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Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing may be for you if you are aged 60 or over and you want to live in a home that has been designed specifically for an older person's needs.

Whether you are single or a couple, wanting to rent or buy, sheltered housing could be an option. Schemes do vary from provider to provider, but they usually combine good-quality housing with security and the independence of 'your own front door'.

Schemes often offer services such as a warden or resident manager, 24-hour alarm service, laundry services, shared areas and social activities. Some schemes, known as 'very sheltered' or 'extra care' housing schemes, offer personal care tailored to individual needs, on top of warden services.

Increasingly local authorities are able to provide many of the warden services which would be available in sheltered housing to homeowners or tenants in their own homes. They do this through ‘floating support’ services provided under the Supporting People programme.

Where this support is available, it would mean that you do not need to move into sheltered housing to receive regular visits from a support worker. The support worker could:

  • offer advice on claiming benefits;
  • help you deal with your gas, electricity, phone and other bills; and
  • offer other practical support to help you live in your own home longer.

You can get information about local Supporting People services from your local Supporting People Team. This may be part of your local council or county council. Contact details are on the Supporting People website at www.spkweb.org.uk

If you decide to rent or buy, you will need to pay a service charge to cover all services including administration and maintenance costs.

You may be entitled to Housing Benefit or Pension Credit, and will be told about this when you apply. This could help you with some of the service charges. For more information on Housing Benefit and Pension Credit, see the Money & tax section.

To find out more about sheltered housing schemes in your area, contact your local council, housing associations and private retirement housing providers and arrange to visit some schemes.

Find your local council on the Directgov website

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