People living in Bolton at Home properties will have to pay more in service charges to access support.

Tenants in sheltered, extra care, and independent living accommodation will need to pay more to stay in their property from October.

Services such as Careline, Sheltered Housing Support, and the Handyperson’s service were previously funded by the ‘Supporting People’ grant given to Bolton at Home by central government.

Up to 2,500 tenants are expected to be affected by extra costs, although Bolton at Home has refused to reveal how much people could be expected to pay.

Denise Lonsdale, 66, is a resident of one of these sites in Tonge Moor, and isn’t happy about the changes.

She said: “A lot of the residents are concerned, and so am I – this is my home and I want to know that when I need those services they will be there.

"Elderly people shouldn't have to live in fear.

“We already pay a service charge to Bolton at Home and I know people on housing benefit can get extra help but why should the council be footing the bill when it should be central government?

“We seem to have more cut backs than any town I know, and what else are the council going to have to cut back on if they have to pay for this too?”

Denise currently pays less than £5 a week as a service charge. She does not yet know what she will be forced to pay from October.

The organisation lost access to the funding in 2015 and had continued to subsidise the services until now, saying they can no longer afford to.

Gemma Parlby, Bolton at Home’s director of housing services, said: “We’re visiting our tenants affected by the proposed service charges to explain exactly what it would mean for them and to offer support in preparing for any increases in weekly payments. These visits will continue over the coming weeks.

“Unfortunately, without charges we couldn’t continue to provide these and other housing support services. Charges to fund services are common in the sector and when introducing ours we’ll be as fair and responsible as possible to reduce the impact on our tenants.

“We’ll not be charging for all elements of service and will continue to provide some subsidy –we would phase-in the proposed charges between October 2020 and April 2022.

“The cost of being with Bolton at Home after this time will still compare favourably with an equivalent home elsewhere due to our lower rents and our on-going subsidy into the service.”