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Housing with care

Housing with care is an alternative to residential care or a care home.

In a housing with care scheme you’re the tenant of a self-contained flat. You have care and support available 24 hours a day, so you can lead as independent a life as possible.

Each flat is self-contained and typically consists of a small living room with a kitchenette, a bedroom with en suite shower and toilet facilities. In addition, there are:

  • Communal dining and sitting areas for socialising and taking part in activities
  • Hot meals available to buy in the on-site restaurants
  • Laundry facilities
  • Assisted bathing and toilet facilities
  • Communal gardens
  • Hairdressing salons at some schemes

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 own and maintain the buildings as well as being the landlord in tenancy agreements
  • District councils, which help to assess people’s housing need 

In some cases, housing associations also provide care.

Why choose housing with care?

If you’re thinking of moving to housing with care you may want to consider these advantages:

  • You have your own home, front door and living space
  • You can choose to rent or buy depending on your resources and current needs: there are only a small number of flats currently available to buy, but it’s hoped to further develop this option
  • If you rent, you have an assured tenancy which means you have certain rights under housing law as a tenant
  • If you buy a property you also remain an owner-occupier and have an asset
  • You keep more control over your money and what you spend it on
  • You have privacy as well as the chance to socialise with other residents
  • You’re supported to maintain your independence for longer
  • You may not have to move into a care home if your needs can still be adequately and safely met at the scheme 
  • You have your own space to entertain friends and family

Where are the schemes located?

There are currently 17 housing with care schemes across Norfolk and 15 of these operate within the existing County Council-owned Norse Group of companies. 

Learn more about the Norse Housing with Care schemes

The other 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, while the care and support at both schemes is provided by The Hales Group.

Scheme locations across Norfolk

Housing with care scheme locations map

Who's eligible for housing with care?

You must have both a housing need and a care and support need to be eligible.

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, so you sleep in a room downstairs.

A care and support need is when you need help with your personal care. This could include:

  • Getting up and going to bed
  • Assistance with bathing and showering
  • Preparing meals and hot drinks

Personal care and support needs are subject to individual social care assessments.

What will it cost?

The cost of living in a housing with care flat is much the same as living in sheltered accommodation or your own home, but with the addition of the cost of the care that you’ll receive.

You’ll still need to pay your rent and council tax and in most housing with care schemes you’ll pay a service charge relating to the utilities in your flat. This is paid direct to the landlord. 

The service charge varies depending on the landlord and the scheme and the landlord will provide this information before you sign a tenancy agreement.

The service charge also covers expenses for communal services such as gardening, window cleaning and cleaning of the communal areas. These costs will again be clarified by the landlord before you make the decision to move. 

You’ll also pay for your day-to-day living expenses such as food and clothing.

Working out what you’ll have to pay for your care

Note: all amounts of money mentioned in this section are subject to review in April each year.

We’ll offer you a home visit from a financial visiting officer to work out how much you’ll have to pay for your care. 

The financial visiting officer will also be able to tell you whether you’re entitled to 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 our Fairer Charging Policy. This conforms to the guidance issued by the Department of Health and is updated annually.

Generally, if you have more than £23,250 in savings and investments we will not contribute to the cost of your care, although we’ll still organise and provide the care for you.

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’d 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.

Non-residential charging policy

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.

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 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 any 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’ll 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, call our helpline on 01603 222133

Your guide to moving to a Norse-run Housing with Care scheme

You can also view our non-residential charging policy

How do I apply for housing with care?

If you live within the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk district

Contact our social care team to ask for a social care assessment for housing with care. You’ll 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 you’re assessed as having a care and support need we’ll arrange for a finance visiting officer to meet with you at your home.

If you want to discuss costs before the visit, call the finance team on 01603 223911.

For all other Norfolk districts

Contact your local district council to discuss the application process. You’ll 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’ll need to contact our social care team to ask for a social care assessment for housing with care.

If you’re assessed as having a care and support need, we’ll arrange for a finance visiting officer to meet with you at your home.

Call the finance team on 01603 223911 if you want to discuss costs before the visit.

Please note that the schemes are popular so there may be a waiting list.

If you’re eligible it’s advisable to arrange a visit to the scheme or schemes that you’re 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.

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