Sheltered housing has great potential for keeping people well
and independent, but its role is being hampered by ignorance among
professionals and the public, said Imogen Parry, senior policy
manager at the Sanctuary Housing Association.
There were more people living in sheltered housing than in
residential and nursing home care put together, said Parry.
Sheltered housing has an important preventive role in that it
reduces social isolation and with it, loneliness and depression.
And informal daily monitoring makes early intervention more likely
which in turn can prevent people having to move to high dependency
Three per cent of the sheltered housing stock is “extra care”
housing – designed and built in partnership with social services
and offering 24-hour support, but also maximising people’s
But research has revealed widespread ignorance among the public
about sheltered housing, with many people believing it is a service
for homeless people or children.
Parry said: “The challenge is to inform the public about what
sheltered housing is and its potential for promoting social
inclusion, providing intermediate care services as well as a venue
for day care services, and for increasing choice for older
Imogen Parry is also chairperson of the Emerging Role of Social
Housing, a consortium of more than 160 organisations aiming to
promote sheltered housing.