ILS advantages and disadvantages

Independent Living Scheme (ILS) accommodation does not suit everyone; the information below provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages designed to help anyone considering applying for this type of housing.

An assessment will be carried out prior to being offered a property to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for independent living.


  • There will be neighbours close by, but privacy and independence can always be maintained.
  • Help is available in an emergency via the Lifeline system.
  • More secure than private accommodation.
  • All schemes are built with safety and convenience in mind and have door entry systems, fire alarms and smoke detectors.
  • A more manageable property in terms of size and outdoor space.
  • There will be access to communal facilities and opportunities to socialise.
  • An annual Wellbeing Plan, completed with your Independent Living Officer will note any changes in your personal circumstances and allow us to signpost tenants to other agencies that may be able to offer assistance for daily living.


  • There may be a waiting list for this type of social housing property.
  • Some areas in the district have a limited number of ILS accommodation available. There are schemes in Folkestone, Cheriton, Hythe, Dymchurch, New Romney, Lydd and Lyminge.
  • There are service charges to pay as well as rent. These charges cover communal services like building repairs, cleaning, grounds maintenance, heating, and hot water charges (in some schemes), and the emergency alarm system. If an individual receives housing benefit and pension credit to help with housing costs, it may not cover the whole service charge.

The council's ILS's do not provide help with personal care, and they require residents to have a certain level of independence. Nor does ILS housing provide a "child-free" zone because children do visit their relatives who live in these schemes, also children living nearby, may well play near the scheme. However, this type of housing is almost certainly quieter than other types of accommodation.