Special Needs Housing
Special needs housing is a general term covering housing built with particular tenant groups in mind. Usually it involves either specially built or adapted housing, for example housing for older or disabled people, or houses linked to some support facility for adults with learning difficulties. It can also refer to houses allocated to particular groups, for example older people.
Terms used to describe particular types of housing include:
Amenity Housing: flats or houses with special modifications for people with particular needs, but not supported to a warden. For example, amenity housing for older people could include bathroom handrails, non-slip flooring and repositioned electrical sockets
Sheltered Housing: groups of self contained homes linked to a warden who provides specialist support to all of the tenants
Hub or Cluster Flat: a flat where a number of separate individuals hold an individual tenancy, primarily in respect of their respective bedrooms, but share the use of common spaces. This management arrangement is often used for special needs purposes, for example for people with learning difficulties, with care and support being provided by a specialist agency.
Special needs housing is most often provided by registered social landlords but some provision is also made by Councils. A list of housing associations in Scotland and the client groups they cater for is available on request from the Scottish Government on 0131 313 0044 from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations at www.sfha.co.uk.
Information about the housing options for disabled people is available from:-
Housing Options Scotland
The Melting Pot
5 Rose Street
Tel: 0131 247 1400
West Lothian Council is committed to Care in the Community. It works closely with West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership, housing providers, housing support providers and voluntary agencies to help meet the housing, care and support needs of vulnerable people living in West Lothian including;
- Older people
- People with physical disabilities
- People with learning disabilities
- People with mental health problems
- People with drug and alcohol addictions
- People with AIDS and those who are HIV positive
West Lothian Council will allocate a number of vacant houses to people in these Community Care Groups. These allocations take place outwith the allocation policy. More information about the Council's Care in the Community Policy can be obtained from your Local Customer Information Service (CIS) office.
Adults who have been assessed by social work as requiring additional support when allocated their own tenancy will be considered according to West Lothian Council's Care in the Community Procedure.
Priority will be given to:
- Adults currently living in registered or other supported living accommodation and who have been identified as being able to move to greater independence and thus creating a vacancy for another service user.
- Adults in hospital, who may previously have held a tenancy and are now assessed as able to return to live in the community.
- Adults who are unable to share and require support in a single tenancy.
- Adults where the care plan is that they move to more independent accommodation, this will include young adults currently living with carers who wish to become more independent or where their parents can no longer provide care and/or support.
This process is not designed to meet emergency needs.
Applicants will be helped to submit a housing application form as soon as the plan for a tenancy is identified.
When a property becomes available to let central allocations will check its suitability with the Social Worker, who will then make contact with applicant and assist them through the allocation and resettlement process.
West Lothian Council's Home Safety Service aims to help maximise a person's potential independence by increasing their personal and environmental safety enabling them to remain living in their own home for as long as possible. People at risk, can have unobtrusive and easy to use equipment installed in their own home that is linked to specially trained advisers who will respond to all alarm calls for help. The equipment ensures that access to help is there when most needed. Applicants must have a working landline telephone connection without incoming or outgoing call barring. It is preferable not to use a 'Pay as you Go' arrangement, since a lack of credit could prevent successful transmission of an alarm call to Careline.
How much does the service cost?
There is currently a £3.02 charge for the service. The equipment is provided on a free loan basis for as long as is required to address risk. Battery and maintenance costs are also covered so there is no charge to the service user apart from telephone calls.
How to apply?
You can pick up an application form and information leaflet from any Council Information Service office or Health Centre. Alternatively, telephone the Customer Service Centre on 01506 280000.
On receiving the application, a member of the Home Safety Service Team will come and assess you in your home to ensure that you meet the criteria for the service and establish how best to tailor the technology to your situation. If you have specialist needs they can also assess for further equipment.
Once the home safety service has been installed
If you require assistance, an adviser from West Lothian Careline will answer your call and give you advice and help as required. They will also answer all calls that are triggered automatically by the equipment.
The adviser will know who you are and where you live and what piece of equipment triggered the call. They will also know where the equipment is in your home.
The adviser will have details of the telephone numbers of your doctor, family and friends, emergency services or the Home Safety Service team and will contact the appropriate person for help.
The adviser will stay on the line with you until help arrives, reassuring you that you are in safe hands and that someone will be with you soon.
