Housing with care
In the past many older people or disabled people who were no longer able to live at home would have moved into residential care or a nursing home.
Housing with care is an alternative option, where you are the tenant of a self-contained flat. You will have care and support when you need it so that you can lead as independent a life as possible, with staff on hand 24 hours a day.
Housing with Care offers a supportive environment for older people, allowing you to live an independent life within your own modern self-contained flat but with the reassurance of care and support from an on-site team of care professionals. Twenty-four hour care is also available in the event of an emergency.
Each flat is self-contained and typically consists of a small living room with a kitchenette, a separate bedroom with en-suite shower and toilet facilities.
In addition there are:
- Communal dining and sitting areas that offer the chance to socialise and take part in activities that are arranged at the scheme
- Hot meals available to buy in the on-site restaurants if you require them
- Laundry facilities
- Assisted bathing and toilet facilities
- Communal gardens
- Some schemes have the benefit of a hairdressing salon
The flats and communal areas have been designed to be fully accessible for wheelchairs with spacious corridors, extra wide doorways and lift access to upper floors (where appropriate).
Most Housing with Care schemes are run as a partnership between Norfolk County Council, which provides the care through NorseCare, housing associations, which owns and maintain the buildings as well as being the landlord in tenancy agreements, and district councils which help to assess people’s housing need. In some cases, housing associations also provide care.
Housing with Care could be the ideal solution for older or disabled people who have a range of care needs, but want to continue to enjoy living independently.
It offers a real home for residents in a thriving community set within attractive gardens, with the appeal of increased privacy and greater independence. Unlike sheltered housing, care is available 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency, as well as for planned care visits during the day. All care is provided by a team of professionally trained care workers.
You may want to consider the following advantages if you are thinking about a move into Housing with Care:
- You have your own home, front door and living space
- You can choose to rent or buy* depending on your resources and current needs (*note at the moment there are only a small number of flats available to buy, but we are hoping to further develop this option in the future)
- If you rent you have an assured tenancy which means you have certain rights under housing law as a tenant; this is the difference with care homes where residents do not have tenancy rights and are licensees only
- If you buy a property you also remain an owner-occupier and have an asset
- You are able to keep more control over your money and what you spend it on
- You have privacy as well as choice about how much you mix with other residents
- You are supported to maintain your independence for longer
- It may mean that you do not have to move into a care home as long as your needs can still be adequately and safely met at the scheme
Older people have told us this is the kind of accommodation they prefer as it allows extra independence but with a 24-hour team of professionally trained care and support staff.
Each scheme has a number of generously proportioned flats which are specifically designed with older people’s needs in mind. Each flat has its own lounge and kitchen, with room for your own furniture so you are able to entertain friends and family.
There are currently 17 Housing with Care schemes across Norfolk, 15 of these operate within the existing County Council owned Norse Group of companies.
The remaining two Housing with Care schemes are The Old Maltings in Swaffham and Saxon House in Loddon. The landlords are Flagship Housing and Orbit East respectively. The care and support is provided by The Hales Group at both of the schemes.
Scheme locations across Norfolk
To be eligible for Housing with Care you must have both a housing need and a care and support need.
Housing need means that your current home is no longer suitable for you, for example you could be having difficulty getting up and down the stairs meaning that you have to sleep in a room downstairs.
Care and support need means that you currently need help around your personal care which could include:
- Getting up and going to bed
- Personal care needs
- Assistance with medication
- Assistance with bathing and showering
- Preparing meals and hot drinks
Personal care and support needs are subject to individual social care assessments.
Housing with Care is available to all who have been assessed as eligible because they have a housing and care or support need regardless of their income and financial status.
The cost of living in a Housing with Care flat is much the same as living in sheltered accommodation or in your own home, but with the addition of the cost of the care that you will receive.
You will still need to pay your rent and council tax and in most Housing with Care schemes you will pay a service charge relating to the utilities in your flat which is paid direct to the landlord. However this does vary depending on the landlord and the scheme, but the landlord will provide this information prior to you signing a tenancy agreement.
The service charge would also cover expenses for communal services eg gardening, window cleaning and cleaning of the communal areas. Again these costs can be clarified by the landlord before you make the decision to move. You will also pay for your day to day living expenses such as food and clothing.
To determine how much you have to pay for your care you will be offered a home visit from someone who works for Norfolk County Council, called a Financial Visiting Officer.
