Sheltered housing gives older people the opportunity to live an independent life in the community with some support. There are sheltered schemes throughout Bromley, operated by housing associations and consisting of groups of flats or houses/bungalows. In most schemes a home is rented from the association, but there are also leasehold schemes, where a home can be purchased. Some schemes offer communal facilities, such as laundries.

Who can apply

Anyone can apply to us to join the Sheltered Housing List. However, the schemes are actually operated by a variety of housing associations. At the point of nomination each housing association has its own eligibility criteria. These may include interviews, home visits and a general assessment of need. It will vary depending upon the organisation that operates the scheme.


Support is given to residents by housing association staff, who sometimes live on site and are known by various names, such as sheltered housing officer, scheme manager or warden. Some schemes are designed especially for frail older people and have additional facilities and specially trained staff to provide 24 hour care (see extra care housing).

What do sheltered housing officers do?

The exact role of a sheltered housing officer varies between schemes and between associations. However, generally their responsibilities include the following:

  • making regular checks on tenants` health and well-being
  • if required, liaising with relatives, GPs and other agencies to arrange care and support
  • responding to emergencies during working hours (at all other times alarm calls are answered by a central alarm service)
  • coordinating communal activities
  • managing the day to day running of their scheme.

Sheltered housing officers do not carry out tasks such as shopping, cleaning, nursing or giving medication; although if a resident needs any of these services they will try to make appropriate arrangements.

How much will it cost?

The level of rent and service charge vary between schemes, according to the standard of accommodation and the facilities and level of care provided. If you are in receipt of housing benefit, this will meet the cost of the rent, but you should seek advice as to what other costs will be met by benefits.

Next Steps

For further information on sheltered housing schemes in Bromley and to make an application, you should contact the borough's Housing Options and Assessments Team.  You can also contact individual housing associations (although not all accept direct applications). The Housing Options and Assessment Team will be able to provide you with a list.