West Lothian Council in partnership with Bield Housing & Care, Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association, Dunedin Canmore Housing and Trust Housing Association, supports 177 very supported housing tenancies. The aim of supported housing is to promote independent living through assisting older people with support needs to reside longer in their own homes as an alternative to other forms of institutional care.
No of Tenancies
Almondvale Gds, Blackburn
Brucefield House, Whitburn
Brucefield House, Whitburn
Dunedin Canmore HA
Crusader Court, Livingston
Colinshiel Court, Armadale
Cunnigar House, Mid Calder
Holmes Gardens, Broxburn
Dickson Court, West Calder
Ground & 1st Floor (Lift)
Supported housing provides a high level of support services. A generic on-site staff team provides the following:
- Housing Support Services
- Domestic Support
- Personal Care
- 24 Hours staff cover (that includes community alarm staff and access to a sleepover service)
Also available within very sheltered housing developments is access to a range of facilities, such as:
- Restaurant/cafe service
- Social Activities
- Laundry Facilities
- Assisted Bathing Facilities
A service charge is made to cover the cost of some of the services (no charge is made for personal care), together with a rental and property charge for the individual flat.
Older people who have housing and support needs may apply. Application forms are available from Customer Service Centres, Social Work offices, from West Lothian Council's Central Allocation Team or from the individual Housing Association.
Each application form received by West Lothian Council will be assessed by the Housing with Care Screening Group. The Screening Group will assess applicants as either Grade A, B or C depending on the number of hours of support and care outlined in the application. A joint visit will always be undertaken by the landlord and the support provider to determine any additional needs. Grade A applicants will be nominated for tenancies located nearer the hub of a development while Grade Bs will be allocated dwellings further away from the hub. Application forms assessed as Grade C are not eligible for housing with care and will be informed by letter.
Access to Supported Housing - Procedure
Interested applicants can apply for the service through the completion of a Housing with Care Application form. An information pack, including an application form is available from:
- Customer Information Centres
- Bield, Hanover, Dunedin Canmore or Trust Housing Association
- West Lothian Council Central Allocations Team
- Social Work Officer
All completed application forms should be returned to Central Allocations Team.
Screening Group and Assessment Process
There is a Screening Group which assesses and prioritises applications. The remit of the Screening Group is:
- To check that applicants meet the housing with care eligibility criteria.
- To prioritise the applications in terms of the Group System (see 9.4.3).
- To agree if an assessment (Single Shared Assessment) is required, if not already undertaken.
- To monitor progress with applications and Single Shared Assessment requests.
- To ensure a joint home visit has taken place with the appropriate landlord where required.
Acceptance to The Housing With Care List
The information provided in the application form enables the Screening Group to prioritise applicants in accordance with the Priority Groupings (see below). On completion of this process successful applications will be added to the Housing with Care list according to:
Date of application within each Priority Group.
The Central Allocations Team will send a letter to the applicant advising which priority group they have been placed in.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria will be given the opportunity to be considered for Sheltered Housing or general needs housing.
Offer Of Accommodation
Applicants will normally be entitled to 2 offers of accommodation. (i.e. they have the right to refuse the first offer without affecting their date of application).
Notification Of Vacancy
The Housing Association will contact WLC Centralised Allocations team as soon as a vacancy is identified in a development. The Housing Association will provided details about the property and request 3 nominees as per vacancy.
The Housing Association will undertake a home visit to the applicant, with the Housing Support Manager. The purpose of this visit is to check that housing, support and care circumstances have not changed prior to offer of accommodation.
Offer of Tenancy
The Housing Association will consider nominations in line with their own organisations allocation policy and will allocate the tenancy to the nominee with the highest points.
Care and Support Plans
A joint Care and Support Plan will be completed and agreed when a tenancy has been accepted.
The eligibility criteria set down within the following table is based on circumstances at 'Point of Access' for the Housing with Care Service. In general applicants who are frailer with higher personal care and support needs will be housed wherever possible in the Hub flats.
Applicants who have profound dementia are not considered suitable for Housing with Care. A diagnosis by a Pyschogeriatrician will be requested if there are any concerns.
Point Of Access Criteria
Applicants discharged from hospital who are not offered their first choice of housing with care development
Applicants who are:
In hospital awaiting discharge or who are living at home and have care needs which would require the equivalent of 12-18 hours personal care and support each week to maintain their safety.
