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What is sheltered housing accommodation?

Sheltered housing is accommodation specifically designed for older or disabled people to allow them to live independently. It usually consists of self-contained flats with communal facilities.


Schemes vary in size, but most offer a range of self-contained apartments or bungalows on one site. Properties usually have their own front door, kitchen and bathroom, so residents can continue to live independently and have the freedom to come and go as they please.


The main advantage of sheltered housing is that residents have help at hand if they need it. Most offer additional support, such as:


  • A 24-hour emergency alarm system within each property, so that residents can call for help if they have a fall, for example.

  • A scheme manager (or warden) living on- or off-site, who gives advice to residents, ensures that communal areas are clean, and arranges maintenance and repairs.

  • Regular social activities and communal areas where residents can meet together.

Sheltered housing schemes don’t usually provide help with personal care, and they require residents to have a certain level of independence. However, some schemes – known as ‘extra care’ housing – do provide support for people with greater care needs.

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