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Sheltered housing

Sheltered or supported housing lets older people live independently, in comfort and security, with the opportunity to socialise and get involved in leisure activities when they choose.
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Types of accommodation

The accommodation offered is usually either:

  • self-contained with one bedroom and its own kitchen and bathroom facilities

  • a bedsit with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Support offered

Most sheltered housing has:

  • a scheme manager or visiting support service to ensure the smooth running of the building and support the residents

  • a 24-hour alarm service so that residents can summon help in an emergency.

Before making any decision you will need to make sure that you are aware of the services offered in each home.

Age requirement

Many schemes can only accommodate people aged 55 years or older.

Who owns the properties

  • We own some of the sheltered accommodation in Lewisham. Lewisham Homes manages our properties for us.

  • Other properties in Lewisham are managed by local housing associations or registered social care landlords.

  • There are also private sheltered housing providers available.

Alternatives to sheltered housing

Some of the services provided by sheltered housing may be available, in a similar way, in your own home. See help in your home for more information.


There are different elements to the overall cost of sheltered housing:

  • the cost of renting your home and your usual household bills

  • a housing service charge to maintain the shared communal facilities

  • a charge for support services and the emergency alarm call system.

Depending on your income and savings you may qualify for housing benefit or income support or a council tax reduction.

What to do next

If you live in social housing

You will need to complete an online housing application form. Once you have done this and successfully bid on a property, we will visit you to ensure that the property is appropriate for your needs.

See also: social housing tenants who would like to move.

If you own your home

There are a number of different sheltered housing scheme providers within Lewisham.

Search for sheltered housing on the EAC website.

If you rent your home privately

Depending on your financial situation you can either:

If you don’t know whether or not you’re eligible for social housing, see the social housing criteria.