What is the Difference Between Sheltered Housing and Retirement Housing?

As a housing association with many properties across the UK available, we often get asked a lot of different questions regarding housing types and eligibility.

Sometimes, some of those questions are about finding sheltered housing or retirement housing and the thing is: they’re both similar. So similar, in fact, that they’re practically the same. They have the same purpose, the same eligibility criterion, and the same benefits.

That’s why this Accent blog is going to tell you everything you need to know about sheltered housing.

What is Sheltered Housing?

Sheltered housing, commonly referred to as both Sheltered Accommodation and Independent Living, refers to the property schemes that are purpose-built to accommodate the needs of people in later life.

No matter what stage of life you’re at, it’s nice to keep some independence and sheltered housing provides exactly that. They are typically self-contained flats that allow you to live independently yet still providing the right amount of support and assistance that you may require.

Facilities within these schemes may vary here and there but the vast majority include the same features such as accessible living, safety features, and communal spaces. Some may include housing wardens or onsite or on-call for added security.

Retirement housing is practically the same but some housing associations may refer to retirement housing in a broader sense which typically implies that all of the housing is in a retirement community.

Who Is Eligible For Sheltered Housing?

There are many schemes out there that will only accept applicants who are over the age of 60 because, really, they’re designed for seniors. But at Accent Housing, some of our schemes will accept applicants starting from the age of 45. This is dependent on both the scheme and the residents’ circumstance.

Some of our schemes give disabled applicants eligibility to sheltered housing properties. Everyone that applies to our sheltered accommodation must be able to live mostly independently for safety and wellbeing reasons.

Sheltered accommodations are apart of independent living schemes, if you are a person who requires extra assistance then assisted living schemes may be more appropriate.

There’s some other criteria to cover to determine eligibility. You may also be eligible for sheltered housing with Accent if you:

  • Have a low income
  • Don’t have any housing related debts
  • Are homeless
  • Will not be subject to immigration control
  • Aren’t guilty of anti-social or illegal behaviour

Accent Housing does have properties suitable for double applicants as well as single applicants. These suitable properties include a double bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and spacious living area.

What Are The Benefits of Sheltered Housing?

Being an Accent resident comes with plenty of benefits, just like living in one of Accent Housing’s independent living schemes.


Sheltered housing apartments are designed with elderly and retired residents in mind. Therefore, their features make life easier as the residents age. Such features are access ramps, wide doorframes, lifts, and grab rails.

Additionally, most apartments also feature accessible bathrooms with walk-in style wet rooms. And parking is close to the entrances.

Community Benefits

By living in a sheltered housing property, you’re placed in the heart of a community. Although the apartment allows for residents to be independent what with it being self-contained, they can also take advantage of the shared facilities. Have a brew and a chat in the communal lounge and meet new friends.

Sharing communal facilities can help to combat mental health issues that are brought on by feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Security & Safety Benefits

Sheltered accommodation properties also offer a range of safety and security benefits.

Each apartment is fitted with emergency pull cords which can be used in urgent situations, like if you fall and injure yourself. Pulling the cord will notify someone so that they can send help out to your apartment as quickly as possible.

CCTV is located around each premise to ensure only permitted people have building entry access. Plus, entrances feature access control systems.

Friendly Scheme Managers

Perhaps one of the best benefits about Accent’s independent living schemes is the friendly scheme managers.

Our friendly scheme managers are on site Monday through Friday and provide help and support to residents. These managers will come to know each and every resident on a personal level.

Friendly Scheme Managers also work really hard in order to organise events and provide a sense of community to residents.

Online Account Management

Using a device that has access to the internet, so a desktop or laptop, tablet or phone, you can access your Accent account. Through this account you can:

  • Check your account balance
  • Update your personal details
  • Receive notifications
  • Pay your rent online with AllPay
  • Report anti-social behaviour

How Do I Apply For Sheltered Housing with Accent Housing?

If you want to apply for sheltered housing with Accent Housing, then there’s two main ways.

Contact Our Team

You can find the nearest independent living scheme to you on our Sheltered Housing page and input your contact details into the form.

One of our team members will reach out to you ASAP and if you don’t want to wait then get in touch with the Accent team. You can call us on 0345 678 0555.

Make sure you ask to speak to someone in relation to sheltered accommodation.

Online Application

A more digital approach, sign up for a Let’s Move account. This is Accent’s online application system.

On Let’s Move, you can search for all our available sheltered housing properties and then apply direct.

Let’s Move also offers additional features which may be beneficial to you. You can set up alerts and notifications through your account so that you can be notified when a suitable property becomes available.

We would love to provide you with your new home here at Accent Housing. So if you would like to see all of our available properties for sale, then head over to homemadehomes.com to view them.

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