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Social and sheltered housing

Social and Sheltered Housing Panel

Social housing provides affordable housing for those with low incomes or specific needs, open to families, individuals, and the elderly.

Sheltered housing is designed for older individuals, typically aged 55+, who can live independently but may need some support.

Social housing

A housing association is a not-for-profit organisation that owns, lets, and manages rental housing. Any profits that the housing association makes are reinvested into properties you can rent.

There are over 20,000 social or housing association homes in Plymouth, ranging from sheltered housing for older people, adapted homes for people with disabilities and family homes.

All available social and housing association homes are advertised on the Devon Home Choice website.

To apply for a property, you must join the Devon Home Choice housing register.

Apply to join the Devon Home Choice housing register

Search the Devon Home Choice housing register

Once your application has been accepted, they'll write to you to confirm what band your application has been placed in and what type of home you can bid for.

Sheltered housing

If you find living in your own home difficult, but you enjoy your independence and need a little bit of support, then sheltered housing may be right for you.

You have your own front door and the peace of mind that comes from being in a safe and supportive community with people of a similar age, plus a 24-hour alarm service should you need help in an emergency.

Some sheltered housing properties are part of a large complex with a communal area where you can meet and enjoy activities with other residents. Others are built in blocks of two or three flats, and some are semi-detached bungalows.

Who can get sheltered housing

Sheltered housing schemes are run by different housing associations, and each of these has different conditions that have to be met.

Housing is usually available to anyone aged over 50, but some housing associations set a higher age limit, and others offer sheltered housing to people under 50 with a disability or a serious health complaint.

Sheltered housing options in Plymouth

Plymouth boasts a variety of high-quality sheltered housing schemes, each offering unique features and amenities.

Plymouth City Council commissions the following organisations and services to deliver sheltered housing:

View an A to Z Directory of social and sheltered housing-related groups and organisations

Support available in sheltered housing

The type and level of support you get will depend on your needs, but can include:

  • help you manage your bills
  • opportunities to join in with your local community
  • help to stay active, healthy and safe

All sheltered housing in Plymouth has a 24-hour emergency alarm service.

Paying for sheltered housing

Sheltered housing costs fall into three areas:

  • the cost of buying or renting your home
  • any service charges for maintenance and any communal facilities
  • your support costs, such as cleaning or laundry

If you're low-income, you might be able to get Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit to pay towards some of the costs.

Social housing issues and how to complain

Everyone deserves a safe and secure home.

If you live in social housing and you have an issue with your home or your landlord, there are ways to make things right.

Find out how to make a complaint 

More information



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