A PONTYPOOL councillor has slammed Bron Afon Community Housing over plans to take retirement housing applications online, calling them “thoughtless”.

Last week the social enterprise announced that from April applicants will have to use the local authorities’ Homeseeker website, which advertises all available social housing across Torfaen from several social landlords.

They previously sent people interested in retirement housing an advert in the post every two weeks and used paper forms for applications.

But Pontypool Community Council chairman Councillor Giles Davies has said he fears the changes will alienate a large number of elderly people who aren’t computer-savvy.

He posted on social media sites: “Many senior citizens wouldn’t know how to switch one on, let alone fill in an online form.”

A spokeswoman for Bron Afon said the change would centralise the system for applying and allocating homes, make the service fairer, and enable people on the retirement housing waiting list to expand their search.

“We have contacted all retirement housing applicants not currently registered on Homeseeker to make arrangements to guide them through the process and identify what further support they may need. With the help of Homeseeker staff, we will make sure that every person wanting to be re-housed will be supported to look for and bid for suitable homes.”

They also said Bron Afon would visit people at the home if required, and hold open surgeries throughout Torfaen.

Applicants and their families can call Bron Afon on 01633 620111 or 0800 111 42 42.