The study investigated whether United Kingdom-based extra-care housing, which provides older people with individual dwellings, communal facilities and care support, complies with current guidance on design for people with visual impairment and satisfies the needs of residents with sight loss. A total of 41 apartments/bungalows in 11 schemes were surveyed and interviews conducted with the occupants. Participants' comments suggest the current specialist guidance on design for people with sight loss is sound, although there is scope for additional guidance on aspect and daylight, which were highly valued. Little of this specialist guidance is included in mainstream design guidance, which might explain some deficiencies in extra-care housing, including low lounge and bedroom illuminances, few dimmer switches, and limited use of colour to enhance the legibility of spaces. © 2012 The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.