The new year will herald an uncertain time for elderly residents of eight sheltered housing schemes in South West Herts, after cuts from the county council.

Thrive Homes, which took on Three Rivers District Council's housing stock in 2008, owns and runs eight sheltered housing schemes for the elderly in Watford, Rickmansworth, Abbots Langley and South Oxhey.

A large portion of Thrive Homes' budget for providing services to these sheltered housing residents - such as dedicated service managers and daily contact - comes from Hertfordshire County Council under the Supporting People Grant.

However, the county council has cut the amount of grant money it is willing to give to Thrive by 56 percent, leaving the housing association trying to work out how it can provide the same level of service to its elderly residents with significantly less money.

The council wants to ensure that the same amount of money is paid for similar services from different providers, which for Thrive, means a 56 percent cut.

Andrew Dawson, senior communications officer for Hertfordshire County Council, said: “At the moment, there are significant variations from provider to provider in terms of what we pay per person per week, how the service is delivered and who gets a service.

“The uniform price that we will pay for each type of service means that some providers will see no reduction in funding.

“However, there are others with relatively more costly services which will see significant reductions to bring them in-line with the proposed price levels.”

Thrive Homes runs eight sheltered housing schemes across Watford and Three Rivers, including:

Rickmansworth: St Mary's Court, Frogmoor Court, Moneyhill Court and Grove Court.

Abbots Langley: Tannerswood Court.

Watford: Clitheroe Gardens.

South Oxhey: Harrogate Court and Hallowes Court.

Rosie Salkeld, from Thrive Homes, said changes to staffing must be made to cope with the cuts, but will aim to protect front line service delivery as best as possible.

After consulting staff and residents, it is now likely that only six of the eight sheltered schemes will have a manager based there, as opposed to each having their own dedicated manager.

Each manager will also cover the immediate community to carry out visits to Thrive Homes residents who live in either older persons homes or general needs homes.

The remaining two schemes will share one manager, who will also carry out community visits.

Additionally, instead of every resident receiving daily contact, from one of various people including social workers, Thrive staff and carers, only those assessed as requiring daily contact would continue to receive the service.

A 24-hour monitoring service, controlled from a central location, will remain despite the cuts.

Elspeth Mackenzie, Thrive Homes chief executive, said: “Thrive Homes is reviewing the services we provide to older and vulnerable people in the area, driven by the County Council’s decision to cut Supporting People Grant.

“This review, and any subsequent changes will be carried out in consultation with our residents and staff. Any changes to service will be in line with the principles of the offer document agreed when we transferred because the source of the funding has been cut by Government.”