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Home Matters - Autumn 2012 - Circle Anglia

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					                                                                                                                  South Anglia
                                                                                                                                     ances
                                                                                                                   Enhancing Life Ch

                                                   The newspaper for residents of South Anglia Housing

  www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                                         Autumn issue 2012


 South Anglia
 Annual Resident
 Review
 2011-2012




                                  This year we have asked residents from our
                                  Communication Connectors Panel what questions
                                  they would like to ask their Managing Director.
                                  Here is what they wanted to know……….

What community improvements                      How has the repairs service                       South Anglia has invested £35,000 in the
have been made over the last year?               improved in the last year?                        TREE Furniture and bike recycling Project
In 2010 we invested £1.1 million in our          Our partner maintenance contractor, Anglia        in Vange, Basildon.
Excellent Estates Project which benefited over   Maintenance Services, is now our Direct        •	 we’re working with the National Citizen
700 residents. To keep up this good work, a      Labour Organisation (or DLO) called South         Service in Luton on a project for 180 16
new team was set up last year to manage and      Anglia Maintenance Services.                      year olds from different backgrounds
improve our new estate services contracts and                                                      to take part in a summer programme to
anti-social behaviour (ASB) work. Customers      Whilst integrating South Anglia Maintenance       encourage them to be more community
are involved in reviewing these services at      Services we looked at the way we are              minded
monthly estate inspections. Last year our        carrying out some of our services. One of      •	 We’re working with Welfare Benefit
new Resident Scrutiny Panel reviewed our         the things we have updated is how we deal         Advisors across Essex, Bedfordshire and
communal cleaning and told us how we could       with empty homes and how we make sure             East Herts to train resident volunteers to
make this better. These improvements are         they meet Decent Homes Standard before            provide basic welfare benefit advice.
being carried out this year.                     re-letting. Doing this has meant we have
                                                 improved our “void turn around time” by        How will you be supporting
How much have you invested in                    over five days.                                residents facing benefit cuts next
Decent Homes in the last year?                                                                  year?
We reached our 100% Decent Homes target          Where will money be spent next year?           As well as our volunteer residents providing
in 2010 and we’re determined that all our        Our priorities will be Resident Involvement    advice to other customers, we’ve been
homes remain decent. We continue to go           and Community Development.                     working to prepare and support all
above and beyond the government Decent                                                          customers affected by the changes. Our staff
Homes standard and have spent over £9            £200,000 has been allocated for community      have been fully trained so they can offer the
million on making sure our homes remain up       based projects and initiatives such as our     best advice and guidance on money matters,
to these standards.                              Residents’ Away Day and the Community          benefit changes and debt management to
                                                 Spirit Awards. We will also be targeting       residents that need it.
                                                 activity where the need is greatest. Some of
                                                 the projects we will support are:-             Picture top left: Tracy White, Managing
                                                 •	 increasing access to learning               Director of South Anglia Housing Association.
                                                    opportunities and Health and Wellbeing;
  2         www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                 Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012


Have we done what we promised?
Getting you involved           Last year we told you our plans for the year, here is how we performed against those plans and what we are
                               going to be doing over the next year

Highlights from 2011-12. We have:                                    Plans for the next year in 2012-13. We will:
•	 set up a new Resident Scrutiny Panel to involve you in how        •	 review our involvement activities at the Annual Involved Residents
   we run our services. The Panel has put together a list of other      Conference to make sure we’re meeting customers’ needs
   services to review and they are currently working on our          •	 improve how we feedback consultation and survey results i.e. include
   Under Occupation Scheme                                              them on email straplines, put them on Facebook and our website, in
•	 the Panel has completed its first review on communal                 Home Matters and other newsletters, notice boards and receptions
   cleaning services. We are actioning these suggestions.            •	 carry out more work with hard to reach community groups
                                                                     •	 produce a Customer Commitments publication so all residents can
                                                                        provide feedback on our performance
                                                                     •	 set up a resident readers’ panel to feedback on policies as part of policy
                                                                        reviews.

