Housing for older people

Types of housing available

There are a wide range of housing types available for people over 55 years and older people. Help and advice is available to help weigh up your options and to choose:

  • Retirement housing (sheltered housing)
  • Assisted living (extra care)
  • Almshouses
  • Care homes
  • Advice on choosing the right accommodation for you

Sheltered housing (or retirement housing)

Retirement housing is the term used when people buy a home developed for older people or rent one privately.

Sheltered Housing is the term used for supported housing that’s rented from Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) or from other housing associations (listed below).

Sheltered housing might appeal to you if you like living independently but want the reassurance of knowing that help is on hand if there is an emergency. Or if you want the option of socialising in a community of people in your age range.

Sheltered housing is often built in a scheme of 20 to 40 flats or bungalows, which are linked to a 24 hour care alarm system and have a communal lounge.  There is usually a scheme manager.

YHN have a range of support accommodation called Housing Plus in Newcastle. It includes:

  • Sheltered housing
  • Assisted living
  • Community support in your existing accommodation
  • supported living for people with a learning disability or autism

Visit Age UK for more information about sheltered or retirement housing.

Apply for sheltered or supported housing

To search and apply online for sheltered housing in Newcastle you need to register with Newcastle Homes.

Staff at any of the YHN Community Hubs can help you to complete your online application.

Looking for sheltered housing in Gateshead, North Tyneside or South Tyneside? Register with the Council’s housing website. You can find the list of local council websites  at www.tyneandwearhomes.org.uk.

Housing associations in Newcastle

Housing associations that provide sheltered housing in Newcastle include:

Visit Newcastle.gov.uk to see the list of Housing associations who provide sheltered housing

Buy or rent privately owned retirement housing

Read the InformationNOW article on Buying or renting ordinary housing.

HousingCare provide more information about the different housing schemes, their facilities and current vacancies.

Clarion Housing rent out retirement properties in the North East.

They have information about all of the sheltered housing schemes in your area, including private, local Council and Housing Association schemes.

Assisted living (extra care)

Assisted living housing provides housing choices to people who value their independence, but need help with some day to day tasks. It offers modern accessible apartments and opportunities to get involved in social activities.

A care team is on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide planned care and support during the day. When you need extra support, they will help where they can. Residential care might be more appropriate if you need a higher level of supervision both day and night. Nursing care is not provided.

You can apply if you are aged 55 or over and your care needs have been assessed by Newcastle City Council. Please complete an application on the Newcastle Homes website. If you don’t receive care please contact Community Health and Social Care Direct between 8am and 5pm to arrange a care assessment.

There are a number of assisted living schemes across the city which are owned and managed by registered housing providers.  If you want to know more please contact the housing provider to arrange a visit to the scheme.

There are two schemes specifically designed for people with Dementia.


Almshouses are run by charitable trusts and offer low cost accommodation for older people. Each charity has its own rules about the categories of people they can house.

For example, some almshouses were set up for retired workers of a particular trade or for people living in a specific geographical area.

The Almshouse Association can provide more information about almshouses accommodation.

Care homes

Moving into a care home is another option if you need more care and support than can be provided in your own home. There are three types of care home which, all provide communal areas, meals, a room, and possible ensuite facilities

  • Residential homes provide basic care and support such as help with dressing or someone to call on during the night.
  • Nursing homes provide personal and qualified nursing care 24 hours a day.
  • Care homes with dementia care previously known as EMI homes. These provide specialist dementia nursing care

A stay in a care home does not have to be permanent. You might want to stay in a care home for a short period to give your carer a break, or to build up your strength after an illness. This is called respite care. Some care homes allocate specific beds for respite care; others accept residents for respite if they have a vacancy.

Care homes in Newcastle are run either as commercial businesses, by not-for-profit organisations, or inspected by Newcastle City Council. 

See Choosing a care home for more information and advice.  See Care Homes in Newcastle for those inspected by Newcastle City Council.

Advice on choosing the right accommodation for you

Thinking of moving home article makes suggestions of things you may want to consider before moving home, including what to do about your pets and the practicalities of moving.

Legal & General now offer information to help you find and fund care

Silverlinks has a document on Housing, Care and Related Finance in Later Life.

Care & Repair Newcastle and Newcastle City Council have developed an online tool with EAC.  The HOOP tool can be used in a variety of formats.  There is an online question/answer form which enables you to get results as you go, or save your results and read through their advice at the end.

Downsizingdirect.com provides free advice to help you make the informed choices about your housing situation, including help to stay in your current home or help you move somewhere more suitable.

Search Newcastle have advice workers who can help you with any query you may have. This includes filling in forms, benefit checks, heating and housing problems and debt.

Care Homes in Newcastle is an online directory where you can search for care homes and nursing homes by county, by postcode, by town and by type of care.

Home care in Newcastle covers the agencies approved by the Council in Newcastle.

Housing LIN looks at UK issues related to housing; extra care housing; housing and dementia; housing stock.

Housing Matters audio and podcast series looks at the issues of adapting our homes, new homes and future proofing our homes for disability and later life in conversation with local and national leaders.

Independent Age have a national telephone helpline for advice on care, benefits, getting help at home and adapting your home. They can arrange a follow up appointment for more detailed discussions

The Council has provided the Legal & General links for information purposes only. Please note that the Council neither recommends nor endorses any products or services accessed via these links. For full details, please see their website advertising statement 

Last updated: August 18, 2023