Extra care housing is available to rent or buy. Local councils, housing associations, charities or private companies may provide schemes.
If you want to rent
Most schemes are run by local councils and housing associations. They will usually have strict eligibility criteria – for example, you might need to be over 60 and have a minimum level of care needs. Contact your local council’s social services department for details of schemes operating in your area.
If you’re already a council or housing association tenant, you may be able to transfer to an extra care housing scheme.
A small number of properties are available to rent privately. There will probably be fewer eligibility criteria to meet if you rent this way, but the rent will probably be higher.
If you want to buy
Housing to buy is mainly available through private providers, usually on a leasehold basis in England and Wales. In general, your home will be freehold in Scotland. Before you buy, you should get independent advice on your rights and responsibilities from a solicitor.
Contact The Leasehold Advisory Service for advice and information on things to consider before buying a leasehold property.
Checking the quality of a scheme
There are several ways to find out about the quality of housing and care provided by an extra care housing scheme. For example, independent regulators inspect care and health services, including housing schemes that provide care services. You can check how they rate each scheme on their websites – there are different regulators for England, Scotland and Wales.
Ask if your scheme follows the Association of Retirement Housing Managers' Code of Practice. This is a government-approved set of guidelines that encourages good practice among private managers of retirement housing.
See our advice guide Retirement housing for more information.