Tayside and Central Scotland

Angus Council plans to cut sheltered homes

Sheltered housing Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A third of the council's sheltered housing stock would be converted into homes for the elderly

Angus Council's sheltered housing provision should be reduced by a third, a report has recommended.

The homes would instead be converted into accommodation for older people, in proposals being considered by the council over the next few weeks.

If the plans are approved, 210 of the council's 626 sheltered housing units would become retirement housing.

The council said it needed to develop a "more sustainable and affordable" housing solution for those over 60.

The report will be considered by the Social Work and Health Committee on 12 January and by the Communities Committee the following week.

Council leader Iain Gaul said there was a "lessening demand" for other sheltered housing in Angus.

"Five years ago the total losses from void properties was just over £91,000 - last year it was just under £217,000," he said. "We cannot sustain that level of lost income to housing.

"It is well known that the overall financial position for council services has never been so severe. In that context we have to ensure that all of our services operate as effectively and efficiently as possible."

Community volunteers

The committee has recommended that community volunteers are used to support the sheltered housing provision for adults of any age that have medical or support needs.

It said that "universal provision" of sheltered housing did not comply with the Scottish government "self-directed support" policy which was introduced in 2013.

The new policy requires that individuals can choose who provides care and support services.

Mr Gaul added: "The council remains committed to ensuring that tenants care and support needs are met, but we must also comply with the requirements of self-directed support."

The council also plans to expand the caretaker service and invest in the communal facilities at the elderly housing complexes over the next four years.

The report follows a consultation with sheltered housing tenants.

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