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Housing advice

People suffering from a mental illness

This information is to assist people living with a mental illness with the housing options available to them.

Council and housing association homes

Council and housing association homes are also known as ‘social housing’ and are usually cheaper than renting privately. If you are interested in renting a council or housing association property you must firstly register with West Cheshire Homes to find out if you are eligible.

Once you are registered West Cheshire Homes will notify you if you have been accepted and what band you are in. The greater your housing need, the higher band you will be awarded.

Renting privately

You can look for private rented housing through estate agents, letting agencies or by searching online. If you are renting you may need to pay a deposit of one month’s rent. We offer a Bond Scheme to assist people who wish to rent privately. For further information contact the Housing Options team.

Buying your own home

If you are buying a property there are government schemes that could help you buy your own market value home or a discounted sale property.

You may be able to apply for shared ownership if you can't afford to buy the whole property and could instead own 25 per cent, 50 per cent or 75 per cent through this scheme. You will pay rent on the remaining amount. You may be able to get housing benefit (HB) for the part of the property that you rent. You may be able to get support for mortgage interest (SMI) on the part of the property that you own.

Discounted sale affordable homes are available at a reduced price of the full market value for specific eligible households who are unable to afford to purchase a market value property. For example, a £100,000 house with a 25 per cent discount would be offered to eligible applicants for £75,000. This is not a shared ownership scheme and even though there is a discount on the sale price, the purchaser still owns 100 per cent of the property and no additional rent is due. Refer to our web pages on Low Cost Home Ownership for further information on eligibility criteria and details of properties currently. 

Right to buy

If you already live in a council property you may be able to buy your property. This is called the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.

Right to acquire

If you already live in a housing association property you may be able to buy your property. This is called ‘right to acquire’ scheme.

Home swap

You can swap your home with someone else who wants to move. This is often called, ‘mutual exchange’. You can register to swap your property online. More information can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Supported housing

Supported housing may be an option if you need some support but also want some independence. It can mean that you get support in your home which is called ‘floating support’ or that you live in a supported housing scheme to get the level of support that you need.

Supported housing services offer low, medium and high levels of support and may have a time limit on how long you can stay there. Often accommodation is self-contained but you may share communal areas such the lounge, utilities and garden. You can live independently, but there should be 24 hour emergency help available if you need it. To apply for supported housing contact Forfutures on 0808 175 3595 (option three).

You may be able to get supported housing by asking for a social care assessment from Adult Social Care. This is called a ‘needs assessment'. If you have a care coordinator, speak to them about your housing needs. Your housing needs should be considered under the ‘care programme approach’ (CPA). CPA is a package of care that is given to people who have complex mental health care needs.

Living with family

Many people live in the family home because of the high cost of housing. You may value the support of having family around you if you have a mental illness. If you need more support than your family can give, you may be able to get extra support through your community mental health team or Adult Social Care. You will need to contact them and ask for a ‘needs assessment.’

Your family and carers can have their carer’s needs assessed by Adult Social Care. This is called a ‘carer’s assessment.’ The carer’s assessment should look at the care that they give to you and find out what support your carer needs.

Further information can be found on our Adult Social Care factsheets page.


If you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days, you can make an application for assistance to us under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

We have a duty to assess your case and agree a personalised plan with you and provide assistance to try to prevent your homelessness.

If you are actually homeless we will help you find alternative accommodation or may offer you temporary accommodation if you have an apparent priority need. You may be in priority need because you have a mental illness. We will also need to establish if you are eligible (have a right to stay indefinitely in the UK), not intentionally homeless, and whether you have a local connection. If you do not have a local connection you may be referred back to another local authority where you do. Contact Housing Options for further advice on homelessness.

Paying for housing

Arranging to pay for housing is as important as finding somewhere suitable to live. You may be able to get help towards housing costs if you are on a low income or unable to work. Below are some options for how you can fund your home.

Housing benefit

Housing benefit is a benefit to help people on income related benefits or a low income to pay rent. More information can be found on our housing benefit pages.

Universal Credit housing costs

Universal Credit can help with the costs of rented or owned accommodation. Further information can be found on our Universal Credit page. 

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

SMI is help to pay the interest on your mortgage. You may be able to claim SMI is if you live in a mortgaged property and claim benefits. More information on SMI can be found the Gov.UK website.

Where to get advice and support

If you would like advice about your housing situation or options you could speak to the following organisations.