Finding somewhere to live

Housing for older people

Housing for older people (previously known as sheltered housing) is a type of housing that is available to people aged 55 and over, although some schemes are only available to those over 60. There is no upper age limit on who can live there. Tenants are generally able to do most things for themselves. They are often still quite active, want to be as independent as possible and come and go as they please. If a tenant does need some assistance with day to day tasks then they can arrange this as they would in any other accommodation.

Housing for older people properties are self-contained, purpose-built flats, and bungalows with their own front doors, kitchens and bathrooms. They are usually designed to be easily accessible for people with wheelchairs or other mobility issues. Some schemes have a communal area where residents can socialise. 

Housing for older people
Most social landlords that provide housing for older people offer some support. An officer may visit or call residents from time to time to make sure that they are well and comfortable, will address any concerns which they may have, and can put them in touch with additional support when required. Housing for older people properties will also have an alarm system so that they can call for help in an emergency.

Paying for housing for older people accommodation
If you move to a housing for older people scheme you will have to pay rent on your flat, and sometimes an additional service charge which covers a support service, and general maintenance. If you are eligible for housing benefit you will be able to claim this towards the cost of your rent, and some parts of the service charge.

How to apply for housing for older people
If you are are eligible for social care support you may be able to access housing with care.

Private supported and sheltered housing
There are also a number of private providers of supported and sheltered accommodation. These properties are usually purchased rather than rented.

Housingcare.org has a searchable directory of sheltered housing (and other types) providers.

Hanover Housing Association has affordable rental properties for older people.

You will find that many high street estate agents will also advertise supported and sheltered accommodation.

Other information and advice
Age UK provide independent advice on accessing sheltered housing schemes.

NHS Choices has advice and information for people considering a move to sheltered accommodation, either for themselves or for a relative.