The Financial Visiting Officer will also be able to tell you whether you could be entitled to any benefits, such as Attendance Allowance, to help you pay for your care, or Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction to help pay your rent and council tax.
The amount that people pay for their care is worked out in accordance with Norfolk County Council’s Fairer Charging Policy which conforms to the guidance issued by the Department of Health and is updated annually. Please also read the guidance notes below which relate to the NorseCare schemes. For information on the cost of care in Saxon House and the Old Maltings please contact the Financial Team Helpline on the number given below.
Generally, if you have more than £23,250 in savings and investments the council will not contribute to the cost of your care, although Norfolk County Council will still organise and provide the care for you.
We strongly recommend that you find out how much you will have to pay for your Housing with Care service by contacting the Financial Team Helpline on 01603 223911.
Charges for people wanting to live in housing with care schemes owned by Norse
If you are thinking about moving into a housing with care scheme, you will be financially assessed to see if you need to pay something towards the cost of your care.
- Please do not sign a tenancy agreement until you have contacted our financial assessment team on 01603 222133, Option 2, who can tell you roughly how much you would have to pay
The housing provider will normally discuss your tenancy and help you make any claim you’re entitled to for housing benefit or a reduction in council tax. .
Norfolk County Council charges for all non-residential care services, in line with national guidance in the Care Act 2014. This applies to all non-residential care services, including home support, personal budgets, day care, housing with care and supported living.
Non-residential charging policy from 11 April 2016
If you have more than £23,250 in savings and investments, including a property, you will have to pay the full cost of your care. However, the total cost of your care, accommodation, food and extras will be capped at no more than the cost of living in a Norse Care home, which is currently £248.15 per week.
If you own a property, and its value is included in your financial assessment, you may be eligible for our Deferred Payment Scheme. If you are interested in this, please contact us for more information.
If you have less than £23,250 in savings and investments, including property, the total cost of your care will be capped at £248.15 per week and the total cost (including rent and council tax) will be no more than £446.32.
If you have less than £23,250 in savings and investments, and your weekly income is less than £189, you will not have to pay towards the cost of your care. If you have a weekly income of more than £189, you may have to pay towards the cost of providing your services but allowances will be made for certain disability and housing costs, less housing benefits you receive.
If you need a financial assessment, you may be offered a home visit from one of our Financial Assessment Officers, who will:
- Check to see you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to and give you welfare benefit advice
- Help you claim for additional benefits
- Explain our charging policy and how it will affect you
- Help you fill in a financial assessment form
- Tell you how much, how often and how you’ll pay the charges
We will contact you or your representative to discuss the best way of carrying out the financial assessment of the amount you need to pay towards your care charges.
In some cases, we may not need to visit you. If this is the case, we can usually get information from you, or the person who helps you with your financial affairs, over the phone.
If you have any queries about charges for housing with care, please contact our Helpline on 01603 222133, Option 2. For further information please see our booklet ‘Non-residential charging policy for home care and other non-residential care’.
All the amounts of money we mention in this leaflet are reviewed in April each year.
If you live within the Kings Lynn and West Norfolk district
- Contact us on 0344 800 8020 to ask for a social care assessment for Housing with Care. You will be asked which Housing with Care scheme you would like to be considered for but this is not restricted to the schemes in the area in which you currently live.
- If social care identifies that you have a care and support need then we will then arrange for a Finance Visiting Officer to meet with you at your home – should you want to discuss costs before the visit contact the finance team on 01603 223911.
For all other districts
- Contact your local district council to discuss the application process. You will be asked which Housing with Care scheme you would like to be considered for, but this is not restricted to the schemes in the area in which you currently live.
- If your local district council identifies that you have a housing need you will then need to contact us on 0344 800 8020 to ask for a social care assessment for Housing with Care
- If social care identifies that you also have a care and support need we will then arrange for a Finance Visiting Officer to meet with you at your home – should you want to discuss costs before the visit contact the finance team on 01603 223911.
Websites of Local District Councils
- Norwich City Council
- Breckland District Council
- Broadland District Council
- Great Yarmouth Borough Council
- North Norfolk District Council
- South Norfolk District Council
Please note that the schemes are popular so there may be a waiting list.
If you are eligible it is advisable to arrange a visit to the scheme(s) that you may be interested in to see if Housing with Care is a suitable option for you. Many of the schemes hold open days or are happy for you to arrange a visit at a mutually convenient time.