What Is The Difference Between Sheltered Accommodation And Independent Living Schemes?

When searching for suitable accommodation, whether it’s for elderly relatives or themselves, we often hear how people don’t know which to choose.

Particularly, we hear how people don’t understand the difference between sheltered accommodation and independent living schemes.

And it’s understandable – there is no difference. Sheltered accommodation is also known as an independent living scheme. In this blog, we’ll outline sheltered accommodation and where Accent offers it in the UK.

What Is Sheltered Accommodation?

Sheltered accommodation, otherwise known as sheltered housing or independent living scheme, provides those over the age of 55 with suitable housing for them. This accommodation is built and managed by local authorities and housing associations, like Accent Housing.

The properties may be bungalows or other self-contained one-bedroom apartments. They are all purpose-built, adapted to the needs of those who they’re designed for.

Independent living schemes’ purpose is to provide independence to the inhabitant of the home. But support is still offered for anyone who requires it.

These schemes can offer a sense of community – some residents have also enjoyed communal spaces and shared facilities. Gardens, communal lounges, and laundry are a few examples of what is shared.

Who Is Eligible For Sheltered Housing?

As sheltered housing is designed for seniors, a lot of schemes only accept applicants who are 60 or over. Here at Accent, however, we will accept applicants from the age of 55 and above. And if they have a vulnerability, we even accept applicants who are aged 45+.

Some of our schemes accept individuals with disabilities but residents must be able to live independently (for the most part), without relying on supervision. This is for their own safety and wellbeing. For those who do need a little bit more help, assisted living schemes may be more suitable.

Being tailored to those who can live independently means that sheltered housing is not an option for people who need permanent assistance.

To qualify for sheltered accommodation with Accent Housing specifically, usually our applicants’ income has to be below a certain threshold.

What Are The Benefits Of Sheltered Accommodation (With Accent)?

Living in sheltered accommodation properties with Accent Housing have quite the number of benefits.


As our independent living schemes are designed with elderly people in mind, they’re created with the ease of access in mind.

Features such as access ramps, handrails, lifts, and wide doorframes which will make life living as the residents age. These features also provide safety to the residents to prevent accidents occurring, such as tripping over steps.

Additionally, accessible bathrooms are built in most of our apartments.

Social Benefits

Being placed in sheltered accommodation comes with social benefits as there are communal spaces within. Though the actual apartment itself is self-contained, gardens and laundry rooms are shared so residents can talk to each other.

If there are community events organised, residents can join in and enjoy them. It’s a great way to make new friends and combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.


Like with all housing association properties, sheltered accommodation is affordable as it’s suitable to those on low incomes. The apartments on offer are a really good value for money and their weekly payment is affordable, manageable.

Friendly Managers

Something Accent has, and is proud about, is that our scheme managers are very friendly. They will eventually come to know all the residents on a personal basis.

Scheme managers work hard to plan community events for the residents and provide support to residents Monday through Friday.

Sheltered Accommodation Near Me

Accent Housing offers sheltered accommodation across the North, East, and South of the UK. We provide independent living schemes in these areas:

Apply Online

Creating a Let’s Move account allows you to search and apply for sheltered accommodation online. Plus, you can choose to receive notifications for when something is available near you.

You can always call Accent on 0345 678 0555 and speak to one of our team about sheltered accommodation.

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