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Extra Care Housing

Extra Care Housing (ECH)
Information Sheet D6 June 2020


This information sheet explains some of the things you need to know if you are considering moving into an Extra Care Housing (ECH) scheme.

If you are finding it more difficult to live in and maintain your home, you may be considering different housing options. If you have some low level support needs, there are options like Sheltered Housing. If you have a higher level of care and support needs ECH could be a good option. 

What is ECH?

• Your own home within a supported housing scheme

• On-site staff on call 24 hours a day

• Access to on-site communal facilities

ECH allows you to live as independently as possible, in the security and privacy of your own home, but gives you the peace of mind that someone is on call if you need any help. ECH is a form of housing with self-contained, accessible and affordable one or two bedroomed flats or bungalows that you can rent. They are purpose-built or adapted to support people who have care and support needs. 

If you have regular care and support needs, they can be met by the on-site team of care and support workers. Your support is tailored to your own situation and can easily be adjusted if your needs change. 

You can have help with things like:

• Washing, dressing and personal care

• Preparing snacks and heating up meals

• Shopping and laundry (privately purchased)

• Some domestic tasks (privately purchased

• Reminders to take medicines (as part of a care package)

In some schemes there are sleep-in night workers to respond in an emergency and in others a waking night worker to assist with assessed night time needs.

Communal facilities are also provided. These vary between schemes, but may include a lounge, craft and day rooms with organised activities during the day and evening. Laundry facilities, gardens and guest accommodation, hairdressing, and lunch time meals are available at most schemes. ECH schemes are also often located very close to local shops and local amenities. 

All ECH schemes have on-site staff who are responsible for delivering housing related support, which includes:

• Checking you are okay each day

• Help with correspondence

• Assistance in making health appointments, e.g. with your GP

• Helping you deal with money matters

• Helping with housing and tenancy related issues

• Helping you to access other services, such as a handyman service 

• Helping you to and from the dining room to have a hot meal (there will be a separate charge for the meal)

• Managing the building and gardens

Please click here to view a video about a typical ECH scheme in Somerset

ECH schemes in Somerset 

Housing Provider Contact Schemes
Aster Group Holly Hooke – Lettings 
Coordinator 01749 832060 or 
Lis Janaway – Lettings Manager 01749 832061
• Keyford Heights, Frome
Homes in Sedgemoor Customer Services 
0800 585 360 or 
from a mobile 
01278 552400

• Gibb House, Bridgwater

• Hilda Coles House, Bridgwater

• Elizabeth Court, Burnham on Sea

LiveWest Amanda Webb – Scheme Manager 
07921 386984 or
Tracey Macdonald
Older Peoples Team Manager
07921 386975
• Tennyson Court, Taunton
Magna Housing Sarah Ashby
01643 705862 or Nick Hill 01305 216058
• Silvermead, Minehead

Sanctuary Housing - Sanctuary Retirement


Scheme Manager - Helen Perrott
01823 325533
• Elizabeth House, Taunton

Somerset West &

Taunton Council

Richard Lynett (Kilkenny Court) 01823 217 526

Fay Coleman (Lodge Close) 07557 317 323

• Kilkenny, Taunton

• Lodge Close, Wellington

Yarlington Housing Group Independent Living 
01935 404042

• St Gildas, Chard

• Muchelney House, Ilminster

• Bowhayes Lodge, Crewkerne

• Pearson House, Yeovil

• Malmesbury Court, Yeovil


Eligibility and applying for ECH

To apply for ECH you must first contact the landlord to discuss your requirements (please see contact details in the table above). If they think you may be eligible, they will invite you to visit the scheme. 

A Trusted Assessor from our Care Providers, or an Adult Social Care Worker will help assess your care and support needs in the first instance. Applicants who it is felt would benefit from ECH will ultimately require a full needs assessment by Adult Social Care. 

Adult Social Care and the landlord are responsible for agreeing who can move into Extra Care and who has priority. This is because Adult Social Care contributes money to all the elements of the scheme that makes it “Extra” care, for example, the 24-hour available support. If it is felt that your needs could be met by a different housing and support solution, you will be informed of this. A Panel meets to discuss and allocate eligible applicants monthly, but there may be a waiting time for some accommodation.

