Extra care housing

What is extra-care housing?

Extra care housing (sometimes called assisted or retirement living) is similar to sheltered/warden-assisted housing where you have your own individual self-contained flat or bungalow. The difference is that extra care can provide you with the reassurance that flexible care and support is available, on-site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet your changing needs. Many schemes include a range of facilities and activities which are aimed at supporting your health, wellbeing and leisure interests.

Extra care housing is available to buy or rent. It can be provided by a local district council, housing association, charity or a private company.

Who is extra-care for? 

Most extra care schemes are designed for people aged 55 or over who may require on-site support to continue to live independently in their own home.

Extra care is a popular choice among older people because it can provide an alternative to a care home. If you’re finding it difficult to manage in your current accommodation, and want to maintain your independence, this type of housing could be ideal for you.

Some extra care schemes are also suitable for younger adults with care and support needs who could benefit from the services/facilities that are available.

All extra-care properties for purchase or part purchase/part rent have their own individual eligibility criteria.

Benefits of extra care

Extra care housing is designed to make it easier for you to live in your own home but provides you with much more than your own front door.

In addition to the communal facilities often found in sheltered/warden assisted housing such as residents' lounge, guest suite, laundry etc, extra care schemes provide a real sense of community and added security and can include:

  • a restaurant or dining room 
  • hobby rooms and computer rooms
  • health & fitness facilities 
  • hairdressers and beauty treatment rooms
  • library

You can join in a variety of social and leisure activities as much or as little as you want to regardless of age or frailty, so you won’t be isolated.

How much does extra-care housing cost?

You will need to pay your:

  • rent or purchase costs
  • service charges which can vary depending on the location and range of services provided - they cover items such as maintenance, lighting and heating of communal areas and emergency lifeline/alarm systems
  • council tax, utilities (if not included in the rent), phone, food and other personal expenses
  • care and support costs for assistance with personal care or home care.

Some private schemes (also known as retirement living) have buy-back options and other charges. These details should be provided in the purchaser’s pack from the housing provider or developer. Most schemes are leasehold and we recommend that you get independent advice on your rights and responsibilities before purchasing.

Where to find extra care housing in Leicestershire?

Extra-care schemes where we arrange the care

There are currently six schemes in Leicestershire for rent, that are run by housing associations or district councils. 

You can find details about these schemes and how to register your interest on our Information and support directory pages above.

Who are these schemes for?

If you have been assessed by Adult Social Care as having eligible care and support needs, one of these schemes may be of benefit to you. Couples can live in these schemes if one or both of you have been assessed as being eligible.

What do these schemes cost?

You'll need to pay rent, service charges, council tax, utilities (if not included in the rent), phone, food and other personal expenses.

You may get help to pay the rent and service charges if you meet the eligibility criteria for housing benefit from your local district council. You’ll need to contact them to find out whether you qualify.

You will also need to pay for your care and support needs and a wellbeing charge which covers the cost of providing

  • the on-site 24/7 response service at times of crisis or urgent need
  • health and wellbeing monitoring to support your independence eg help with, exercise, emotional and social support

You'll need to have a financial assessment to find out how much you’ll need to contribute towards your individual care/support and the wellbeing charge.


Independent financial advice

We recommend that you take independent financial advice when planning for retirement living and paying for future care needs.

Further reading