Sheltered Housing

Renting sheltered housing

Sheltered Housing allows older people or people with particular needs to live independently, with the right support, in a comfortable and secure environment. It also gives the opportunity for social contact and companionship, but equally respects an individual’s right to privacy.

Security and peace of mind are offered through an alarm system and a dedicated mobile team of Sheltered Housing officers.

Sheltered Housing accommodation is generally a self contained, one-bedroom flat in a main scheme or a one-bedroom linked property. Two bedroom properties are available at some schemes.

Find out about sheltered housing by watching the video below.

View video transcript (PDF 69KB).

There are Sheltered Housing schemes throughout Aberdeenshire. Some schemes are run by us (council owned) and some by housing associations.

Sheltered Housing services and facilities

Social and community activities

Sheltered Housing is a very special environment, offering you the opportunity to have access to social activities. Some of the groups and activities you can enjoy are:

  • informal social gatherings, such as afternoon cup of tea and catch up
  • concerts or external entertainers
  • interest or hobby groups, such as crafts, exercises and games

The programme of activities is reviewed six monthly to make sure everyone enjoys them and gives you the chance to discuss new ideas.

Communal facilities

Various communal facilities are available in Sheltered Housing schemes, like a lounge, guest bedrooms, laundry room and bin rooms. These are for use by everyone living at the scheme.

The tenants’ lounge is an extension of your home. It is for you, your families and friends and your invited guests to use. The lounge is also used for group activities like games, crafts, classes, coffee mornings, concerts and special or informal social events.

Guest accommodation is available at most schemes. Your friends or relatives can visit for limited periods.

Each Sheltered Housing scheme has a communal laundry available for your use. They all have washing machines and tumble dryers.

All Sheltered Housing schemes offer facilities to encourage you to recycle rubbish.

Car parking is available at most Sheltered Housing schemes.

You may be able to keep a pet or pets, but you must get permission from your local Housing office.

You might not be able to use or get permission to buy a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair due to the physical constraints in a Sheltered Housing scheme, for example the size of a lift and width of corridors.

If you have any mobility concerns contact the Sheltered Housing officer at the scheme. They can advise if you can use a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair, or help you get the advice of a health professional.

Sheltered Housing officers

Our dedicated team of mobile Sheltered Housing officers support you to live as independently as possible. They’ll work with you to do visits or daily calls. They can:

  • give you general advice and help
  • help you with home security, maintenance and repairs issues
  • help you with official correspondence and filling in forms
  • encourage and promote social contact
  • help arrange social activities
  • help you access other services like the doctor, nurse, occupational therapists and planned care

Sheltered Housing officers help you develop a personal housing support plan. This plan helps you maintain your health and well-being. It is done every six months and can be updated if there are changes in your individual needs or personal circumstances.

Sheltered Housing officers also make sure the right confidential records are kept for each tenant at the scheme. These are kept for contact with your family, doctors and hospitals in case of emergency.

If you wish to speak to a Sheltered Housing Officer when they are on duty, there are area numbers and a Sheltered Housing Officer will answer your call.

Please pull your cord in an emergency.

Please note calls will only be answered between 8.45am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday:

  • Buchan sheltered schemes - 01358 281139
  • Banff and Buchan sheltered schemes – 01346 417360
  • Garioch sheltered schemes and Formartine sheltered schemes – 01467 539057
  • Kincardine and Mearns sheltered schemes and Marr sheltered schemes - 01224 472856

An out of hours and daytime responder service runs outside these hours. This also provides support for any unplanned care needs. The service is run by Aberdeenshire Responders for Care at Home (ARCH).

Community alarm system

A community alarm system is installed in all our sheltered housing flats, linked cottages and communal areas. You can use these to call for help in an emergency or for general help.

Each tenant is given a MyAimee pendant which lets you call for help. You should wear or keep it with you at all times. You can wear it around your neck or wrist, or carry it with you.

You can activate the alarm by:

  • pressing the button on the pendant
  • pulling the cord, or pushing the red button, on the modules in some of the rooms in your home or communal areas
  • pressing the button on the intercom

Your call will be answered by the Sheltered Housing officer on duty, or an operator at the Regional Communications Centre (RCC) if the sheltered housing staff are off duty or away from the scheme. The system identifies where you have made the call from and lets you talk to the person answering your call.

Sheltered Housing rent and service charges

Charges for Sheltered Housing are broken down into rent and a number of service charges. You pay the service charges with your rent.

The rent covers the cost of providing and managing your property, including repairs, maintenance and housing improvements.

The service charges cover the costs of the additional services provided, including:

  • heating and lighting your home and the communal facilities
  • the Sheltered Housing officer’s duties managing the scheme
  • lift maintenance
  • fire alarms
  • provision of furniture and equipment
  • cleaning communal areas

The housing support charge covers the housing support services provided by the Sheltered Housing officers. We invoice for housing support separately from your rent and other service charges.

The rent and service charges, excluding the charge for heating and lighting your home, are eligible for Housing Benefit.

Some Sheltered Housing schemes may not be covered by the concessionary television licence regulations. If this is the case you’ll need to pay the full TV licence fee.

Sheltered Housing tenants have most of the same legal rights and responsibilities as our other council tenants.

Tenant participation

Tenant participation is how you can help us improve our housing service. You can get involved at a local level, looking at issues in your own Sheltered Housing scheme or neighbourhood, or you can look at wider issues across Aberdeenshire. Your local Housing Sheltered scheme may have its own tenant group that meets on a regular basis to discuss issues within the scheme.

Sheltered Housing tenants get a copy of the quarterly Tenants Newsletter. The newsletter has news of involvement opportunities, feedback from tenant groups and information on housing issues in Aberdeenshire.

Sheltered Housing tenant forum

This forum gives you a voice about your housing concerns. It is made of representatives from Sheltered Housing schemes across Aberdeenshire. It meets three times a year to discuss issues about sheltered housing. The forum produces a newsletter, reporting on the forum discussions.

Apply for Sheltered Housing accommodation

You apply for sheltered housing via Housing Online.

In addition to the application, you will be sent a form to be complete in order that we can assess your housing support needs for sheltered housing. You will also be contacted by a Sheltered Housing Assistant Co-ordinator once you are on the waiting list to discuss your application, and any specific requirements.
Vacancies will be advertised as detailed in the information on Choice Based Lettings.

Sheltered Housing schemes

If you want to find out more about sheltered housing, please contact the relevant sheltered housing scheme or your local Housing office.

Some housing associations also provide sheltered housing, contact them to find out more about their schemes.