Skip to main content

Supported/Independent Housing

Supported Housing provides housing, care and support. It can enable people to live independently for longer and is an alternative housing option that falls somewhere between living independently in the community and nursing home/residential care.

Supported Housing is provided by local authorities, approved housing bodies and private sector providers. The Irish Council of Social Housing contains information on housing schemes provided by approved housing bodies. Local authorities can provide information on schemes provided in the local area. (link to AFI specialist)

There are also options available in the private sector. Retirement Services Ireland provides information on some of the private retirement housing options in Ireland .

Different models of Supported Housing are available with differing levels of care and support provided. There is no set definition of services offered at different levels, but work by The Housing Agency grouped the typical services available into three levels of Supported Housing:

  • Independent Living – low level of services
  • Assisted Living – medium level of services
  • Specialised Living -high level of services, including subacute care

The following table provides a summary of what is typically available at each of the three levels of Supported Housing (Housing Agency, 2018).

Table I: Typical features included in Supported Housing Models

Independent Living (low level of services)Assisted Living (medium level of services)Specialised Living (high level of services)
1/ 2-bedroom apartment/bungalow – own kitchen, living room, outdoor space1/ 2-bedroom apartment/bungalow – own kitchen, living room, outdoor spaceBed-sitting room, bathroom, kitchenette and may include own outdoor space
Own front doorOwn front doorOwn front door
Universal Design
principles/design
Universal Design
principles/design
Universal Design
principles/design
Communal room and office spaceCommunal room and office spaceExtra communal and office space
May have a caféMay have a café or residents’ restaurantShared sitting rooms, kitchens, and dining rooms
Secure personal alarms/ emergency responseSecure personal alarms/ emergency responseSecure personal alarms/ emergency response
Caretaker/
housing manager on site for some time each week
Caretaker/
housing manager on site for some time each week
Social and healthcare staff on site
 Often co-located with a HSE day care centre or primary care centre.24/7 social and or/medical care available  
May have a guest apartment in scheme for overnight visitorsMay have a guest apartment in scheme for overnight visitors 

Resources