Sheltered, retirement or warden-assisted housing schemes describe accommodation provided for older people.
These schemes usually have a warden, support worker or scheme manager who lives on or off-site. There can be regular visits from a member of the support staff.
Each property has an alarm system so that residents can get help in an emergency.
Supported housing is usually for people with disabilities who need extra help with housing or care.
People can have their own tenancy and live alone. Several people may live at the same address.
Supported housing schemes combine housing, support and care services as a single package. These services are based on the needs of the tenants.
Supported housing is also designed to promote independence and social inclusion.
Close care housing
Close care housing is a type of housing linked to, or on the same site as a care home. It is usually independent, sheltered or retirement accommodation.
You can either buy or rent close care housing. If you buy a close care scheme, you may be able to sell it back if you decide to enter the care home.
There are often some services included in the accommodation service charge. You can buy other services from the care home.
Private retirement or sheltered housing
You can buy most types of private leasehold retirement or sheltered housing at full price on the open market.
These different types could be:
- Shared ownership - you buy a proportion of a property and pay rent on the rest.
- Leasehold schemes for the elderly - you buy 70% of the equity, with the rest owned by a housing association.
- Lifetime lease - you buy the right to live in a property for the rest of your life, but it reverts to the company when you die.
- Interest-only mortgage - you borrow money on the value of your home and only pay back the monthly interest. You pay back the lump sum when you sell the your home.
- Equity release - you use the value of your property to release a lump sum or income, without having to move house.
You should get independent financial advice before entering into financial agreements. Read the beginners guide to long-term care funding on the Money Helper website.