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Old Jun 10th 2010, 7:06 pm   #1
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Default Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

This initial post is a compilation of posts from the MOVING BACK TO THE UK/OVER 50's & 60's MOVING BACK TO THE UK forum.

To start off with, here are some helpful UK Sheltered Housing links:

http://england.shelter.org.uk
http://www.housingcare.org/
http://www.housingcare.org/housing-care-providers.aspx
http://www.anchor.org.uk
http://www.housing21.co.uk

You may also check with your local Council



Quote:
Just wanted to throw this out as a viable OPTION for, perhaps, some of us.....

.....Sheltered Housing.

I have been doing some research on Sheltered Housing in the UK and have been in touch, quite regularly, with the UK Sheltered Housing Secretary who is a very nice lady.

There are LOADS of Sheltered Housing schemes across the UK - some nice/some not so nice/some VERY nice; some affordable/some expensive; some with a high presence of involvement/some without; most for ages 60-65+ but SOME for ages 55+.

And each scheme has its own particular level of "involvement" i.e., if you want to keep to yourself, you can; if you want to become involved in the community and its activities, you can do that, too.

In looking online at the various places, I have seen some REALLY GORGEOUS places.

No, I'm not ready for bingo and craft mornings yet, but I bet there are worse places to live than in Sheltered Housing.
Quote:
Both of my sisters have been managers at Sheltered Housing Schemes. One Residential manager, one not, they both worked for Anchor Housing Trust. (renting)

When I went back last year I was the manager of something similar but it was for people who had bought their apartments. That company was called Peverel Managment Services Limited, I am not 100% sure but I believe they do manage some rental properties.

Like Denise said there are absolutely loads of these schemes all over the U.K. and a good option for many. The one my sister managed in West Kirby, Wirral was in a great spot and most are built to be within walking distant to town, etc as the residents are getting on, not youngsters like us lot.
Quote:
Of course, these places are more the exception than the norm, but have a read!

Barton Manor is a lovely small old manor house on the edge of the village of Nyetimber and is reputedly the oldest inhabited house in England with a Saxon Hall and 12th century chapel. (Guiness Book of Records). The fully serviced apartments are available on five year renewable leases, the monthly costs remain static for the length of the lease and there is an option to purchase. (Bognor Regis, West Sussex) Photo: http://www.housingcare.org/housing-c...s-england.aspx

Danny House offers a stylish alternative to other retirement options. Life in this Grade 1 historic Elizabethan mansion, set in a beautiful location at the foot of the South Downs, offers independence, comfort and security within a community of like-minded people. The house has spacious, high quality appartments created from the original rooms, whilst the main reception rooms have been restored to their original glory for all residents to use. Danny House was acquired by Richard Burrows in April 2004, and will be run as a family business, maintaining the ethos established by the Country Houses Association. (Hassocks, West Sussex) Photo http://www.housingcare.org/housing-c...t-england.aspx
Quote:
Some more information regarding UK Sheltered Housing:

Back in May, I sent in a UK Sheltered Housing application to HOUSING 21, a housing scheme personally recommended to me by the UK Sheltered Housing Secretary.

Today - via email - I received an Acceptance Letter from them which essentially places us on a waiting list for the 4 properties that we listed on our application (Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, and Dorset).

The Directory that was mailed to us did not contain a lot of schemes in the Age 55+ category, but it did list some [Edited to add: All Housing 21 Sheltered Housing properties are now for Age 55+] - and we made our 4 choices based on the criteria my husband and I have determined important to us in our search for accommodation/jobs in the UK.

I don't have a clue what the waiting period is, what the process is once a property is offered to you, etc., but I plan on ringing them tomorrow to get the answers so that we can know what to expect WHEN the time comes.

To give you a frame of reference - bearing in mind that these properties are certainly not The Ritz!! - weekly rentals on the 4 properties we chose range from a low of £69.41/week to a high of £120.20 per week.

Again, this might be an option for others here. Some places are really cute; some are not. If you search the properties and find one that you like, use Google web, maps, streetview, etc., to find out as much as you can about the property.

The Housing 21 website Sheltered Housing WHO CAN APPLY page states: Anyone over 55 whether you rent or own your present home or whether you are retired or still working.

Here's their website: http://www.housing21.co.uk/housing/sheltered

P.S. They have lettings and leaseholds.
Quote:
I was told that each individual scheme has its own guidelines (regarding how long they will hold a property once you accept it) and I have not phoned each one yet.

I also found out that with respect to Housing 21 - regardless of what you may see/read elsewhere - all of their Sheltered Housing schemes now begin at age 55!

Was also told that even though the application form only has room to list 4 areas (called "courts") that you are interested in, you can submit as many as you'd like.

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Old Jun 12th 2010, 12:40 am   #2
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Great post Denise and very helpful information.

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Old Jun 12th 2010, 6:44 am   #3
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Yes, super Denise, looking forward to learning more for the future!! I think this can be a great way for some of us to ease back into living in the UK.
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Old Jun 14th 2010, 12:21 am   #4
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Thank you for all the useful links.
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Old Jun 15th 2010, 4:10 pm   #5
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Here is some information about the Retirement Lease Housing Association (RLHA) who specialise in leasehold retirement housing.

