We’re currently introducing a new design and are making sure everything works.

Internet Explorer users

To ensure that you can access all the features of our new site, please install a newer browser, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Opera.

Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing is designed and built with the needs of older people in mind. Sheltered housing is run and maintained by housing associations and is usually available to residents in the local area who feel that they require support to live independently.

Who can apply for sheltered housing?

Any person of pensionable age who feels the need for some support to live independently.

How do I apply?

Please contact the information and assessment team.

When is the support worker on duty?

Just like other members of staff, support workers are allowed time off for holidays. If they are unwell it is usually possible to arrange temporary cover.

Whenever the support worker is off duty, unavailable, or away from the scheme and not being covered by a deputy, the alarm system is switched to the community alarm scheme, otherwise known as the central control office, where an operator will talk to you if you call for assistance.

Does the support worker hold information about me?

Yes, the names, addressed and telephone numbers of your next-of-kin and close friends, your doctor and any relevant details of your health are kept by the support worker, and the central control office. This is a confidential record and its purpose is to enable contact to be made with the appropriate person in the event of illness or an accident, or any other problem.

What is the support worker’s role?

Support workers are practical and understanding people, sympathetic to the problems of ageing. They are carefully recruited and trained to encourage you to look after yourself and to lead an active independent life. When on duty the support worker’s primary task is to respond to an emergency as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that in the event of an illness or a fall, or some other crisis, you can quickly get help.

In an emergency, it is the support worker’s job to take the first action. It may be something that can easily be put right there and then; if not the support worker may have to call your relatives, your doctor; or other professional help that may be needed.

If you need home care services, meals on wheels or special household aids, the warden will try to help you obtain them by contacting the local Social Care Services office for you. The duty support worker will normally call on you once a day to ensure you are all right.

Are there things a support worker does not do?

Support workers are not employed to perform duties for which statutory or voluntary bodies exist, or which are the responsibility of relatives living nearby.

Support workers are not nurses – if you need regular medical treatment your doctor can arrange for you to have visits from a community Nurse. Neither are support workers permitted to administer drugs and medicines. Support workers are not there to do domestic chores such as cleaning, cooking, providing meals and shopping. They may help for residents to do these things for themselves, or to make arrangements. There is a strict instruction that support workers cannot look after you money valuables and money.

A support workers may carry out some of these tasks on a purely temporary basis, as part of an emergency response. But he or she can only be expected to do so for a limited time until help is available from other sources. It is important to remember that generally only one support worker is on duty at any one time and there are many other people in the scheme for whom the support worker must offer a similar service.

How do I contact the support workers in an emergency?

Each scheme is equipped with a modern support worker alarm system. All you need to do is to pull one of the special alarm cords or press the button on your pendant alarm and the warden will speak to you. You need only to pull the cord, or press the button once and when the support worker answers you can say what is wrong from wherever you are in your bungalow or flat. If you cannot speak you can be assured the support worker will come quickly to see what has happened. The same applies if you have a mishap in one of the communal areas.

What if the support worker is away?

If the support worker is away at any time then the scheme alarm is switched to central control. In that case, an operator will, if they deem it necessary, call your doctor; relatives or friends to help you will answer your call.

Is there a scheme doctor?

No. Each tenant has his or her own doctor. Of course if your are moving into the area you may have to change your present arrangements, but it is up to you which local doctors list you apply to join.

Who will pay my rent?

You are responsible for paying your rent. You may be eligible for help to pay your rent. For further information contact the housing benefits team.

How secure is my sheltered home?

The Council maintains its sheltered accommodation to very high standards. The doors are fitted with good quality locks.

The support worker-call alarm is there and should be used without hesitation if you are at all suspicious of anyone trying to gain admission to your home.

Legitimate callers and all Council visitors carry official identification. You should always ask to see this and check it carefully before admitting anyone you do not know.

Remember: if in doubt – do not open your door, pull the cord.

Can I keep a pet?

As a general rule, permission should be sought for a pet.

Can I invite guests to stay from time to time?

At most schemes we are able to offer guest room accommodation to relatives and friends of sheltered housing tenants. There is a small charge for each night and short-term facilities such as tea making and possible use of the laundry (if available) are provided.

If you would like to have details of the nearest scheme with a guest room please ask your support worker who can make the necessary arrangements for booking.

What if I am dissatisfied with the sheltered housing service?

If you are dissatisfied with the service you, should, in the first instance, talk to the support worker who may be able to put matters right there and then, if it is a more serious matter, the housing assistant (sheltered housing) who should regularly visit each scheme. Part of his or her job is to see the scheme runs smoothly in line with the Council’s policies and you can arrange to see him or her at any time. The warden can help you to do this.

Service providers and partners

Page updated on: 4 July 2019

Information and Assessment


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY

Opening times

  • Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm