News from Bolton at Home
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Service charges for tenants in our sheltered housing, extra care or independent living schemes
From 5 April 2021, we introduced the new weekly service charge that we consulted you on first. This charge applies if you live in one of our sheltered housing, extra care or independent living schemes.
We’re proud to be able to offer a range of services to help you live independently in your home - whether that’s in sheltered housing, at one of our extra care or independent living schemes.
The charges you’ll pay reflect the specific services provided, which can vary depending on where you live. They include our Careline community alarm service, sheltered support service, handy person’s service, mobile and on-site caretakers, scheme-based social activities, and more.
When we consulted you about the charges in 2021 the vast majority of you confirmed that you require these services and you value how they give you added security, peace of mind and a sense of community where you live.
Our Board approved the new service charges on 19th November 2020 and we delayed introducing them until 5 April 2021 to be as helpful as possible.
Why service charges have gone up
In the past, these services were funded by the government through their Supporting People grant. But in 2015, that funding stopped. At the time, we decided to subsidise these services ourselves so that you could continue to benefit from them. But we couldn’t carry on doing this indefinitely.
We’ve been working to minimise the impact on you. For the first year, we’ll continue to subsidise the service in part. And we’ll minimise costs for you going forward.
We’ll calculate the charges you’ll pay based on what it costs us to provide these services. We won’t be making a profit.
Service charges like these have been commonplace in the UK housing sector for many years and we’ve always avoided introducing them for as long as we could. All service charges are regulated by law and housing organisations can’t charge more for a service than it costs.
We’ve always been careful and taken the necessary legal steps to ensure we’re right and proper in our approach as we seek to minimise the potential impact on tenants.
Overall, rent levels with us remain good value compared to other providers of social housing locally, regionally and nationally. We also compare favourably to the private rented sector in terms of cost, quality and service provision.
What happens now
If you pay by Direct Debit, you don’t need to do anything. The charge will be automatically taken from your usual payment method.
If you’re not currently paying by Direct Debit, you’ll need to increase your weekly payment in line with the new charge.
Please get in touch with our Contact Centre Team on 01204 328000 if you’d like to set-up a Direct Debit or an allpay (preloaded payment) card.
Some of these charges will be eligible for Housing Benefit. If you receive Housing Benefit, you should have received a notification from Bolton Council in late February on your entitlement.
Help is available
If you’re worried about paying, or think you might not be getting all of the income you’re eligible for, please phone us on 01204 328000 and ask for our Money Advice Team.
You can also discuss any concerns or queries with scheme manager or your sustaining tenancy advisor.
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAP4 Issue 6 - released 26 February 2021
TAP4’s ready to read right away, meaning there’s no need to subscribe to a mailing list or share your email address. Released on 26 February 2021, the latest issue’s bursting with updates, news, and opportunities for you and those you’re close to. Grab a brew and see what's new.