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Choosing somewhere to live

In this section you will find information and housing options that can help you plan for your future housing needs, help you find somewhere to live or support you in a time of crisis.

For related services see the categories to the right and related information and advice is listed below. 

Information and advice

Extra Care

Provides independent living for people over the age of 55 with an assessed care need

Care and support is available on sites and is flexible to meet the needs of each household if required. Usually each apartment has no steps, its own front door, two bedrooms, fully fitted kitchen, living room, a walk in shower room and is suitable for people who need to use wheelchairs.

You and people living in the local community will have access to a restaurant for snacks and meals, book appointments at the hairdressers, meet new people, join in social events, receive on-site health treatments and all schemes are pet friendly.

There are several different Extra Care schemes in Sunderland and these are listed in the Extra Care link to the right of the page.

To apply you must be aged 55 of over and require supported or more appropriate housing, or need a level of personal care, to be considered for extra care housing

Homeless support

There are many ways you can prevent yourself from becoming homeless and details of how to do this can be found on the Council's Homelessness advice prevention web page.

If you need housing advice or at risk of becoming homeless it's important that you seek advice as soon as possible. 

Our aim is to work with you to try and prevent homelessness if at all possible.  Please do not wait until you are actually homeless before contacting us as once you have been made homeless, it is much more difficult for us to help you resolve your situation.

Our ability to prevent homelessness is improved if we are given the opportunity to intervene and assist you with housing problems sooner rather than later and we may be able to offer advice and assistance that allows you to remain in your home.  Details of how to do this can be found on the Council's Homeless services web page.

Nursing and Residential Care

These are the 2 main types of care homes.  Some offer accommodation and help with personal care, others offer nursing care as well. 

A care home registered to provide personal care will offer support, ensuring basic personal needs are taken care of. Some care homes are registered to provide nursing care and these are often referred to as nursing homes.

Residential homes for young adults provides care and support for younger adults (18 – 65 years) with severe physical disabilities, learning disabilities, brain injury resulting from an accident, or mental health problems.

There are several different residential and nursing schemes in Sunderland and these are listed in the Residential care and Nursing care links to the right of the page.

Sheltered Care

This is accommodation for people aged 55 and over.

The properties are usually a studio or a one bedroom flat or bungalow. These properties have been specially designed for people who have trouble moving around their home.

All properties have a community care alarm so residents can call for help in an emergency. However there is no on-site care team or warden.

There are several different sheltered accommodation schemes in Sunderland and these are listed in the Sheltered Housing link to the right of the page.

Supported Living

Supported Living provides housing and support for people with learning disabilities.  and helps them to live in the community independently.

It’s suitable for people with all levels of disability as the support is tailored to individual needs, this can be a few hours a day or week to round the clock support to live in their own home.  For others it may be a shared house with friends and support to meet their individual needs.


The RED BAG Scheme - for care home residents staying in hospital

The Red Bag Poster

What is the RED BAG Scheme?
The RED BAG Scheme focuses on transfering care safely for older people living with frailty and contains everything a care home resident needs during their hospital stay.

It has been developed in partnership with Sunderland CCG, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland City Council, North East Ambulance Service and Care Home Providers with support from Newcastle Gateshead Vanguard and Sutton Homes of Care. 

Who is it for?
The RED BAG Scheme has been designed to support care homes in Sunderland, the Ambulance Service and regional hospitals to meet the requirements of NICE guidance on transition between inpatient hospital setting and care homes. 

Senior members of hospital staff should discuss what will be needed when the resident returns to the care home.

Further details about the The RED BAG Scheme can be found in the process listed below and any queries can be emailed to 


The Red Bag Process

Care Quality Commission - Choosing a home

CQC logo

The CQC monitor, inspect and regulate services that are provided in residential and Nursing homes (CQC monitor, inspect and regulate more than just care homes) to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and  publish their findings, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

They have produced a guide called 'What can you expect from a good home-care agency?' which describes the five main inspection criteria and how good care homes demonstrate that they are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people's needs and well-led, details about this guide and other useful information can be found on the CQC website.

Healthwatch Sunderland - Are you looking for a care home?

Healthwatch Sunderland

Healthwatch Sunderland have spoken to care home residents, their friends and relatives, care home staff and management to find out what it’s like to live in the care homes in Sunderland. 

Further details can be found on the Healthwatch Sundelrland Care home life web pages and by watching their promotional video


Finding a home

If you are looking for a home or moving into the area there a number of options available in Sunderland on the Council's Find a home web page.

Housing advice

If you are seeking general housing advice and are not at risk of homelessness within 56 days please speak to your local advice provider.

Details of who this is for your area can be found on the Council's Housing advice web page.

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