Money matters

Paying for living in the scheme can be split into three defined areas. With the second and third of these areas you may be entitled to financial support from social care. 

1. Accommodation costs

You must discuss what the rent and any associated accommodation cost will be. Also, ask about annual cost increases. You will always be responsible for meeting these costs. Rent is for the use and occupation of your home. In addition to your rent there will be a service charge which will cover items such as:

• Cleaning and servicing communal areas

• Refuse services

• Fire alarms, detection and fire-fighting equipment

• Door entry maintenance

• Lighting and heating in communal areas

• Maintaining communal equipment

All of the above charges are set and collected by the housing provider.  

How can I get help to pay towards my rent?

Depending on your income you may qualify for Housing Benefit to help towards your rent. Your landlord will help you to apply for this.

2. Care and Support Cover 

As well as the accommodation costs, there is a standard amount that is payable towards the 24-hour on-site staff team, who can respond if you need them. If you have eligible care or support needs, you will be financially assessed and pay what you can afford.  If you do not have eligible care and support needs you will have to pay the full amount. This is a social care charge which will be collected by the on-site providers.

3. Care costs (Individual care needs)

Following your care assessment, if you have additional care needs, for example shopping, or assistance with housework, you can choose to purchase these in addition to your social care assessment. 

Care costs will be paid to and collected by your care provider.

How can I get help to pay towards my care and support costs?

If you move into ECH and you have eligible Care or support needs (or both) as per Care Act 2014 which have been assessed by Somerset County Council, you will be offered a financial assessment from Adult Social Care. They will talk with you about your finances and, using national rules, work out one weekly contribution you must pay which will be towards both your care and support cover and care costs (individual care needs).

People with more than £23,250 in savings will not be eligible for help towards their care and support costs. (Capital assets, such as property, will be discussed as part of the financial assessment) .

Financial and Benefit Assessments will not be offered to anyone who hasn’t been assessed as eligible by the Local Authority.


If you are a couple thinking of moving into an ECH scheme, the standard weekly unit charge will normally be split 50/50 between the two of you. 

If you both have assessed eligible care needs, you will both be offered a financial assessment to work out your weekly contribution based on what you can afford. 

If one of you has eligible care needs and the other doesn’t, the cost of the on-site care and support service will be equally divided. The person with eligible needs will pay their financially assessed contribution.  

If there is a change in your circumstances, and you are one of a couple without eligible care needs, you will become responsible for the full charge of the on-site care and support service (see number 2 above). If you are one of a couple with eligible care needs, you will continue to pay your financially assessed contribution.

Independent financial advice

We understand that you may be making important changes about how you live and need all the best information and help so that the decisions you make are right for you.

There are many organisations that you can either phone or arrange to visit to talk things through. 

Remember, if you get financial advice and they are recommending ways that you should invest or use your money against specific financial products, they must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

You can check on the FCA website to see what this means.

You can also get independent advice from:

• The Money Advice Service website offers information on paying for care or the option to speak to an online advisor. You can phone them on 0300 500 5000. 

• The Society of Later Life Advisers can help you find advice on how to make financial plans for care in your old age. You can phone them on 0845 303 2909, or use the website to search for a regulated financial advisor in your area.

Age UK has a good website with advice for older people and those planning for their later years. You can also phone them on 0800 169 6565

Carers UK has a website resource of advice for carers. You can also phone them on 0808 808 7777

How do I find out more?

Please phone us on 0300 123 2224 or you can phone the Housing Provider of your choice, contact details in the table above.

Your opportunity to feedback 

We welcome your comments about the services you receive. If you would like to tell us what you think, please either: 

Contact us by going to our website, or 

• Speak to your social care worker 

• Phone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224, or

• Contact the Adults and Health Customer Experience Officer:

Floor B2 East

County Hall



Phone: 01823 359227


This document is also available on request in Braille, large print, tape, disc and can be translated into different languages.