What is Over 55 housing?

So what is Over 55 housing? These are homes offered to people who are looking to live in communities where people are in similar age groups.

Over 55 housing is often known as retirement living, retirement housing or sheltered housing. It is not only housing associations who offer Over 55 housing schemes. You will also find that there are a lot of specialist companies and developers who cater for these homes.

What is Over 55 housing for those who are still in work?

Whilst they are commonly know as retirement schemes, we all know that a lot of people work beyond the age of 55. You will find that a lot of these Over 55 housing schemes will cater for those in work too. If you see an Over 55 home that is of interest to you get in contact with the housing provider to see what criteria they have set.

How do I get an over 55 home?

You can either rent or buy an over 55s home.


Sheltered Housing is usually offered by local councils and housing associations. These are usually operated through a waiting list and are offered this on need. There are other criteria that you may have to meet through Housing Associations and you should ask for their housing allocation scheme.

However, private providers do offer over 55 homes to rent. These may have shorter waiting times but you should be aware that these are often much more expensive to rent and your tenancy could be less secure.


Most Sheltered Housing for sale is by private developers. There is usually a management company who runs the service, maintenance and  and wardens.

There are also over 55 properties available in the form of Older Person’s Shared Ownership. This is a way of owning your own home when you are over 55 and these are usually also on schemes. You can buy a minimum of 25% share of a property up to a maximum of 75%. If you buy the maximum, you do not pay any rent on the remaining 25% share.

You can see the tips about Older Person’s Shared Ownership

What are the benefits of Over 55 housing?

You will find that most of the homes on offer are purpose-built specifically developed to cater for the over 55s community. So you can enjoy the privacy of your own place in a secure environment. In most cases there will be 24-hour support should you be in need of it in case of emergencies.

Also, it can be more appealing as there will be communal areas where you get to meet new people. You may also find that there are social events that take place within your over 55 housing scheme.

What type of Over 55 housing is available?

So if you want to know more about what is over 55 housing it is worth searching to find different schemes that are available. These will differ depending on the location you are looking to live in and your budget.

You will find that there is over 55 housing to rent, over 55 shared ownership and over 55 homes for sale.

Are you moving soon and don’t know where to start? Get your moving house checklist >

Looking for cheaper energy in your area? Compare energy switch deals >


Compare listings


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.