Elderly people on Wearside will be able to maintain their independence longer under a new scheme.
Sunderland City Council wants to shift the emphasis from traditional residential care homes to the development of extra care housing.
This combines established sheltered housing schemes with the institutional care provided in homes.
Residents have their own front door and are supported by an on-site team which provides a range of care needs.
More than 30 staff have already been trained as health and social care assistants, with a further 50 due to undergo training soon.
A national housing association, Housing 21, has put in a bid to provide a range of facilities, and the outcome is expected by the beginning of February.