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Sheltered accomodation

(42 Posts)
dollie Fri 18-Apr-14 12:25:43

Are there any grans that have downsized from a rented council family home to a rented council sheltered flat? ....i need to downsize due to poor health but the very thought of sheltered isnt very pleasing to me at all....the choice in my area for suitable housing for the over 65s is in very short in supply ...

dollie Sun 27-Apr-14 10:37:04

Yes annananna i know theres a shortage of homes for the over 60s ive never disputed that and i know how the bidding system works...i have also followed the correct procedure...its the lack of information that frustrates me when ringing the council up for further information and they tell you they dont know!!! To find out the information you need you have to bid for a property and then ask which is i could bid for a property go and see it and want to accept it but theres no storage for a mobility scooter!!! Or be told no pets are allowed! So ive not only wasted my time but the councils also...a prime example there was a bungalow on the list a few weeks back in my area.... i know the road and its a very long road i asked which end of the road the bungalow is situated and they said they wouldn't tell me in case i go and have a look before its allocated...i explained if it were at the far end it would be too far away from the centre of the village for me to walk into...they still refused to say and i was told to bid for the property and then i would find local pm has intervened and the council have basically said im lying because the housing have denied theyve even told me what they have!!!!

Wallygrom i cannot do a mutual exchange as I'm only allowed to move into a one bedroom property ...theres no large family crammed into a one bedroom property to swap with...yes there are other housing options but i get NO benefits due to a private pension so cant afford the high rent, community and maintainence charges...

I know i have to wait until a suitable property comes up on the list which is not very often i can tell frustration lies with the lack of info that the council gives you!!!! Ive been banging my head against a brick wall now for years!!!!

On a brighter note i did bid for a property last week which exactly meets my needs and am waiting to hear if i get a viewing ....yes i have a very long list of questions to ask!!!!!

Elegran Fri 25-Apr-14 21:17:23

Some really good advice here, dollie I do hope it helps you.

Wallygrom Fri 25-Apr-14 20:46:56

Sorry to come in on the conversation so far into it, but thought my input might help.

As someone who works in a managerial role, specifically in social housing for the 60yrs+ age group managing both general needs, sheltered and extra care accommodation for many years, the home move system is 'for the most part' the same method across the country with some very slight variations. If you are in a village and wish to stay in the area, your choice will by default be reduced sadly by the size of where you live.

You are also able to do a mutual exchange not only between council properties but also with Housing Associations's - take a look at these sites for more information: and

You can also find out what housing associations operate in your area and ring them direct to find out whether they have suitable properties in your area - to find out what HA's operate in your area go to: - you might find that there are charitable housing provided by churches and various other local charities.

Another major input would not only be AgeUK but also Shelter.

All properties that become void will by default be listed with the council and advertised on their website, in the local newspaper etc. You are generally advised to go and view the area as soon as a property becomes available and you should also contact the landlord to request a viewing before you bid on a property. Sadly properties are only listed for around a week as landlords expect a quick turnaround to reduce void times (and therefore lost rent).

As regards whether you would be entitled to some help with rent/support costs and other benefit entitlement, I would recommend that you consider undertaking an on line assessment to give you a better idea as to whether you can claim at:

If you have any specific questions to ask, I would be more than happy to address these by PM directly rather than on the forum if you would like any help as I appreciate much of this can divulging personal information. I cannot guarantee I can give you all of the answers but I can certainly perhaps give you some pointers/advice. Good luck!

NannaAnna Fri 25-Apr-14 18:34:03

Thank you Elegran for your astute observation! It is a shame that many Gransnetters dismiss the local sites as not being used by local members. If they don't use their own, then of course it won't get used! Self-fulfilling prophecy. If Gransnetters aren't interested in local sites, they will eventually disappear, which is fine, because they were set up out of a perceived interest in local sites, which has to exist to make them work! If there's no interest there's no point!