Applicants who are: Living at home and have care needs which would require the equivalent of 6-12 hours personal care and support per week to be maintained at home.
Applicants who have less than 6 hours of weekly support would be considered for mainstream accommodation or sheltered housing accommodation provided by either WLC or other RSL's with homes in the applicants preferred communities.
Sheltered housing can best be described as small easy to manage almost always rented properties, provided by the Council and housing associations. They are grouped together in a scheme with the services of a housing support worker. All properties are provided with a community alarm system, for use in emergencies.
West Lothian Council manages five sheltered housing schemes. Applicants aged 55 and above can apply for sheltered housing accommodation. However, applicants will not normally be considered for a vacancy until they have reached pensionable age. (60 years).
The allocation of sheltered accommodation takes into account the needs of the individual applicant, the nature of the vacancy and the level of support that is available. Applicants moving into sheltered housing may qualify for the relocation grant scheme.
Sheltered Housing Schemes Managed by West Lothian Council
No of Tenancies
Customer Service Centre
All Ground Floor
5 East Main Street
Avenue Park West
|20||Strathbrock Partnership Centre|
Bathgate Partnership Centre
Ground & 1st Floor (Lift)
Bathgate Partnership Centre
Bathgate Partnership Centre
Retirement Housing Schemes Managed By Other Housing Providers In West Lothian
No of Tenancies
South Loch Park
St Andrews Drive
Bowling Green Rd
Retirement Housing with Meals
Retirement Housing with Meals offers a higher level of housing support than sheltered housing and also offers other services such as a meals service, hairdressing facilities etc. West Lothian Council do not own any Very Sheltered Housing developments or have any nomination rights to this type of accommodation.
No of Units
West Lothian Council
West Lothian Council tenants can receive assistance from the Housing Support Service. A Housing Officer (Support) provides support to tenants within their own tenancies. Their role is to offer a flexible and responsive approach to supporting the individual.
The Housing Officers (Support) can:
- Help with budgeting issues
- Help with claiming benefits
- Give guidance in the use of domestic or household appliances
- Advise on how to obtain help with preparing meals
- Give guidance on neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour
- Assist with resettlement
- Assist with making contact with other professional help
The Rock Trust
Bedrock West Lothian
This is a housing support service available to young people (16 - 25) who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. It also receives referrals for young people moving on from care.
Young people are provided with a tenancy for up to two years (average stays are around the 1 year mark) and receive a package of support to help develop their independent living skills.
Support plans are developed which include reference to resettlement plans. This allows us to focus on the future housing needs and aspirations of each young person - including areas where they are most suited for resettlement (taking into account important current and future supportive networks), the type of housing tenure and financial considerations that may impact on their housing choices. We work in partnership with many West Lothian organisations to ensure that the young people who we work with receive up to date and accurate information about the choices and opportunities that exist for them.
Networks Through Care
Networks Through Care supports young people in care who are socially isolated within their communities. It works with such young people to develop their social coping skills and to develop their networks of support (improving existing ones and building new ones). Housing Options work necessitates good dialogue with those who find themselves in difficulty. Of consideration here is the concept of such people having the confidence and skills to access and engage with such services. Social networks support therefore is a key component of ensuring that whatever services are available, are accessible and well used by all. Social network support can also lead to family reconciliation, which in some instances can resolve the issue of homelessness.
Bedrock West Lothian
20 Grampian Court
Tel: 01506 420760
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 08:45 to 17:00
Out of hours service available to Bedrock service users
There are residential and supported accommodation establishments provided by the Council, housing associations and other voluntary organisations and the private sector for people with special residential and respite care needs, including for:
- older and infirm people
- adults with mental health problems
- adults with physical and/or learning disabilities
- children and young adults with a learning disability
- young people
- people with alcohol or drug related problems
- combinations of these and more specialist requirements
Details can be obtained from West Lothian Council, Telephone 01506 280000
Norvell Lodge - 1 Persons Flat Housing with Care Apr 2019-Mar 2020
WLC Housing Support Charge is paid separate from Rent
Weekly Charge per Tenancy
Property Service Charge
WLC Housing Support Charge (Sheltered)
Footnote 1:- Insurance costs will vary depending upon the level of cover chosen by tenant.
Footnote 2:-Support People charge is paid separate from rent (Support People Group) Means tested.
Footnote 3:-Tenant is responsible for your own electricity, telephone and council tax bills.