VULNERABLE elderly people could be moved from sheltered accommodation as the council looks to ease immense pressure on its Housing Register.

In a report to be put before Epping Forest District Council’s Communities Select Committee on Tuesday, officers recommend cutting the number of self-contained flats for the elderly, which are visited daily by carers.

In recent years there has been a marked decline in demand for such properties, with 154 people currently on the sheltered housing list and two bids for each available property made between September and December, 2017.

In contrast, need for general social housing has grown hugely. Currently, 1,359 are on the Housing Register and 98 bids were made for each vacant home in the same three month period.

As a consequence, officers have suggested reducing the number of sheltered homes and converting them to general needs accommodation.

Part of the document reads: “In view of the ongoing low level of demand for sheltered housing, compared to the high demand for general needs housing, officers are of the view that the point has now been reached where the amount of sheltered accommodation provided by the Council across the District should be reduced.

"Some of the sheltered housing buildings or land should be redeveloped to provide either general needs housing, temporary homelessness accommodation and/or more appropriate accommodation for older people in the future.

As for freeing up the current sheltered housing stock for conversion, two suggestions are made.

One would move residents to old three bed council houses, which have gardens and space for children and grandchildren to stay.

The other proposes the conversion of existed sheltered housing sites, including Honeytree Court in Loughton, or soon to be built sites such as Hillhouse in Waltham Abbey, into independent living schemes for older people.

To read the report click here.