Hello dollie! If you would like Gransnet West Sussex to publicise the problems you're having, then our local forum would be a perfect vehicle -
I can discuss it on our Facebook Page
and on our Twitter page

dollie The West Sussex local site started out as the Worthing site, but it was decided to expand it to cover the whole county because … now let me think why … Oh yes - people complained there were no Gransnetters in Worthing, and we hoped there might be a few elsewhere in Sussex!
By the way, East Sussex is a separate site, being a separate county, and is to date editor-less. Anyone in East Sussex fancy taking it on?
Brighton & Hove has its own site, which I also edit:

Anyway, back to your problems with Adur and Worthing Councils dollie
If you'd like the local site to help, it would help to know exactly where the council have been less than helpful.
For instance, their website does make it clear that
"There is a severe shortage of housing available and approximately 1 in every 10 people will be rehoused each year. Many people wait at least three years to get a property through the Housing Register but other people will not be rehoused at all."

The bidding process seems to be set out quite clearly here: and this paragraph explains how you will get to view a property once you are at the top of the list. It doesn't seem to suggest at all that you will be penalised for rejecting somewhere once you've seen it. Seems reasonable to me?
'What happens after I have bid for a property?
"You will be contacted if you are at the top of a list for a property and invited to view the property. Sometimes the top two or three people may be asked to view a property in case the first person refuses it. After you have viewed the property you will usually be offered the tenancy and asked whether you want to accept the property. If you refuse the property, you can usually carry on bidding for alternative properties." '

Available properties are listed fortnightly:
"How do I find out what properties are available?
Properties are advertised every two weeks on the Sussex Homemove website.

This is not a subject I know anything about, so perhaps others with experience can tell me if this seems a reasonable set-up?
If it is, then dollie must be having problems caused by the correct procedures not being followed. I don't want to post grievances against a local authority on social media without having the facts straight. If the local MP has intervened, there must be good grounds?

Elegran Thu 24-Apr-14 14:04:20

Hardly anyone uses it for the same reason as you - because hardly anyone uses it! If people like you living in West Sussex did use it, then it would not be unused, would it?

If you want to publicise the attitude of the Worthing and Adur council toward their older residents, then you need to use everything you can.

Elegran Thu 24-Apr-14 14:01:36

Dollie It might still be worth you contacting the editor NannaAnna She might mention it on the Gransnet West Sussex facebook page, or twitter it from there, which would get to the ears of the council.

Are you on facebook? If so, go to and post a cpmment on there.

NfkDumpling Thu 24-Apr-14 12:53:25

Talking of publicity and media - Radio Four's You and Yours seems to have magical effects when they get involved!

dollie Thu 24-Apr-14 12:21:38

Oh if i dont make it at least on the short list i will go in with all guns blazing!!!!!

The local group worthing isnt local anymore as it covers West Sussex and East Sussex....hardly anyone uses it anyway....

Elegran Thu 24-Apr-14 08:40:46

Thank you dollie
That area has a large percentage of retired residents, so there must be pressure on sheltered housing. However, it is also an area with a lot of better-off house-owners, too, so the council tax must bring in quite a bit of money for building the kinds of homes that are needed.

Have you written to the local paper? Shame them into improving the number of places available. Bad publicity is what the council need - "one law for the rich, another for council tenants" sort of thing.

There is a Gransnet Local site for Worthing, dollie.

dollie Thu 24-Apr-14 07:04:42

Sorry elegran i thought id already said....its Worthing and Adur council ....

Elegran Wed 23-Apr-14 19:57:31

Can I ask again which council this is, dollie?

dollie Wed 23-Apr-14 19:49:38

No elegran i cant the reason being is that there are no families in a one bedroom property that want or need a 3 bed property! I am only allowed a one bed property as i am a single person...

Elegran Wed 23-Apr-14 19:32:35

Can you find a family who want to swap with you, dollie ? Most councils will accept exchanges organised between two parties.

rosequartz Wed 23-Apr-14 18:29:08

This situation sounds absolutely ridiculous, dollie! Are you supposed to be grateful for anything offered even if it is not suitable?

