PENSIONERS living in sheltered accommodation have slammed a “scandalous” rise in rents.

Some 38 people over the age of 55 live at St Philips Court – an Anchor Housing development in Bank Top off Preston Old Road, Blackburn.

In April they were told that monthly rent and service charges, which cover gas and water, but not electricity, were to increase by 5.5 per cent.

A number of residents have also had an exta £8.66 added on to ‘ensure consistency’ between tenants living in different areas.

Resident Bryan Thompson, 79, said: “My rent has gone up from £436 to £510.

“The basic rent has gone from £236 to £258 and the service charges have gone from £28.77 to £52.73.

“Pensions are not going up at the same rate, and interest rates mean that savings are being hit.” Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “We are paying a lot for fuel, but a lot of it gets wasted because we can’t control the temperature on the radiators.

“I don’t know where we’re going to find the money from to pay for the increases.”

An Anchor spokesperson said the increase had been set by the Government at the rate of inflation back in September. He said: “At that time inflation was 5 per cent.

“Within the rent review formula, housing associations are expected to add a further 0.5 per cent, bringing the rise to 5.5 per cent for most Anchor tenants.

“This level of increase helps us ensure that we have sufficient money to invest in our housing so that it meets the rising expectations of our tenants.”