Beware of scammers

We are aware of an online scam going around on social media.

It claims to be able to make your housing application a priority and give you the right to buy after 3 years.

We only ever allocate homes according to our policy. Every application goes through a series of checks to make sure it is valid and correctly prioritised.

Find out more

Housing options for older people

Sheltered Housing  

What is sheltered housing?  

Sheltered housing gives older people the independence of having their own flat with the security of having an alarm system and a warden. The flats are usually small self-contained units or single rooms in a complex, which has a communal social area. It is also possible to find sheltered housing to rent or buy. The sheltered staff should check on you every day and be able to assist you in an emergency. They would not be expected to provide care or do things like shopping.  

Additional care in sheltered housing  

If you require additional services, you can still have care provided by the social services department such as meals on wheels, someone to come in to get you up in the morning, or help you to wash or do your housework. 

Who provides sheltered housing?  

A number of housing providers have sheltered housing complexes. These include housing associations (to rent, for shared ownership, or to buy outright), voluntary organisations, such as Abbeyfield, Almshouses or EAC have information on housing options and a directory of advice services to help you if you have any problems or need further information.   

Buying sheltered housing  

It is sometimes possible to buy a flat in a sheltered housing complex. If you already own your home, it may be easier for you to buy than to rent, as home owners are usually not given priority on waiting lists to rent from the council or a housing association.   

Further information about sheltered housing  

Further information about sheltered housing is available from Age UK.  

Adaptations or Disabled Facilities Grant  

If you already have a home but it needs to be adapted, the hospital team may refer you to the department responsible for adaptations or disabled facilities grants.  

Alternatively, you can refer yourself by calling 020 7364 5000. An occupational therapist may come to inspect your property to assess what adaptations are needed to help you live independently. Visit the home improvement agency for more information.  

Seaside and country homes  

Seaside and Country homes offer older tenants of London’s council’s and housing associations the opportunity to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  

For further information please visit the Seaside and country homes website.  

Mutual exchanges  

A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants who want to move from their current home swap homes once they have the permission of all landlords involved. Given the shortage of available homes in Tower Hamlets, for many tenants this is the best prospect of moving.  

How does it work?  

To find a mutual exchange you can register on either of these websites: 


House Exchange  

For further information about mutual exchanges and the council’s work in this area please visit the Tower Hamlets Homeseekers website


We award a high priority to those tenants who want to move to smaller accommodation and who are prepared to give up at least one bedroom. If you are a transferring under occupier, you can apply for a home one bed larger than you need and you will be given priority to move as long as you give up at least one bedroom. 

For further information about downsizing please view our Allocations Scheme document and also see what help with downsizing you may be entitled to.

If you need support around benefits, housing, domestic violence, substance misuse, physical and mental health  you may be able to get help from Tower Hamlets Community Intervention Service


Use the Housing Options Finder tool if you are homeless or at  risk of losing your home and want to find out what help there is available from the Council.

Other support  

Age Uk East London – Age UK East London aims to be an organisation that enables older people to: 

•retain maximum possible choice over direction over their lives 

•maintain and improve health 

•prevent social isolation 

•live in physical environments suited to their changing needs 

•have as many opportunities as possible for involvement in fulfilling community and leisure activities.  

Age UK offer a range of services to including: 

•health and fitness 

•user engagement 

•day opportunities 

•community outreach 

•information and advice 

•advocacy and befriending 

•home and care services.  

You can contact Age UK on 020 8981 7124, email or via the Age UK website