Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing offer specially designed housing for older people, available for couples and for single people.

Who can apply for sheltered housing

Most people need to be over a certain age. It may be as low as 50 years old, up to 60 and over. You may need to demonstrate a need to be in sheltered housing. 

  • current Bedford Borough residents, or
  • those who have a connection to Bedford either through having lived here in the past, or
  • because they have close relatives living in the area and want to move to be near them in order to be able to access their help or support.

It may not suitable for:

  • frail elderly people with higher care or support needs eg people with moderate or severe dementia
  • people who need help to use toilet facilities
  • need help to feed themselves.

Sheltered housing accommodation

Sheltered housing are usually groups of unfurnished self-contained flats or bungalows. Some are in modern complexes with shared areas like a lounge, laundry, guest room and gardens. 

Living in sheltered housing means that you will be able keep and maintain your independence. You will have your own front door and be free at all times to come and go as you please.

Some sheltered housing have a dedicated warden or manager who is on site all or part of the day to support tenants. 

Each property is equipped with an alarm if you need help in an emergency.

You are solely responsible for insuring your household contents and possessions.

How to apply

You can apply for sheltered housing by registering on My Home Options Choice Based Letting (the housing register). 

If you're already on the housing register, request a revision form and indicate you're interested in  housing for older people.

You can talk to our Housing Options Team on 01234 718058 or email

It is not possible to say how long it may be before you are successful in your bidding for sheltered housing properties. Depending on where you want to live and the type of property you want, you may have to wait for quite a while.

If you are offered a place

If you are successful in your bid for a property, you will be formally offered the property. Once you have signed the tenancy acceptance form you will enjoy all the rights and privileges of an assured tenant.

You are responsible for:

  • paying your own rent
  • running your home
  • providing your own meals

You are expected to make your own arrangements for moving in, and to meet the cost of doing so. Your landlord will tell you how to arrange gas and/or electricity supply.

How to pay your rent

You are responsible for paying your rent. You may be eligible for housing benefit to help towards your rent and Supporting People grant to help with your support costs. For more information, contact the Bedford Borough Council Housing Benefit Team on 01234 718097 or email

Warden or scheme managers 

Generally, sheltered housing have wardens or scheme managers that provide low level support or assistance when needed, such as:

  • help in an emergency
  • encourage you to look after yourself and lead an active, independent life
  • help you arrange home care, meal delivery, household aids
  • resolve complaints or problems for you if they can

Moving out

This is your home. Like any other assured tenant you can give notice to terminate your tenancy and move out if you wish to.

If you want to move to a different sheltered housing scheme, either with the same landlord or a different one, then you talk to your landlord before you give notice. They can advise you about how to request a move to a different service. 

If you are living as a couple and one of you dies, the surviving partner will not be required to move, even if your dwelling is designed for two people. However, if the accommodation is specifically designed for a disabled person and the surviving partner does not need those facilities, your landlord may offer suitable alternative accommodation.