Looking after your homes
 Highlights from 2011-12. We have:                                    Plans for the next year in 2012-13. We will:
 •	 increased the number of renewable heating systems installed       •	 re-shape how we deliver repairs into a regional team and set up new
    meaning reduced utility bills for our customers                      responsive and planned works contracts to get a better service
 •	 developed 18 new homes in Plaw Hatch Close and 12 homes           •	 improve homes with low energy efficiency ratings to bring all
    in Firlands, Much Hadham                                             properties up to a rating of 65 or above
 •	 improved our lettings procedure and asked customers if            •	 make customers aware of the changes to benefits, provide help and
    their rent statements are clear enough and introduced a new          support as needed and offer details of other useful organisations
    project to look at tenancy fraud                                  •	 draft an Income Management Strategy setting out our aims and
 •	 finalised a “Moving In Guide” with the help of the                   objectives, service standards and clear guidelines on how rent and
    Neighbourhood Quality Action Group. This is now given to all         service charges are set
    new customers                                                     •	 review the Estate Champion Role and develop it further to help with
 •	 launched a transfer incentive scheme which is being                  issues like dealing with illegally parked cars, offensive graffiti and
    reviewed by our Resident Scrutiny Panel to ensure it is as           develop a Neighbourhood Strategy.
    effective as possible.

Building communities
Highlights from 2011-12. We have:                                                    Plans for the next year in 2012-13. We will:
•	 added new website pages with details of services provided by our                  •	 look at additional storage options in blocks of flats for
   environment team. There is also an online form for customers to report below         buggies and bikes
   standard service. A similar page has been developed for our ASB team              •	 find out what people think about ASB and put
•	 carried out an annual survey on estate services with all customers who pay a         together an action plan
   service charge. We will be making improvements                                    •	 arrange ASB training day for front line staff.
•	 established a new ASB team.

Offering value for money
Highlights from 2011-12. We have:                                        Plans for the next year in 2012-13. We will:
•	 formed a plan with residents for improving value for money.           •	 the new government standard for Value for Money (VFM) requires us
   Residents will be involved with the impact and progress of the           to produce a self assessment document to show what we’ve done to
   plan                                                                     meet the standard. This has recently been produced for the work we
•	 continued to ask our customers what their priorities are and             did last year and will be published to customers shortly
   used this to shape our service                                        •	 the Self Assessment will continue to be reviewed by our Board
•	 projects have been assessed for the value they will add to our           every year
   services, for example the Quality Action Groups work with each        •	 a new Board VFM Champion has been appointed who will oversee
   department to review their service improvement plans for the             the VFM work being done
   year and help us make improvements such as considering the            •	 all managers will be required to achieve VFM through service
   cost of services.                                                        improvements
                                                                         •	 VFM training for staff, Board Members and customers will be offered.




                                      Call South Anglia on 0800 694 0159 or 0845 600 1543
          www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                          Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012                 3


    How well did we perform?
     Getting you involved                                                                 Looking after your homes
     Satisfaction with views taken into account                                           Percentage of urgent repairs completed within target time
     2010-11                    2011-12                                                   2010-11                     2011-12
     73.2%                      78.5%                                                     97.5%                       98.9%
     Satisfaction with landlord services                                                  Percentage of routine repairs completed within target time
     2010-11                    2011-12                                                   2010-11                     2011-12
     81.4%                      84.1%                                                     99.9%                       99.2%
     Complaints resolved at first stage                                                   Satisfaction with last repair
     2010-11                    2011-12                                                   2010-11                     2011-12
     93.1%                      90.6%                                                     92.9%                       93.9%

