Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing may be a suitable option for older people who want to continue to live independently.

What is sheltered housing?

Sheltered housing gives older people the independence of having their own flat with the security of having an alarm system and a warden. The flats are usually small self-contained units or single rooms in a complex, which often has a communal social area.

It is also possible to find sheltered housing to rent or to buy.

The sheltered housing staff should check on you every day and be able to assist you in an emergency. They would not be expected to provide care or do things like shopping.

Additional care in sheltered housing

If you require additional services, you can still have care provided by the social services department, such as meals on wheels, or someone to come in to get you up in the morning, or to help you wash, or do your housework.

Alternatively, you could move into very sheltered housing or extra care sheltered housing, where services such as meals and personal care are usually provided.

Who provides sheltered housing?

A number of housing providers have sheltered housing complexes. These include councils, housing associations (to rent, for shared ownership, or to buy outright), and voluntary organisations, such as Abbeyfield or The Almshouse Association.

Buying sheltered housing

It is sometimes possible to buy a flat in a sheltered housing complex. If you already own your home, it may be easier for you to buy than to rent, as home owners are usually not given priority on waiting lists to rent from the council or a housing association.

Further information about sheltered housing

Further information about sheltered housing is available from Age UK.

You can also search for schemes in your local area through HousingCare.


Last updated:

  • Print this page
  • Email this page