What are sheltered housings?


April 11, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Almshouse Blog



Sheltered housing schemes are generally owned, run and maintained by a housing trust, usually a not-for-profit organisation which works closely with and is part-funded by the local authority.

Sheltered housing accommodation is self-contained and easy to manage, ranging from a simple bedsit to a large flat or small house. Such schemes are distinct from a nursing home or care home in that the tenants are usually able to look after themselves, are active and are afforded a degree of independence; equally, sheltered housing differs from retirement housing which is generally leasehold (owner-occupied). Many schemes have communal areas such as a lounge and/or garden where tenants can socialise. Many sheltered housing schemes are open only to people aged 60 or over although some accept people from the age of 55. This age restriction however is changing as the deciding factors in offering potential residents accommodation is being widened as a means to accept that being vulnerable and in need of support is not always age related.

There is generally no upper age limit, the deciding factor instead being whether the elderly or retired person is independent enough to look after themselves or if they need care. A number of housing associations are now considering the rising need for this type of accommodation and are adding suitable accommodation in plans for their new social housing developments. Many of these developments are entitled to apply for funding from local governments to provide suitable housing for the more vulnerable members of the community.