Here is their website: http://www.rlha.org.uk

Quote:
What is Retirement Lease Housing Association?
Retirement Lease Housing Association (RLHA) was founded in 1971, as a not for profit housing association. The initiative came from a group of dedicated volunteers with experience in housing for elderly people, who felt the benefits of sheltered housing should be open to retired homeowners, not just to those who qualified for housing association or local authority rented schemes.

Retirement housing for sale was a revolutionary concept at that time, and RLHA was the pioneer. We now manage nearly 2500 dwellings on around 70 estates throughout the southeast. A list of the estates we manage is available on request.

What is different about RLHA?
Nowadays there are many managers and developers of retirement housing, both housing associations and also commercial operators. But we believe RLHA is a little bit different! With a thirty-eight year track record, RLHA’s experience is unrivalled. Unlike some other housing associations which provide different types of social housing, RLHA specialises in leasehold retirement housing. We emphasise a personal relationship with our customers, which some larger organisations find hard to maintain.

RLHA was probably the first manager to welcome elected leaseholders onto its Board. A place on our Board is reserved for a leaseholder elected by our Residents’ Associations’ Forum. The Forum plays an important role in influencing RLHA policy, while having a leaseholder on the Board ensure that the views of customers are represented at the very top of the organisation.

Altogether we think you will agree this all adds up to a management service which is distinctively different in the quality of service we offer our customers.

What are RLHA estates like?
The estates we manage vary in size, style and accommodation. Estates range from as small as 8 dwellings in size, up to 210 dwellings. While most are apartments, several estates also have cottages and bungalows. Many estates also have a variety of communal rooms such as a lounge, laundry room and guest room. Some are rural schemes with generous communal gardens, while town centre developments may have little garden space.

Are all the estates just for retired people?
RLHA also manages non-retirement estates, for people of mixed age groups. These non-retirement estates are managed through a wholly-owned subsidiary, known as Elm (Ethical Leasehold Management Limited). Like the parent association, this is also a “not for profit” body, and leaseholders receive the same quality of service as those on estates managed by RLHA.

Who provides the management service on the estates?
All estates are managed by RLHA’s own staff, who will arrange for maintenance of the buildings and communal areas, gardening, cleaning and insurance. Other services may also be provided, according to the lease terms and the management agreement (where applicable) on individual estates. On some estates residents are relieved of the burden of any internal maintenance within their dwelling, as this is covered by the service charge. Most estates also have an Estate Manager, as explained below.

Do you own the freehold of all the estates you manage?
RLHA is unusual in this respect. Around half the estates we manage are owned by us as freeholder, while on the other estates we work as managing agent often for leaseholder companies. We believe this split has a two-way benefit. Our experience of being employed by leaseholder companies helps to sharpen up our customer service on those estates where we are the freeholder; and our role as freeholder gives us additional understanding of the issues facing leaseholders who own or manage their own freehold.

How much is the service charge?
All leaseholders on RLHA estates pay a service charge, which covers the cost of the services provided to maintain the estate. The service charge varies between estates, depending on the level of services provided and also the size, design and the age of the estate. In most cases we also set aside into a reserve fund a prudent provision for the likely cost of major repairs in future years.

RLHA staff work hard to ensure good value for money in all services purchased with leaseholders’ money. Sample budgets and accounts can be supplied for any of our estates on request. Audited accounts are prepared for leaseholders at the end of each financial year, giving leaseholders the reassurance of knowing how each penny of their money has been spent.

Do we pay a fee to RLHA?
Leaseholders pay RLHA a fair management fee, for the work we do in managing your estate. The level of fee and the way in which it is calculated can vary, according to the terms of each lease and the services provided. Some management organisations see leasehold management as an opportunity to profit at leaseholders’ expense with dubious financial practices. RLHA is proud to make an ethical pledge to our leaseholders, which we believe is unique in our sector: we will accept no commissions, rebates or other hidden financial benefits resulting from the way we spend leaseholders’ money, other than a fair management fee.

Do RLHA estates have any resident staff?
Many estates have the benefit of a resident Estate Manager who is responsible for the day to day running of the estate. In some cases and depending on the terms of the leases on each estate, there may be a Manager who is non-resident and visits the estate at set times during the week. RLHA Estate Managers are carefully selected, well trained, and supported by a team of experienced staff based at RLHA’s Central Services office in Aldershot. Their duties encompass care of the buildings and the estate as well as support for the residents who live there. Job descriptions for all our staff are available on request.

Does RLHA work with leaseholder management companies?
RLHA has an unrivalled experience in working as managing agent for leaseholder management companies. We work for leaseholder companies which own their own freehold and also for leaseholder companies which are responsible for the management of their estate. RLHA is a market leader in working with Right to Manage companies, where leaseholders have exercised their legal right to take over their own management. Leaseholder companies find that RLHA staff are keen to work with them in providing a customer-responsive service, emphasising above all close communication and value for money services. Regardless of who is the freeholder, RLHA staff put the same emphasis on customer care in the way we manage all our estates.

