Supported Housing

Supported Housing  (sheltered housing) is self contained accommodation, for older people who want to live independently, whilst having the added security of knowing that assistance is available 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. Supported Housing Schemes have pull cords in every room of the property and a smoke detector installed, which are linked to the alarm system. In addition, body worn pendants, can be provided to tenants who are unable to reach their pull cords or have been assessed as needing one as part of their support plan. More information on Careline

Supported Housing Officers provide practical advice and support to help Supported Housing Scheme tenants remain independent. More information on the role of Supported Housing Officers

What if extra care is needed?

Sumners Farm Close (Independent Living) Scheme provides additional services for tenants to enable them to continue to live independently, such as a 24 hour on-site care provider, a specially equipped communal disabled bathroom, a communal dining room and at additional cost a daily midday meal facility.

Who can apply for Supported Housing?

Anybody aged 65 or over can apply for Harlow Council Supported Housing by:

  • Applying to join the Housing Needs Register
    Starting with the Housing Initial Assessment and if you meet the qualifying conditions you will join the Housing Need Register to bid on vacant properties.
  • Through mutual exchange
    Council and Housing Association tenants can mutually exchange (swap) properties, including supported/sheltered housing, within and out of Harlow (nationally).

Those who require the Sumners Farm Close (Independent Living) Scheme will need to apply to join the Housing Needs Register as above, however you will not bid on properties but will be kept on a separate waiting list.

Should you require assistance to apply please contact an Advisor at Contact Harlow

Are you downsizing?

If you are downsizing from a Harlow Council property to a smaller property via the Housing Needs Register or Mutual Exchange, you may qualify for practical and financial assistance under the Tenant Moves Incentive Scheme. More information on the Tenant Moves Incentive Scheme.

How much does Supported Housing Scheme cost?

In addition to rent, all tenants pay the Housing Related Support (HRS) charge and Council Tax. The rent, service charge and utility charges vary according to the location of the Supported Scheme and the cost of providing the service. The HRS charge remains constant across all supported housing schemes with the exception of Sumners Farm Close who have a 24 hour on site care team, currently funded by Social Services.

Housing Related Support charge

The Housing Related Support (HRS) charge contributes towards the cost of the support service provided by the Supported Housing Officers, pull cord alarm system and out of hours emergency response service. All tenants pay the HRS charge, however, tenants in receipt of housing benefit have until now had their charges paid by Essex County Council. From 1 April 2017 Essex County Council will no longer fund support services for older people living in supported housing, charges will introduced from this date and phased in over a period of three years.

Supported Housing Schemes

older lady

Please below for individual scheme details:

​Alternatively, brief details of all the Supported Housing Schemes are contained in the Supported Housing Information Booklet (pdf)

Role of Supported Housing Officer

Supported Housing Officers have a wide range of duties, which include:

  • Offering support and advice to tenants
  • Helping new tenants settle in and explaining how everything works
  • Encouraging and facilitating on site social activities
  • Providing a link to health professionals, social services and other outside agencies
  • Organising quarterly tenant meetings on every Supported Housing Scheme
  • Contacting tenants to ensure they are safe and well and dealing with any issues or emergencies
  • Completing support and risk assessments, regularly testing pull cords, smoke detectors, pendants and any other equipment  located within each property and communal areas of the scheme

Although Supported Housing Officers can give practical advice and support to help tenants remain independent, there are things that the Officers are not able to do, such as administer personal care, give or prompt medication, cook, shop, or clean, handle money or take the place of relatives, friends or carers 

Supported Housing Officers are available Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5pm. Outside of these hours a Supported Housing Officer is on call for emergencies only.

Supported Housing Officers have regular Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and are trained in Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults, Health and Safety, Manual Handling and Fire Safety in addition to specific training to enable them to support tenants with a variety of support needs.

Any help in the home or assistance with personal care will need to be arranged through Essex Social Care or private agencies.

Tenant involvement

Regular quarterly tenant meetings are held on each Supported Housing Scheme and are an opportunity for tenants to share their issues and opinions on future management of the scheme.

The Supported Housing Standards Panel promotes and encourages two-way communication between Supported Housing tenants and Council Officers. Each Supported Housing Scheme can nominate a maximum of two representatives to attend meetings and use tenants views to help review and improve the Supported Housing service.

Some Supported Housing Schemes also have a Residents Association, which can give tenants the opportunity to discuss important issues and have an influence in the decision making process in Harlow. More information on Resident Association