What is Extra Care Housing?

The term 'extra care' housing is used to describe developments that comprise self-contained homes with design features and support services available to enable self- care and independent living.

It comes in a huge variety of forms and may be described in different ways, for example:

  • 'very sheltered housing'
  • 'housing with care'
  • 'retirement communities' or 'villages'

Occupants may be owners, part owners or tenants and all have legal rights to occupy underpinned by housing law (in contrast to residents in care homes).

For a more detailed description of 'extra care housing', please consult the Housing LIN Factsheet No1 'Extra Care Housing: What is it?' (opens new window)

Also available is a video from the Housing LIN's 'Spotlight on Extra Care Housing' video series, entitled 'What is Extra Care Housing? (opens new window)'. This video gives a voice to residents within 20 Extra Care Housing schemes across the country on why ECH is right for them, but also consults the care workers that support them as well as industry leaders.

Increasingly extra care housing is recognised as an essential component of joint commissioning by health and social care. Extra care is now being used for intermediate care and rehabilitation as well as longer term housing. Extra care developments provide a focus for integrated working to meet housing, health and social care needs.

The majority of users of extra care housing are older people but most of the resources on these pages could be applied to other user groups as well. In addition to these pages you can find some resources that are specific to older people and extra care on the Older People pages. There are also examples of extra care development for other user groups on the Learning DisabilityPhysical Disability and Dementia pages.