    Giving customers more ways to get involved and tell us what                           With big changes last year to our repairs and maintenance
    they think has helped us make improvements to services.                               service, plans we made to review appointment slots and
    Customers are happier that their views are being taken into                           more training to improve customer satisfaction weren’t
    account with satisfaction for this increasing by 5.3%. Residents                      possible. With new contracts being set up we should be able
    satisfied with our services has also increased by 2.7%                                to do both of these projects next year.
    Our complaints performance has dipped slightly this year
    by 2.5%. We’ll be working hard this year to improve this by                           For the third year in a row, all appointment categories for
    reviewing the current process.                                                        repairs (emergency, urgent, and routine) were within target.
                                                                                          This was despite the many changes to the service.
                                                                                          Residents are 1.3% more satisfied with the way we dealt with
                                                                                          their last repair. Combined with a performance improvement
                                                                                          of 3.6% in 10/11 means this KPI has improved by nearly 5%
South Anglia                                                                              over the past two years.
    Offering value for money
                                                                                          Average re-let turnaround times (days)
     Rent collected as a % of rent due
                                                                                          2010-11                   2011-12
     2010-11            2011-12
                                                                                          24.4 days                 19.2 days
     100.6%             99.8%
                                                                                          Percentage of dwellings that are vacant and available to let
     Current resident arrears as % of rent due
                                                                                          2010-11                   2011-12
     2010-11            2011-12
                                                                                          0.6%                      0.4%
     3%                 3%
                                                                                          Percentage of dwellings that are vacant but unavailable to let
    The ASB Team has continued to work with the Police and PCSOs                          2010-11                   2011-12
    on our estates to support victims of ASB. This is supported                           0%                        0%
    by joint working with our Community Development Team on
    projects such as play schemes for children during the summer                         Our target for re-letting has improved by 5.2 days. Combined
    holidays.                                                                            with the 8.6 day improvement seen the year before means we
                                           Other 6.2p                                    have knocked 13.8 days off how long it takes to re-let homes -
                                                              Decent Homes and large     the shortest time for six years.
                    Estate Services 6.9p
                                                              maintenance works 44.4p
                                                                                         Our Circle Income Strategy is ongoing and it’s hoped that we’ll
       Sheltered Housing 7.3p                                                            be able to finalise a local South Anglia Strategy this year. We
                                                                                         recognise that because of benefit changes debt advice and
                                                                                         support will now form a crucial part of the strategy.
          Lettings 1.0p

     Tenancy
     management 3.2p
       Anti-social
       behaviour 2.7p                                                                   In September 2012, our Board made its first self-assessment
       Resident                                                                         against the Homes and Communities Agency’s new ‘Value for
       Involvement 4.3p                                                                 Money Standard’. This self-assessment covered our activities,
                                                                                        services and approach to Value for Money in the period up to
                                                                                        31st March 2012 – including examples of our achievements.
                Rent arrears &
                collection 3.3p                                                         This will be published on our website and subject to further
                                                                                        resident scrutiny in the latter part of 2012-13.
                                                 Responsive & void
                                                 works 20.6p




                                                        Call South Anglia on 0800 694 0159 or 0845 600 1543
   4           www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                              Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012



Hundreds flock to wildlife park
In August over 500 residents enjoyed the exotic surroundings of Paradise Wildlife
Park in Broxbourne as part of our annual away day.


A   s well as meeting some of
    the 400 different animals
at the park, residents enjoyed
                                  on the current services South
                                  Anglia provides.
                                  Given the upcoming changes
a BBQ, games, healthy eating
                                  to the welfare system, the
activities and a raffle.
                                  theme of this year’s away day
The away day not only             was money matters. Members
brought the community             of our team were on hand
together, but also gave           with advice alongside other                                            South Anglia resident Kerry Fitzgerald, from Harlow, said:
our residents an opportunity      local organisations such                                                “I enjoyed the whole experience, both the park
to find out more about            as Herts and Essex Savers                                                   and finding out more about South Anglia
the services we offer.            credit unions, Hertfordshire                                                          and other agencies.”
Managing Director Tracy           Councils’ Money Advice Unit
                                                                                                          Caroline Kaldani, Assistant Director at South Anglia said:
White went along to talk to       and Citizens Advice Bureau.
residents about their views
                                                                                                             “We’re delighted to have hosted another
                                                                                                            successful residents’ away day and that so
                                                                                                         many people had a good time. Most importantly
                                                                                                          though, we were able to make residents more
                                                                                                         aware of the help they can access around welfare
                                                                                                                reform and money management.”




