physical, learning disabilities, sensory impairment or mental health needs. They can work with people for up to 12 weeks.
Contact: www.northyorks.gov.uk Telephone: 01609 780780
What are my Housing Options?
Sheltered housing (over 55’s)
Sheltered housing is designed for people who are normally able to live quite independently, but need occasional help or support from time to time. Often sheltered housing will have a warden who can be called in an emergency, and other security features such as emergency alarm systems. Sheltered housing properties may also have communal facilities such as a laundry, lounge and garden, as well as offering social activities and events. The level of support on offer will vary depending on the individual scheme.
Extra care housing (over 55’s)
Extra care housing offers a greater level of support than sheltered accommodation. Residents of extra care housing live in self-contained flats, but may have services provided to them by on-site staff, such as meals or personal care and domestic support and there are likely to be communal areas for those who wish to use them.
You do not have to sign-up to receive care and support when you first move in and the level of assistance can be increased as your needs change. Most extra care housing schemes also have communal areas such as lounges and cafes
Supported housing can offer you specialist support to address specific issues that may have led to your going into hospital, and can help you to live independently and adjust back into the community.
In Craven we have two accommodation schemes for those with mental health problems run by Foundation Housing and Airedale Homes. You need to be referred by the Community Mental Health team
Applying for social housing
If possible, prior to discharge, complete a housing application for social housing via North Yorkshire Home Choice on www.northyorkshirehomechoice.org.uk
Paper applications are also available if online completion is not an option.
If you are unable to return home from hospital because your home cannot be adapted then you would be classed as an emergency and be given a high priority. Anyone who is threatened with homelessness is also given priority banding.
Unfortunately we do not have a high turnover of social rented properties, so there is no guarantee that you would be offered accommodation before you are discharged.
There are no direct access hostels or night shelters in Craven that you can access in an emergency. Homeless Link has details of hostels and accommodation schemes across the country.
The main advantage of private rented accommodation is that you will have a greater degree of choice in terms of location and type of property.
You may also wish to start looking at suitable private renting options on websites such as ‘Right Move’ or ‘Spare Room.’
We may be able to assist you with a Bond or Rent in Advance to access private rented accommodation
Help with Housing costs.
If you are receiving a state benefit or on a low income you can apply for help with your rent. In Craven this will be through Universal Credit for working age people unless you live in supported, sheltered or extra care housing.
If you are looking to rent a private rented property, the maximum amount of help you can get is set by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). If you are under 35, you will only be able to get rent to cover you for a room in a shared house. Please see LHA rate on Craven Council’s website https://www.cravendc.gov.uk/benefits-andadvice/local-housing-allowance/