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Housing options



Most people want to stay in their own homes with the right support and services around them.

Staffordshire Connects is a searchable directory of local services which can help you to stay safely in your own home.

There are many pieces of equipment and tools available which can make everyday tasks easier. These range from help with putting on socks to adjusting the heating in your home. Our daily living equipment and technology page has lots of helpful information, links and advice.

If you decide you cannot live safely in your current home any longer, there are specialist housing options available. These options aim to make life easier for older and disabled people so they can still live independently. There are several options of specially designed accommodation with access to varying levels of support and care. Options include:

Residential and nursing care is suitable for people with higher levels of needs who are unable to live independently any longer.

Your local district or borough council can provide other important information about social or affordable housing, energy efficiency and advice, and homelessness.



Top tips   Back to top

When you’re deciding what kind of specialist housing would be best for you or your loved one, ask yourself:

What care and support services do I want now and in the future?

The types of care and support services available vary between different types of schemes. For example, you might want the assurance of having a care provider on site 24 hours a day to respond to an emergency should it arise. Or, you might prefer not to have any on site but to be able to make your own separate arrangements for care when you need it.

Can I afford it?

When you’re working out if a scheme is affordable for you, you’ll need to take into account:

  • weekly rent or mortgage payments
  • council tax
  • utility bills
  • weekly service charges, which vary from scheme to scheme

You'll also need to know what benefits you're entitled to.

Can I get to the GP and the shops and visit friends?

Look at how near it is to services you use regularly. Is it near enough to your doctor and the pharmacy, local cafes and the nearest bus stop?

You can use bustimes.org to check what bus route it’s on, where buses go to and how often they run.



Challenging myths about housing   Back to top

You don't have to go into a care home when it becomes difficult to remain in your own home

If your own home isn't suitable for your needs anymore, there are other housing options available. These are designed to make it easier to live safely and independently as your needs change.

Age-exclusive and extra care schemes are also suitable for people who don’t need care yet, but want to be able to stay where they live for as long as they can.

There are a number of ways to keep your money invested in property

The range of different choices that let you buy as well as rent so you can keep money invested in property.

Which? offers good advice on the pros and cons of downsizing into a smaller property which might be more suitable for your needs.

You don't have to move into a small home

Housing options can include studios (bedsits), up to three-bedroomed flats, bungalows and guest suites.



What are the different housing options available?   Back to top

Age-exclusive housing schemes

Age-exclusive schemes are becoming increasingly popular. Several modern purpose-built schemes have been developed across Staffordshire in 2018 and 2019.

Common features of age-exclusive schemes include:

  • self-contained accommodation in flats with kitchen, bathroom, lounge and one or more bedrooms
  • design features helpful for older people or people with a disability. These include wider doorways, raised electrical sockets, lowered worktops and walk-in showers 
  • communal facilities including a laundry, lounge, guest rooms and gardens
  • eligibility is usually restricted to people aged 55 and over
  • there is no manager or warden on site 
  • they are usually available as private rent, leasehold or shared ownership 


  • Weekly service charges vary from scheme to scheme.
  • They tend to be lower than housing with support and care on site as they do not include scheme management or access to out of hours care.
  • Service charges are on top of any rental or purchase costs, council tax, water rates and energy bills.
  • They are likely to include contributions towards the upkeep, repair and cleaning of communal areas.

How many are there?

As at November 2019 there are 116 age-exclusive schemes in Staffordshire.

Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing usually consists of properties grouped together. They might be blocks of flats or small estates of bungalows.

Local district or borough councils and housing associations are responsible for providing sheltered housing. They will operate a waiting list and usually apply an age restriction or other eligibility criteria. Properties may be available to rent or buy.

Common features of sheltered housing developments include:

  • self-contained properties with kitchen, bathroom, lounge and studio or one or more bedrooms
  • properties are designed for older people or people with a disability. They include with features such as raised electrical sockets, lowered kitchen work tops and walk-in showers. Some (but not all) of the properties are wheelchair accessible
  • an emergency call system built into the property
  • communal spaces including a lounge, laundry and garden
  • managers or wardens are on site during the daytime or live close by. Their job is to manage the scheme and support residents arrange services or to access the help they need 


  • Weekly service charges vary from scheme to scheme.
  • Service charges are on top of any rental or purchase costs, council tax, water rates and energy bills.
  • They are likely to include contributions towards the upkeep, repair and cleaning of communal areas and scheme management.

How many are there?

As at November 2019 there are 164 sheltered housing schemes in Staffordshire.

Contact your local district or borough council for information on sheltered housing available in your area. They will be able to tell you how to find out about housing associations and how to register for housing.

Extra care schemes

These offer 24-hour access to care and support on site. They are suitable for a wide range of people, from those with no or low care needs, to people with higher care needs and people with a learning disability. They are suitable for when your care needs may increase, and you want to be able to grow older without having to change where you live.

Enhanced sheltered housing is like extra care but has a lower level of on-site support or care available.

Common features of extra care schemes include:

  • self-contained flats or apartments with kitchen, bathroom, lounge and one or more bedrooms
  • the care provider is available on site and there are arrangements for access to an emergency on-call service all day, every day
  • restaurant or cafe, which may be open to the local community
  • communal facilities such gym or fitness centre, lounge, activity or computer rooms
  • weekly activity programmes
  • other facilities such as a small shop selling basic supplies and a hairdresser

Properties are available to rent, buy, part rent or on a shared ownership basis.


  • Weekly service charges vary from scheme to scheme.
  • They are on top of any rental or purchase costs, council tax, water rates and energy bills.
  • The charges will include contributions towards the upkeep, repair and cleaning of communal areas, scheme management and access to out of hours care.

Age exclusions and eligibility conditions may apply. For example, some schemes may only be open to people with local connections.

How many are there?

As at November 2019 there are 23 extra care and sheltered housing schemes in Staffordshire. The number of properties in each scheme ranges from 25 to 135 units.

Supported living schemes

These are smaller, shared living schemes, averaging around 4 to 5 places, often in normal housing. They are typically for younger people with a learning or physical disability who want to live independently, but with support from a care and support provider.

Each occupant will hold an individual tenancy agreement with the landlord, who is usually a housing association or a private landlord. Care and support will be provided either from an on-site care company or purchased using a direct payment or personal budget.

Common features of supported living schemes include:

  • a mixture of their own self-contained accommodation and some shared communal facilities such as a lounge and bathroom
  • the support and care provider has staff on site. In some cases this may be up to 24-hours each day, to assist with day to day support and personal care tasks usually as part of an individual care plan
  • an individual, or group of individuals, may use a direct payment or personal budget to employ their own care staff


  • These will include care costs, rental charges, and council tax.
  • Some costs, such as utility bills and upkeep of communal areas, are shared between the tenants. These costs are often covered by the benefits that individuals receive.



Further information   Back to top

You may find these web sites helpful:

Age UK

They have information about the different housing options and what to look out for when choosing specialist housing.

Care Quality Commission

You can get the regulator's latest inspection reports and ratings of residential and nursing care homes.


Finalising your choice of care home is a shortlist of questions to ask when choosing a care home.


This is a searchable database of specialist housing types by district council area.


Paying for care home fees - who pays for what? is a helpful guide. It includes basic information and tells you what benefits and funding you might be eligible for.

Local district or borough councils

Your local district or borough council website should have information on sheltered housing available in your area, links to housing associations and how to register for housing.


Did you find this webpage helpful?

If you have any feedback about this webpage please let us know by sending an email to staffordshire.connects@staffordshire.gov.uk. Thank you.

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