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Extra care

Extra care housing is sometimes referred to as very sheltered housing or housing with care. It is social or private housing that has been modified to suit people with long-term conditions or disabilities that make living in their own home difficult, but who don't want to move into a residential care home.

Extra care housing includes converted properties and purpose-built accommodation such as retirement villages, apartments and bungalows. They can be large-scale villages with up to 300 properties. Some of these developments are for sale, others to rent, and some are a mixture of both through shared ownership schemes. Extra care housing can be run by housing associations and charities, local authorities or private sector providers.

Most residents are older people, but this type of housing is becoming popular with people with disabilities regardless of their age. It is usually seen as a long-term housing solution, but certain developments offer rehabilitation and intermediate care options for residents, and some specialise in care for people with dementia.

What are the benefits of extra care housing?

Extra care housing gives people the opportunity to live independently in a home of their own, but with other services on hand if they need them. These extra facilities vary depending on the site, but can include:

  • 24-hour access to emergency support
  • an on-site care team
  • rehabilitation services
  • day centre activities
  • a restaurant or some kind of meal provision
  • laundry
  • fitness facilities and classes
  • a base for healthcare workers

Some have mini-buses for residents and provide cleaning and maintenance for the property and grounds. These additional services will be charged for. Extra care housing residents still have access to means-tested local authority services.

The Elderly Accommodation Counsel website has details of where extra care housing developments can be found.


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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2013

Next review due: 19/08/2015

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