How about some joined up thinking here - baby boomers are supposed to be giving up their homes for families; many would prefer not to but here you are willing to downsize and give a family the opportunity of moving into a 3 bedroomed house and your council is putting every obstruction in your path!

dollie Wed 23-Apr-14 18:08:48

No worries vesper ...ive done everything i can ie council but due to this bidding system which is now in force pestering the council is a complete no have to now go through the system!!! And the red tape is just now i sit and wait to see if my bid was successful to see if i even get a viewing of the property ive bid for! I may not even make the short fact all the properties ive bid for in the past ive never made the short list...even if i get on the short list theres no guarantee i will get the property if theres someone with a higher priority than me...its all very stressful.... sad

Vesper Wed 23-Apr-14 10:46:41

Sorry Dollie, for attempting to teach you to suck eggs!
It's just that I have dealt often with people who assume that any income above state pension = no entitlement that I felt I had to mention it.
Your situation is a great shame both for you & the family who would benefit from your house.
My only other advice is continual pestering (which really shouldn't be necessary!). I have sometimes been amazed by what has happened when tenants just go in to the office every week!
I do hope something comes up for you.

dollie Tue 22-Apr-14 09:39:41

Yes vesper i do have a miserable council...yes i know there are other accommodations available ( not in my area) but i cant afford the high cost of the rents as i said previously they are double what I'm paying now and I'm not entitled to and help financially due to my late husbands private pension... Ive been down every route conceivable....

I have managed to glean more info about this flat thats available and i have put in a bid ( councils new system ) hopefully i will hear by the end of next week if ive been successful for a viewing where i have a nice long list of questions lol......thing is i will be no doubt be one of at least a hundred bidders for the same property!!!!!

Vesper Mon 21-Apr-14 14:48:27

Dollie, you have got a miserable council!

You write as if your only choice is the housing provided by the local council. Most areas have Housing Associations of some kind operating. Some of them have 95-100% housing for the council (so effectively the same) but some have other avenues: specialist housing for disabilities, elderly etc as described above, and some (where I used to live) for "long term residents of the area".
However, I know some areas have nothing like that.

The next people I would try contacting are your local AgeUK or similar & I would also try CAB. They would know of any alternatives.
What they may also be able to help you with is housing benefit, or other entitlements.

It is complicated and individual, but IF the most suitable accommodation is privately rented (which includes some types of Housing Association, just to confuse!) you may be entitled to help with the rent, depending on your total income, how much of the "rent" is classified as "care" of some kind, what your nursing / care needs are etc.etc. I often find that local organisations know exactly which boxes to tick and what words to use to enable things to happen.
Apologies if you have already gone down this route.

I do hope you get something sorted, your post just shows how "big ideas" often don't work out in detail!

dollie Mon 21-Apr-14 07:08:20

I cant afford private rental as its double what I'm paying i get a small private pension i cant claim any benefits...i live in a village so the choice is very poor and i do not want to move outside the area as everything here is central to my needs..

Yes the council have a letter from my doctor and i have been given catagory 3 disability by the council ( the highest is 1 the lowest 3)

My older daughter used to work for a different council and she told me that the social housing has gone to pot!!! And of course its got worse since this so called ' bedroom tax' was brought in...

NfkDumpling Sun 20-Apr-14 21:36:20

Are there any charity run sheltered schemes in your area? (We have some good ones which are church supported in our area.). If you can visit a non council (housing association) scheme they may well be able to give generic advice. Or the CAB. They often have specialist advisers who can help.

When my mother was looking into sheltered accommodation we just called in at different schemes and asked what the place was like from whoever we bumped into, sometimes a resident, occasionally the warden. We found out a lot that way. Just by general chatting.

If you do bid for another place, can you include a letter from your doctor? When I worked for a housing association that often helped.

Elegran Sun 20-Apr-14 21:16:19


dollie Sun 20-Apr-14 20:00:55

Have managed to obtain the phone number of the scheme manager so will phone her on Tuesday ...

Elegran Sat 19-Apr-14 13:18:03

Citizen's Advice Bureau? Social Work Department? A lawyer even! You can't make a decision with no evidence.

Which council is it?

dollie Sat 19-Apr-14 13:15:41

Already have spoken to my local m.p. on several occasions and its not done any good at all...he has even written to my local housing officer on my behalf...ive written twice to the social housing minister and both times been told to contact my local council as councils vary in the way they run things...

Not easy getting to the the mountain as the council will not allow you to make contact with neighbouring properties to make enquiries and by doing so could jeapodise my bidding for future properties...

Mishap Sat 19-Apr-14 11:32:11

No-one can move somewhere without knowing where they are going! - it is barmy! Which council is this? Speak to your MP and explain how mad the system is.