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Care & Support Specialised Housing Fund

The Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund was announced by the Department of Health in the White paper Caring for our future: reforming care and support published in July 2012.  The main aim of the fund is to support and accelerate the development of the specialised housing market, particularly at a time when the wider economic factors may place limitations on the growth of this market. 

Housing plays a critical role in helping older people and disabled adults to live as independently as possible, and in helping carers and the wider health and social care system offer support more effectively.  However, evidence suggests that there are currently not enough specialised housing options available for these groups, especially for those who wish to own their own home.

Over five years from 2013/14, the Department of Health is making available £160m capital funding for specialist housing providers to bring forward proposals for development of specialist housing to meet the needs of older people and adults with disabilities outside of London.  This funding may be supplemented by up to a further £80m capital funding in the first two years of the programme.  The programme will be delivered and managed by the Homes and Communities Agency. 

There is also £40m (up to £60m) capital funding available for developments in London, to be delivered by the Greater London Authority (GLA)

Affordable housing bid round

Successful bids for the first round of the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund were announced on 24 July 2013. 86 providers, outside of London, are set to receive around £101m to develop more than 3,000 affordable homes for older people and adults with disabilities or mental health needs.

Further background to the programme can be found in the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund Prospectus (PDF - 532KB).

Private housing Expressions of Interest

Concurrently with the launch of the affordable housing bid round, we also invited responses to help inform development of the second phase of the funding which will aim to stimulate development in the wider private market. 

The Department of Health and the HCA are reviewing all responses and will use the information gathered to develop the private market housing funding proposition.


Enquiries about bidding for the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund should be sent to the HCA via email at Providers are asked to note that where questions may be of general applicability to all prospective bidders, these and our response will be published on our website.

We have compiled the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund – Frequently Asked Questions document based on questions received to date. Additionally, Guidance on calculating an affordable rent is also available.

If providers wish to discuss particular scheme proposals ahead of bidding, they are invited to contact the HCA’s area investment teams.  Details of area leads for this programme are set out below: 

HCA Operating Area

Area lead contact name

Contact telephone number

Email address

East and South East

Becky Ashley

01223 374001


Ian Penn

0121 234 9987

North West

Jacqui Walsh

0161 200 6136

North East, Yorkshire and the Humber

Dilys Jones

0113 394 9345

South and South West

Stephanie Ainsworth

0117 9377271


For providers who intend to submit bids for delivery within Greater London, please refer to the Greater London Authority’s website at

Useful links

Housing Learning & Improvement Network (LIN) 
The Housing Learning & Improvement Network (LIN) is the national network for promoting new ideas and supporting change in the commissioning, procurement, design and delivery of housing, care and support services for older and vulnerable adults, including people with disabilities and long term conditions. The Housing LIN is responsible for keeping an online directory of all specialised housing schemes that have received a Department of Health allocation since 2004 and will similarly be keeping a record of those funded under the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund. Email or visit: 

Registration with the Housing Learning & Improvement Network

Care and Support providers and their partners are expected to register with the Housing LIN and to participate in local knowledge and information exchange opportunities.  To register with the Housing LIN please follow this link. Please note that providers are asked to register by Monday, 13 January 2014. To obtain the scheme directory pro forma, visit the LIN website for more information. Please state, when returning pro formas to  whether the funding allocated to the scheme is administered by the HCA or GLA by marking your email “DH Fund HCA” or “DH Fund GLA”.

Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI)
Housing an Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) was established in June 2009 to tackle what further reform is needed to ensure that new build specialised housing meets the needs and aspirations of the older people of the future. The HAPPI panel visited 24 housing schemes across Europe to produce the HAPPI report - outlining innovative examples across Europe and the panel's recommendations.

A film summarising the key HAPPI report messages can be viewed at:

Non-mainstream housing design guide
From housing for older people and supported housing for vulnerable groups to refurbishment of existing homes - a wealth of design guidance already exists. The HCA therefore commissioned a review to help investment partners, project commissioners, local authorities and designers decide which advice would be most useful for their project.

Vulnerable and Older People Needs Estimation Toolkit
This toolkit provides estimates of the number of Vulnerable and Older People in need of a housing-related support service within district and unitary authorities between 2008 and 2033. The toolkit presents information about local population growth taken from the Office for National Statistics and applies assumptions made using data from a range of publicly-available sources to estimate the likely current and future size of particular client groups. This toolkit is available through a secure login environment to all of the Agency's local and central government partners who are covered by the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA).

HCA’s Vulnerable and Older People webpage

Frontier Economics - Financial benefits of investing in housing for vulnerable and older people
The report estimates the net benefit of HCA investment to be around £940 per person per year, equating to a net benefit of around £640m per year.  The figures are based on an assessment of reduced involvement in crime, or reliance on health care and other social services, minus the additional cost of specialist provision over and above general needs housing.

Design and Quality Standards
All bids must meet the Core Standards of the HCA’s Design and Quality Standards and the relevant specialist design features as outlined in this document for supported, wheelchair accessible or housing for older people as appropriate to their proposals.

Strategic Housing for Older People
The Housing LIN publication provides a framework and a basket of accompanying tools for councils, public and private sector developers and providers to develop their strategic market position and take the initiative in designing and building homes that older people want, including extra care housing. The papers and accompanying tools in this Resource Pack support a variety of activities including:

  • how to develop an understanding of what future demand is likely to be for housing for older people
  • what does the market look like now and how should it look in the future
  • what are the key success factors in the service design process for extra care housing
  • how do you promote and market extra care housing

Dementia design
Housing LIN resources on developing housing for people with dementia.

Urban Design Compendium
This site provides guidance on good urban design – summarising the principles of urban design, how they can be applied and the processes which lead to successful places. Chapters of the publications can be downloaded throughout.


Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia
This document sets out the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia, to deliver major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015

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