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Thinking about moving home?

If you're thinking about moving out of the family home, or moving from where you are now, we have some information that will help.

On this page you can find out about:

  • the 5 steps to moving home i.e.

    • Get a social worker, 

    • Get a social work assessment,

    • Check over the assessment,

    • Receive indicative budget and put together care plan,

    • Decide which housing option is best for you

  • what you need to think about along the way

  • advice from people who have already made the move

  • How EDG can Help: the life book

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5 steps to moving home

In this section we will tell you about the 5 steps to moving home and give you some tips for what to think about at each step. They are explained in this video, or if you don't want to watch the video, you can also scroll down and read about it. It can be helpful to know about the whole process before you get started. 

Step 1: Get a social worker

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If you don't already have a social worker, you need to get on. To get one you need to contact Social Care Direct:

by phone on 

0131 200 2324

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Step 2: Get an assessment

You need to ask your social worker to do an assessment. This is called the '3 conversations model assessment', sometimes called 'C3' for short.

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If your Carer is involved, the social worker will also do a ‘Carer’s assessment’ for them. As well as this, EDG can do an Adult Carer support plan with them. This is to help plan what support a carer needs in their caring role.

What you need to think about to prepare for step 2:

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1. What outcomes do you want to achieve and how?

3. Where you would like to live and what are your needs?

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2. What kind of support do you need for physical, mental health, day to day living etc  

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4. Would you like EDG to help you think this through? 
We can take you through our life book planning tool if you live in Edinburgh


5. Which self-directed support option do you  want? Your social worker should tell you about this but it helps to think about it in advance. If you want to change options at a later date, you need a new assessment, so it’s important to take time to think this through before the assessment. Read on to find out more, or if you know about this already, you can skip to step 3

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What are the Self-Directed Support options?

Option 1: Direct Payment:

You receive direct payment (money given directly to you by council). You choose, arrange and pay your support. Advice and support are available to you as an employer.


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Option 2: Individual Service Fund:

You choose your support organisation and the council arranges it. You don’t have to manage the money.

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Option 3: Arranged Service

You choose to have the council (social worker) select and arrange your support, you don't choose it yourself. 

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Option 4: Mix and match

You can choose a mix from options 1,2,and 3. This way you can choose what bits you want to control

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Step 3: Check over your assessment 

The social worker will give you and your carer copies of your assessments. You can read them over and tell them if there are any mistakes that need to be corrected before you move forward.

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Step 4: Indicative budget & care plan

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Your social worker should then send you an 'indicative budget'. This is the amount of money that you will get to pay for your care. 

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 You can then come up with a care plan based on this budget, using options 1, 2, 3, or 4 of Self-directed support. 

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The care plan will go to social work for approval.

Step 5: Decide which housing option is best for you

There are different options for renting or buying your home. We'll go over the options for renting first, then the ownership options. You may want to get in touch with Housing Options Scotland to find out more about these options. They can talk you through what you need to do. They have a lot of experience supporting people with disabilities to move into their own home. Your social worker will also support you at this stage.

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There are two main options for housing -
renting or buying your own home.
Renting is when someone else owns your home and you pay them money every month to live there.
When you own your own home, you don't have to pay rent but you will probably have to borrow money and pay it back to the bank every month.

We will give you an introduction to renting and buying. There are different ways to rent and different ways to buy. We will give you an introduction to the options. 

Renting options: 
Renting is when someone else owns your home and you pay them money 'rent' to live there.


There are 3 types of renting option:

  1. Council organises your support and housing in one package

  2. Social Housing

  3. Private renting

Renting Option 1:
Council organises your support and housing in one package

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Your social work assessment is considered by the council at the monthly housing and support panel. They match people with suitable housing that has become available in Edinburgh

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You can accept or reject the offer of housing. If you reject, you go back on the list for the panel and wait for another offer. It does not mean you will go to the bottom of the list.

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This will be SDS option 3. It will be a vacancy within an existing Learning Disability accommodation and support service in Edinburgh. It is usually a single service for housing and day to day support with the one provider. Some of these places will be with other people, sometimes flat for one person become available but this is less common. 

Renting Option 2:
Social Housing

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This is where your home is owned by Local Authority, a Social Landlord, or a Housing Association. You will pay rent to them and have a ‘Scottish Secured Tenancy’ (tenancy for life) or a ‘Short Secured Tenancy’.

This is a very secure option as tenancies are usually for life. It may also be the most affordable option.

To find these properties,  you need to register with edindex.
Your social worker can help you with this and Housing options may also offer some advice

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Renting Option 3:
Private Landlord

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This is when your home is owned by a private individual or private company. You pay them rent and you will have a ‘Private Residential Tenancy’. This is an open-ended tenancy which mean you can stay there until you want to move or if you are 'evicted' (this is when your landlord can force you to leave if you break some of the rules you agree to in the tenancy agreement). Or, if your landlord decides to sell the property, you will have to move. 

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You need to look for this yourself – in papers, on websites (e.g.espc, rightmove). This is less secure than social housing as landlords may sell property. The cost of private renting can be high.

Renting Options and Self-directed support: 

When you rent privately or organise you own rental situation with the council or a housing association,  you can choose any SDS option for your care at home package. This means you can choose your care provider or providers separately from you accommodation using options 1, 2 or 3 or a mix depending on what you prefer.

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Buying Options

There are different options for owning or part-owning your own home. You might have enough money to buy your own home out-right, but most people will need to borrow some money to buy. If you have some money that you can pay (known as a deposit), you can then get a mortgage and you might also want to opt for a shared ownership scheme. 

Buying step 1: Affordability test 

Find out from your bank or building society how much you can borrow. Do you have money for a deposit? How much can you afford each month? ~They will then give you a 'decision in principle' which lets you know the amount available for you to borrow. You may also need to know about how moving will impact your benefits see below. 

Buying Step 2: Look into shared ownership schemes

This step is optional and depends on your circumstances. If you If you have certain disability benefits, eg lifetime PIP, you can take part in a shared ownership scheme. Under this scheme, the Scottish Government will buy 10-40% of your home and you will share ownership with them. This means you don’t need such a big deposit. There are thresholds for the maximum price the home can cost under this scheme.

In Edinburgh this scheme is run by Link see LIFT Open Market (

They have a short video explaining how it works:



Buying Step 3: Find a home to buy
You need to look for a home yourself. You can do this on websites like ESPC  Rightmove or S1homes

Buying Step 4: Make an offer 

When you find somewhere you like, you can make an offer to the person selling the home. You can do tis through a property lawyer. They will give you advice on how much to offer. It can be a good idea to ask people you know who have bought their own home, if they can recommend a lawyer. Or you can do a search on google.


Things to think about at step 5:
What is your financial situation?

What kind of security do you want in your home?
For example do you want a home for life or do you want
something shorter-term?

Housing Options can provide more information about the differences between each option.
Housing Options Scotland can provide more information and support for you to find your own bespoke living arrangement. We recommend you contact them for more information.

Other things to think about include:
Does this home offer cover your basic needs?

Does it offer some of the nice things you would like?

Is it in an area that you want to live in?

It can help to think about what you really need and want and what you definitely don’t want before this stage to help with your decision:

EDG has a tool called a Life book. We can work through the life book with you to think these things through. Or you can contact us for a copy to work through yourself. 

Your benefits may change when you move home. Everyone’s benefits are different – we recommend contacting Fair Advice for an appointment to talk about how they might change when you move. 

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We hope you have found this information useful. If you would like to know more, please email us or call us on 0131 476 0522

Here we provide some examples of people's stories who have moved home already.

Frances shares the whole story of her move

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