The Setting Up Home Allowance is money the Leaving Care Service puts aside to help you set up house when you move into your own place. It’s also sometimes called a Leaving Care Grant. It’s meant to cover the cost of furnishing a house – so to pay like things like furniture, white goods and carpet.
Who can get it?
‘Relevant’ and ‘Former Relevant’ young people are entitled to access the Setting Up Home Allowance. If you don’t know if you are Relevant or Former Relevant, click here.
If you over 21, you can’t get the Allowance, unless you are in higher education. The only exception to this is when it’s written into your Pathway Plan that you have a specific need or reason to not use your allowance after 21.
How much is it?
The amount of the allowance is based on your assessed need. Currently the total maximum allowance is £2,000, but this is not an automatic thing. You might get less if you are assessed to have less need, i.e. you have other means of getting the sorts of goods the allowance is meant to pay for.
The Allowance is meant to buy the expensive things that you will need when you move in to a place you intend to be for a long time. Because young people tend to move around a lot, the Leaving Care Service tries to take this into account and only give you what you need for the move you are making at that time. It’s so you aren’t stuck with no money left from your Allowance when you are a bit older and you have found a place that you really, really like and want to really fix up. This is why your PA might ask you to think about if you really need a particular thing for your house, particularly if the place you are talking about buying it for is only a sort of stepping stone to another place to live that you could better use the money for.
If you live in Warren Court or Briggs Row, all the furniture, carpeting, curtains and white goods are already provided, so expenses for living in either place won’t come out of the Allowance.
How much can I spend on each item?
Click here for a list of what you can buy from the Setting Up Home Allowance and how much we expect things will cost.
What if I want to buy something from my friends or family?
Sometimes, you might have a friend, a carer or a family member who can sell you things to set up your house. You can use the Allowance for this if the items are of a good quality and good condition and meet basic health and safety standards. Soft furnishings (chairs, couch, curtains, etc) need to be flame retardant. Gas or electrical items need to be tested (i.e. PAT tested).
These conditions (condition, quality, safety) need to be met if you buy any second-hand goods, from a shop or anywhere.
You must supply a receipt for any goods you purchase out of the grant. Please keep in mind that the receipt will then need to go to the Council, so it can keep it for its own records.
What if I want to live with a friend?
If you live with friends, it’s expected that each of you will buy something for the house. One housemate buys a couch, the other housemate buys a cooker. Each flatmate then owns the items they buy and choose to use together in the flat. If one of you moves out, you can take the things you own with you.
If there are three of you living together, your PA will consider that each of you needs to meet 1/3 of the cost. Two living together, each will meet half the cost of furnishing the place. If one of you has almost no Allowance left and the other one has not used their Allowance at all, the person with the full Allowance remaining can’t cover the cost of furnishing the flat all on their own.
What if I have a baby?
The amount of your Allowance won’t change. If you need help paying for things for a new baby (I.e. a cot), the cost of those things will be met by a separate Maternity Grant, paid by the government.
If you can’t get a Maternity Grant because you aren’t eligible and you need support, talk to your PA. The Leaving Care Service might be able to help.