Who regulates RLHA?
RLHA is a “not for profit” housing association registered with the Housing Corporation, a Government-sponsored regulator that supervises and controls the work of registered housing associations.

We are founder members of the Association of Retirement Housing Managers (ARHM), a body committed to promoting higher standards in the management of retirement housing. The ARHM produces a Code of Practice with which all members must comply. RLHA is also a member of the National Housing Federation and supports its Code of Governance, which lays down the highest standards in the way housing associations are run. So with RLHA, you can be confident of dealing with an organisation which is open, ethical and accountable.

What happens if I have a complaint about RLHA’s service?

Our aim is always to provide a high quality and responsive service. However, even in the best-run organisation mistakes may occasionally happen. If this is the case, we would welcome your complaint as an opportunity for us to put right what has gone wrong. To help us deal with your complaint as effectively as possible, please request a copy of our leaflet “How to Complain to RLHA”.

If following a complaint to RLHA you still feel dissatisfied, you have the right to appeal to the Housing Ombudsman Service. As a registered housing association, RLHA is obliged to comply with all the Ombudsman’s decisions.

Would you like to know more about RLHA? You are most welcome to contact RLHA at any time, to find out more about us on the services we can offer. Please contact Ben Young (Chief Executive) or Bernadette Rose (Director of Group Operations) as follows:

Retirement Lease Housing Association
1 Pickford Street
Aldershot
Hampshire, GU11 1TY
Tel: 01252 356000 Fax: 01252 356001
Email: info@rlha.org.uk
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Old Jun 15th 2010, 4:24 pm   #6
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

55+ Retirement Property Search is dedicated to the retirement property and retirement homes market. It has one of the widest selections of retirement properties, including houses, flats, cottages and apartments, listed for sale throughout the country.

It also provides background detail on thousands of retirement developments, and retirement properties available to rent, for information purposes and can assist you with finding exactly the property you are looking for, or indeed, help you sell your current retirement property anywhere in the country.

Tip: If you want to search for rental retirement housing, select "Rent" under PRICE/RENT; and "Independent" under CARE LEVEL in the Advanced Search option.

Last edited by DDL; Jun 15th 2010 at 4:36 pm.
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Old Sep 20th 2010, 10:25 am   #7
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Great stuff... Thanks Denise for sharing such a useful information over here.
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Old Sep 20th 2010, 6:49 pm   #8
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

You're very welcome, and just as an update: We have now been back in the UK for about a month and I have, actually received two separate offers for Sheltered Housing properties, each located in different areas of England. Due to circumstances, we have declined these, but it does prove that it is indeed possible to obtain housing without having to wait too long.
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Old Oct 8th 2010, 7:54 am   #9
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Hi Denise, I was wondering how you applied, did you do it online or go into a county council to fill in the application and was it though englandshelter.org?
Thanks.
oops sorry I think you posted how.......
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Old Oct 8th 2010, 8:17 am   #10
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by charleygirl View Post
Hi Denise, I was wondering how you applied, did you do it online or go into a county council to fill in the application and was it though englandshelter.org?
Thanks.
oops sorry I think you posted how.......
Hi Charleygirl,

I am sure Denise will come back with a better answer but I actually applied for sheltered housing when I lived in the Lake District (not knowing what I was doing with my life) to the local county council, I probably am still on the list

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Old Oct 8th 2010, 12:57 pm   #11
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Thanks barb, I looked more closely at the above posting from Denise, seems like she used shelter21......I looked them up and was very surprised and pleased to see they actually have vacancies at a place not far from my home and rent is 86 pounds a week for one bedroom so worth keeping an eye on that.
I think I am going to fill in the app and see what comes up.
Thanks for the reply.
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Old Oct 8th 2010, 6:15 pm   #12
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

I applied directly with Housing 21 because at the time we were living in the States. I doubt you could apply with any Council unless you were physically present in the UK.

It has been my experience that for Council Sheltered Housing, the starting age is usually at least 60. Like I said, Housing 21's minimum age is 55 - and they are very helpful and friendly.

Good luck everyone!
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Old Dec 12th 2010, 6:47 am   #13
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

My sister sent me the link today to this one, you can apply for as many as you like however you have to be over 60.

http://www.hanover.org.uk/
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Old Dec 12th 2010, 4:41 pm   #14
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

That's what's been frustrating for us, Barb ... Tony's 51 and I'm 56. That's why we're on the list with Housing 21 because you only have to be 55.
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Old Dec 16th 2010, 3:27 am   #15
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Default Re: Age 55+? Sheltered Housing is an option for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDL View Post
That's what's been frustrating for us, Barb ... Tony's 51 and I'm 56. That's why we're on the list with Housing 21 because you only have to be 55.
At least we have other options Denise, like you say Housing21 and Anchor and so on, as far as I can make out there is absolutely none of this kind of housing help in Australia, here you are on your own kidda, sink or swim.
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