                                                                                                       Time for a change?
Improving our repairs and
maintenance service
                                  •			nterviewing	bidders	
                                     I                              We received 50 responses

A    s part of our work to
     deliver an even better
repairs and maintenance
                                     during the competitive
                                     dialogue process
                                                                    from the 30,300 customers
                                                                    we contacted, with 52% of
                                                                    these coming from Mole
service to you, we have           •			 ommenting	on	
                                      C                             Valley customers and 20%
been selecting new                    proposals about how            from Merton Priory Homes’
contrac   tors. We are                customers access our           customers. You can read a
 committed to putting                  business, and how             summary of the feedback
 custom   ers at the heart of
 everything we do and
 involved you throughout
                          have
                                       we create sustainable
                                       communities from 18
                                       bidders
                                                                     we received, along with our
                                                                      responses to key themes, on      M      aybe news of the welfare reform changes has got you
                                                                                                              thinking it might be time to downsize; maybe your
                                                                                                       garden is proving too much to cope with or perhaps you fancy
                                                                      our website.
 the procurement process so                                                                            living closer to your family. Whatever your reasons for wishing
                                   •			 orking	with	Circle	staff	
                                       W                              We are now in the process
 that we can hear your views                                                                           to move it’s easier than ever to find a new home which better
                                       to judge the final bid         of finalising our contractual
  and take them into account.                                                                          suits your needs.
                                       proposals                       arrangements with our
  As well as a consult ation
                                   In May this year we                 five Service Providers – our    We know moving is a big step, that’s why we work hard to
  exercise involving over 400                                          in-house Direct Labour          make it as smooth and pain free as possible. Once you’ve
                                   announced our preferred
  customers, across our nine                                           Organisation Circle DLO;        taken the plunge and decided to move contact us and we can
                                   bidders for our repairs and
  housing associations, as well                                        Apollo Property Services;       talk you through the process step by step.
                                    maintenance services and
  as Circle Living and Circle                                           Kier Services; Morrison
                                    wrote to all our customers                                         Circle’s House Exchange programme
   Support, 18 customers were                                           Facilities and United House.
                                    who pay us a variable                                              www.houseexchange.org.uk has mutual exchange homes
   also involved in:                                                    We will update you again
                                    service charge asking if they                                      across the country and is an ideal way to find a home of a
   •		Designing	th  e	bid	brief     wished to comment on the            once we have our new           more suitable size or location, so why not log in today and see
                                         ferred bidders and ask         systems, processes and         if your new home is just round the corner!
   •			 aking	part	in	the	Bidders	 pre
      T
                                     any questions about them.          procedures in place.
      Day held in August 2011
                                                                                                       www.houseexchange.org.uk
                                             Call South Anglia on 0800 694 0159 or 0845 600 1543
     www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                            Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012                       5



We need you!                                                                                         Leaseholders and
                                                                                                     Shared Owners
L  istening to our residents’
   views is key to shaping our
business, and we would like
                                  is then analysed so we can
                                  make improvements to the
                                  service. All complimentary
to get more residents than
ever involved!
                                  feedback is also fed back to
                                  the relevant staff members.                                                        Circle Living
                                                                                                                                       hances
Two ways you can get              Our mystery shoppers are                                                            Enhancing Life C
                                  rewarded with Love2Shop
involved are through our
                                  vouchers for fully
Mystery Shopping scheme
                                  completed forms.
and our Quality Action
Groups. Our fully trained         Our Quality Action Groups
                                                                    There are currently 4 Quality
                                                                                                     Circle Living Performance
Mystery Shoppers assess           meet about every two
                                                                    Action Groups:
                                                                                                     Quarter 1 – 1st April to 30th June 2012
the service we provide in         months to discuss policies,
a variety of ways and feed        procedures and other issues       •		Neighbourhood, Income &
back how we did. They are         related to one or more               Antisocial Behaviour          % Complaints resolved before reaching Stage 3 –
asked to make phone calls,        departments of South Anglia.      •		Property & Maintenance        Target 100%, Tolerance 95%, Actual 100%
write e-mails/letters, visit      They provide an opportunity
offices or use our website        to discuss issues affecting all   •		Access & Customer Care
                                                                       (Customer Services)
                                                                                                     J During Quarter 1 the Circle Living Teamto reach
                                                                                                       resolved all complaints before needing
                                                                                                                                               successfully
then complete forms on their      residents and hopefully put
                                                                                                           Stage 3 of the internal complaints procedure.
experience. All the feedback      them right.                       •		Resident Involvement

