Across the United Kingdom, new build and remodelled ‘extra care’ schemes are being developed in many areas on the assumption that they offer older people with care needs an alternative to residential care. This paper reports an evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team of 10 extra-care schemes remodelled from sheltered housing or residential care units. The evaluation audited buildings and identified social and architectural problems. No two schemes in the sample were alike; some aimed for a dependency balance and others set a dependency threshold for admission. The three criteria used for assessing eligibility were the number of paid care hours the older person had at home, their property status and the type of disability. This article focuses on the wide variation in assessing eligibility for an extra-care place and on some social consequences of remodelling. A number of tenants remained in situ during the remodelling process in six of the schemes. Building professionals were unanimous that retaining some tenants on site caused significant development delays and increased the remodelling costs. There was also a social price to pay. ‘Old’ tenants resented their scheme changing into extra care and were hostile towards ‘new’ tenants who had obvious needs for support. In some extra-care schemes, ‘old’ tenants were refusing to participate in meals and all social activities.