Retirement and Sheltered housing

What is retirement housing?

Retirement housing is aimed at older residents. With some exceptions, it offers independent, self-contained homes with their own front door. There are many different types of retirement housing, in the private or public sector, with houses available to rent or to buy. There is normally a scheme manager or warden, and alarm systems provide emergency contact to allow residents to summon help. Facilities usually provided include:

  • Residents' lounges, for meeting and social activities
  • Guest room(s) for visitors (generally at a small charge)
  • Laundry room(s): the cost of washers and dryers is usually included in the rent
  • Some schemes, especially the larger ones, may also have a restaurant

Council-run sheltered housing

Sheltered housing is a type of retirement housing run by the council. Sheltered Housing Complexes can be found at:

  • Brunton Court Sheltered Housing, North High Street, Musselburgh EH21 6JD. Call 0131 653 5136
  • Osborne Court Sheltered Housing, Cockenzie, EH32 0JS. Call 01875 814080 or 01875 818145
  • Mansfield Court Sheltered Housing, Inveresk Road, Musselburgh EH21 7AU. Call 0131 653 5135
  • Well Wynd Sheltered Housing, Loch Square, Tranent EH33 2JY. Call 01875 615756 or 01875 824155

Download our council sheltered housing leaflet

Applying for council sheltered housing

For details of applying go to our topic Applying for a Council home. The Council will carry out an assessment of your need (for more details, please go to the Assessment of Need page.) If you are down-sizing and releasing a social rented property for a family to occupy, you may be eligible for financial help.

Housing Association schemes

Some housing associations provide specialist housing for older people. Details of how to apply to Housing Associations are in our topic How RSLs allocate housing. Currently the following provide social rent housing in East Lothian; Beild, Castle Rock Edinvar, and Abbeyfield. Beild also has private retirement housing.

Privately-run retirement housing

Some private companies build or own retirement housing in East Lothian. This can be rented or bought. When bought, it is usually at full market price; however, schemes exist to help older people with limited incomes and some capital who can't afford market prices. As with all retirement housing, there is a minimum age for residents, which is usually around 55 or 60 (although this age restriction doesn't apply to purchasers).

To see a complete list of all schemes in East Lothian, go to the Elderly Accommodation Counsel's website.