Sheltered housing

Explains how sheltered housing works, including how to apply and the benefits.

What is sheltered housing?

Affordable, social housing in great locations, exclusive to residents aged 60 or over who want to continue to live independently, within a supportive environment.

There is a dedicated sheltered housing officer for help and advice when you need it, as well as a 24/7 helpline to call assistance in emergencies.

Our properties are usually 1 bedroom self-contained flats, grouped in small, low-rise blocks known as 'schemes'. They come unfurnished and have their own front doors, kitchens, bathroom and lounge.

Some have private gardens, and most have a communal lounge and garden, for socialising and relaxing.

Why choose sheltered housing?

  • Locations you’ll love within easy walking distance of local shops, medical facilities and bus routes. Some near bustling high streets, others over-looking the river - with 21 schemes there’s lots of choice
  • Use of communal facilities and attractive gardens
  • Video entry-phone as standard at most schemes
  • A dedicated Sheltered Housing officer for each ‘scheme’ who can be contacted directly in person, by phone or by email
  • Optional weekly welfare checks by the sheltered housing officer for peace of mind
  • 24-hour emergency assistance through a call button
  • A safe and peaceful environment
  • Independence and choice... be involved as much, or as little as you like
  • A self-service launderette
  • Guest rooms are available at some of our schemes (reasonable charges apply)

Additionally, some schemes have:

  • regular coffee mornings
  • gardening clubs
  • activities for residents
  • shared residents’ parking
  • some flats adapted for disability
  • lifts for access to flats above the ground floor

Sheltered housing doesn’t provide any medical support or have on-site carers or nursing staff.

We are sometimes confused with care homes, that’s not us! We are individual flats clustered together that share some communal facilities, to form a local neighbourhood.

What rights does a sheltered housing resident have?

All sheltered housing residents have a 'secure', also known as 'lifetime' tenancy, once they have been a council tenant for one year, and have the same rights as any other council tenant except:

  • you cannot transfer the tenancy to anybody else, except a spouse or civil partner
  • you do not have the right to buy your home.

How can I apply for sheltered council housing?

You can apply for sheltered housing if you:

  • are a British citizen or have been granted refugee status or indefinite/exceptional leave to remain
  • are aged over 60 years - this can be you or your partner
  • are a resident of Hammersmith & Fulham
  • have been a resident of the borough for five out of the last 7 years
  • you have assets of less than £60,000.

Fill in our housing application form if you're interested to apply.

For further information or to apply to join the housing register, please use our housing advice contact form.

Where can I move to in H&F?

When you apply for sheltered housing, you can put down your preferred choice of sheltered housing scheme.

View a map of all our sheltered housing schemes.

Image 1

The sheltered housing scheme at Malvern Court

Image 2

The sheltered housing scheme at Granville Court

I own my own property - can I move into sheltered housing?

Under normal circumstances this would not be possible.

However, we may consider allowing a private homeowner to move into sheltered housing in exchange for you allowing the council to rent out your property to families waiting for permanent housing.

You would still own your own property and have the option to move back into your own home if you wish.

Contact us if you are interested in this as an option.

What does the sheltered housing officer do?

As well as helping you with individual tenancy issues such as ordering repairs and paying your rent, housing officers are also responsible for the day-to-day management of the scheme.

This includes fire safety and maintenance and repair of communal areas. They can also provide information about other council services and sign-post you to help and advice.

Housing officers are also responsible for monitoring the wellbeing of individual residents and they deal with any emergencies that arise. This is done through weekly ‘welfare checks’ either through a door-step visit or over the phone.

You can opt-out if you don’t want this service.

They usually work Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, and divide their time between on and off-site working, but are always contactable by phone and email.

Emergency assistance in sheltered housing

Sheltered flats and the communal areas of schemes are fitted with an emergency alarm call system, so residents can get emergency help at any time of the day or night.

The system is linked to our Careline service, which:

  • operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year
  • is based in a control room in the centre of the borough
  • responds to all emergency calls.

Can I have pets in sheltered housing?

You can have pets in most sheltered schemes.

Most operate a policy that you can move in with a pet if you already have one, but you need our permission for a new pet. There may be exceptions to this so you should check with the housing officer before you move in.

We understand the difference a pet can make to a person’s wellbeing, especially for people living on their own, so we'll always try to agree to this if the animal is suitable and probably small!

How long do I have to wait to be moved?

It’s quicker to move to sheltered housing than to other types of social housing in Hammersmith & Fulham.

It’s hard to say exactly how long you might have to wait, but on average people receive an offer within 6 to 12 months of joining the housing register. You may have to wait longer than this if you’re very keen about wanting a particular scheme.

Higher priority is likely to go to council tenants giving up 1 or more bedrooms as part of our beneficial transfer scheme. These tenants may also qualify for an incentive payment.

Speak to a member of our supported moves team by emailing or phone the duty line on 020 8753 4390.

Do sheltered flats come decorated and carpeted?

We carry out all repairs needed to flats before they are let and carry out full health and safety checks.

We don’t decorate or carpet sheltered properties before we let them, but we do provide a decoration allowance towards the cost.

Can I do a mutual exchange in sheltered housing?

Yes, you can swap with another sheltered resident in Hammersmith & Fulham.

You could also swap to sheltered housing outside H&F provided you qualify for sheltered housing in the area you’re moving to.

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