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Older Persons

Sheltered Housing

What is sheltered housing?

Sheltered housing is purpose built or specially adapted housing designed for older people, which allows them to live independently, but with the additional security of a floating sheltered support officer to call on in an emergency. This allows residents to have the privacy of their own front door, with the companionship and support of other residents if and when required.

Each sheltered housing scheme is different. In most cases the schemes are made up of self-contained individual flats with additional communal facilities such as a residents lounge, small kitchen and laundry room.

Support when its needed

Individual flats have an emergency alarm system that can be used to alert the sheltered support officer in case of emergency. Outside staff working hours, the residents are supported by Southwark monitoring and alarm response team (SMART), who will respond promptly to any emergency situations.

Who can apply

Sheltered housing schemes in Southwark are run by either a housing association or by the council. You may apply if you are over 60 years old, or if you are between 55 and 60 years old with a disability and support need. You will need to register for housing in the normal way and then request a sheltered assessment. Once you are placed on the sheltered list, you will be able to bid for both sheltered properties and for general purpose properties advertised for older people. Waiting times are generally much shorter than for other types of housing.


Other options if you have elderly and have care needs

FirstStop Advice is an independent, free telephone service offering advice and information to older people, their families and carers about housing and care options for later life. The service is provided by EAC in partnership with a number of other organisations including HousingCare and brings together a wealth of expertise to help older people and their carers explore the options and choices open to them. It can provide specialist help on any aspect of care, support or housing for older people, including financial issues as well as statutory rights and entitlements. A growing network of affiliated FirstStop Local services bring additional local knowledge and in many cases can even offer face to face advice or home visits.

Call FREE on 0800 377 7070
Visit the website at

Our flagship HousingCare website provides a vast range of free information and guidance for elderly people, their relatives and carers, as well as professionals who work with them. Includes specialist directories of over 40,000 retirement housing developments and care homes in the UK, with details of nearly 3,000 available properties updated each week. A new Directory of Home Services provides information on local services that can help older people live safely and independently at home.