Elderly residents begged Lambeth Council on Monday night to save their homes from demolition as the cabinet met to finalise its housing strategy.

The council claims it need profits from the sale of four sheltered housing schemes to bring the remaining schemes up to the Decent Homes standard; despite already receiving £100.5m from the Mayor of London to improve housing.

Pensioners at Denby Court, Elderberry Grove and Fitch Court will be torn away from their communities as their homes are pulled down and rebuilt as “extra care” schemes.

Mary McIntyre, 79, who has lived at Denby Court for 14 years, said: “By the time we make it back there, I am going to be 90 and most of the residents at Denby court are in their 80s. It’s not very fair to ask old age pensioners to pack up their bags and move.”

Protesting residents believe relocation to “extra care” housing, with full-time care staff replacing wardens, will reduce their independence and destroy the communities they have built.

As one resident put it after visiting an extra care unit: “I’ve seen more life in West Norwood cemetery”.

Helen Charlesworth-May, Lambeth director of strategy and commissioning, said she recognised the importance of housing which gives people a sense of community, but could not promise not to convert or sell any site.

The council said the three schemes to be knocked down will provide 160 more homes once rebuilt; needed to meet the projected demand for 642 additional homes in 2031.

Jonathan Bartley, Lambeth Green Party, who led a successful campaign to save The Glebe, a sheltered housing scheme in Streatham, said: “Lambeth council have treated these old people as income units to be shifted around like capital.

“Some of them have talked about chaining themselves to railings to stop this happening.”

Mr Bartley believes the council has chosen to spend the £100m awarded from central government elsewhere in the borough and sell-off sheltered housing at the expense of old people to raise the £10m it needs for extra care housing.

Sheltered housing sites due to be sold to housing developers will be Leigham Court Road, Queenswood Court, McCall House and Westcott House.

Lambeth Council pledged to work closely with residents as it makes further decisions on housing development.