This article presents a UK-based research that has studied the existing sheltered or assisted living housing population and its future housing options and preferences. This meets an identified need to know and understand users’ needs and requirements in much more detail that is exactly what is liked and disliked by older people about sheltered housing, so that those who plan and design such housing can be aware of their views. The study also sought to understand the architects’ challenges in designing and adapting this type of housing. The sheltered housing managed by housing associations in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was assessed through a series of site visits, structured interviews and a focus group with stakeholders. Findings revealed, a) older users’ keen interest in participating in their housing needs assessment, and b) identified building design concerns and provided recommendations for potential design guidelines.