Sheltered housing

What is sheltered housing?

Sheltered housing is for residents aged 60 or over and generally consists of unfurnished, self-contained flats. Most are one-bedroom or bedsit flats. They are generally grouped in small, low-rise blocks known as 'schemes'. A small number of the flats are designed for people who need to use wheelchairs.

In Hammersmith & Fulham, most schemes are owned and managed by us, but some schemes are managed by housing associations.

Most sheltered housing schemes have a manager who works at the scheme during office hours.

What does the scheme manager do?

Scheme managers are there to ensure that all residents have the right level of support for their needs. Some people need a lot of help, and others will not need or want assistance very often at all. The scheme manager can provide information about housing, support and care services provided by a wide range of statutory and voluntary organisations. They are responsible for monitoring the well-being of individual residents and they deal with any emergencies that may arise. They are also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the scheme - in terms of security, fire safety issues and monitoring the maintenance and repair of communal areas. They usually work between 9am and 5pm. 

Scheme managers also work with residents to encourage the best use of the communal facilities, helping them in organising social activities of their choice, encouraging residents to be part of the social club or tenants’ association (if there is one) and opening up these facilities to older people in the wider local community.

Although scheme managers are unable to provide help with nursing, caring or household tasks, or the companionship that might be expected from friends or relatives, they can help residents to access care and other support services to meet their needs.

Emergency assistance in sheltered housing

Sheltered flats and the communal areas of schemes are fitted with an emergency alarm call system, so that 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. When scheme managers are on duty they will respond to emergency calls, but when they are not on duty the Careline officers respond to all emergency calls. The Careline service operates from a 24-hour control room in the centre of the borough.

How can I apply for sheltered council housing?

You are eligible to register for sheltered council housing if:

  • you are a British citizen or have been granted refugee status or indefinite/exceptional leave to remain
  • you or your partner is aged over 60 years
  • you are a resident of Hammersmith & Fulham
  • you have assets of less than £60,000

Our specialist assessors will visit you to decide on your level of priority for sheltered housing. They look at your housing need, medical/welfare/social and economic issues and also your need for support. To live in shelteres housing, you should be able to look after yourself, or only need the support services of, for example, the meals service.

If you are interested in applying, please contact the rehousing options team at:

Rehousing options team,

1st floor
145 King Street
W6 0LJ

020 8753 1630

You can register your interest in more than one sheltered housing scheme, and this includes housing association schemes with which we have a referral agreement.

What rights does a sheltered housing resident have?

All sheltered housing residents have a secure tenancy, and the same rights as any other council tenant. However, because these flats are especially for older people there are two exceptions:

  • you cannot transfer the tenancy to anybody else, (though we would consider letting a partner who had an equal need for the accommodation stay on).
  • you do not have the Right to Buy.

What are the benefits of sheltered housing?

The benefits of sheltered accommodation include:

  • living in a community with other older people
  • keeping your privacy
  • keeping your independence
  • having a scheme manager to help in emergencies
  • 24 hour cord access to Careline

Many schemes offer:

  • a communal lounge
  • a free laundry
  • access to a communal garden

To obtain a copy of the booklet 'A guide to sheltered housing schemes in Hammersmith & Fulham' please contact your local housing office

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

h&f advice 020 8753 4198

h&f advice
145 - 155 King Street
W6 9XY

More information

Sheltered housing information on People First website