                                                                                                     % Customers Profiled – Target 95%, Actual 96.9%
 If you would like to get involved in any of our activities or would like more information
 on how you could help us, contact the resident involvement team by e-mail at
 communitiesandinvolvement@circle.org.uk or call customer services on 0800 694 0159.
                                                                                                     J To our customers the Circle Living meet the needs
                                                                                                       of
                                                                                                          ensure the services we provide
                                                                                                                                          Team have
                                                                                                           undertaken a large scale data collection exercise
                                                                                                           of resident Equality and Diversity data, allowing us
                                                                 POOR                                      to understand the profile of our customers. At the
 POOR                                                                                                      end of last year we held 39.8% of our residents
                                                                                                           Equality and Diversity data, compared to the 96.9%
                                                                                                           that we now have on record.


                                                                                                     % Customers satisfied that their views are being
                                                                                                     taken in to account – Target 60%, Tolerance 55%,
                                                                 GOOD                                Actual 49.4%


                                                                                                     L Circle Living offers aGettingof opportunities as
                                                                                                       you to get involved.
                                                                                                                             variety
                                                                                                                                     involved can be
                                                                                                                                                     for

                                                                                                           simple as completing a short survey. It can also be
                                                                                                           something more involved, like the Circle Living Service

Make sure you don’t                                                                                        Improvement Panel. Getting involved means getting
                                                                                                           your voice heard. Changes to our services are driven by
                                                                                                           resident views, complaints and suggestions. To find out
get charged!                                                                                               more about what is available to you please contact the
                                                                                                           Customer Liaison Team on the details below:
                                         GOOD                                                              T: 01603 595125
Often when people
                                                                                                           E: customerliaisonteam@circle.org.uk
move out of our homes,
they don’t realise that
they may have to pay
rechargeable repairs.                                                                                 Follow Circle Living on Facebook!
                                                                                                      facebook.com/circleliving.circleanglia or search
                                                                                                      ‘Circle Living’


T    hese are repairs that have
     been caused by damage
or neglect to fixtures,
                                  your neighbourhood officer
                                  will tell you how the property
                                  must be left. If you do
                                                                    Replacement of:
                                                                    Internal door =
                                                                                                    •		 eglect – e.g. clear
                                                                                                      N
                                                                                                      blocked sink, drain, bath
                                                                                                      or toilet
                                                                                                                                    POOR
                                                                    £110 – £180
fittings or the structure of      not leave the property in
                                                                    Internal door handle =            M
                                                                                                    •		 isuse – e.g. repair
                                                                                                      	
the property internally and       this condition then any
                                                                    £15 – £50                         damage to walls
externally by you, a member       damage or clearance will
of your household or any          be charged to you.                The most likely reasons for       A
                                                                                                    •		 buse – e.g. customers
                                                                                                      	
visitor to your home. Repairs                                       there being a recharge to         who contact the repairs
                                  Some examples of these
of this kind will be charged                                        you for repairs are:              service claiming they
                                  charges are:                                                                                     GOOD
back to you. We will always                                                                           fall into the vulnerable
                                                                      D
                                                                    •		 amage – e.g. replace
try to advise you beforehand      Removal of:                                                         tenants’ repairs policy
                                                                      smashed door, DIY which
of the likely costs involved in   Fridge = £50 – £100                                                 category, which is found
                                                                      has damaged the fabric/
carrying out the repair.          Shed = £100 – £250                                                  to be untrue when the
                                                                      structure of the property
                                                                                                      repair is done
When you leave your home          Settee = £75 – £250

                                             Call South Anglia on 0800 694 0159 or 0845 600 1543
   6           www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                                 Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012



Your Money Matters – Christmas Spending
Christmas can be an expensive time of the year but with the festive season just round the corner don’t
despair; there are lots of ways to be money smart this year.


    B     eing careful with your
          money doesn’t mean
    you have to become a
                                     spending is less of a
                                     hazard. Shopping well in
                                     advance also means you
                                                                        spending to a particular
                                                                        amount – say, £15. You
                                                                        may be surprised at the fun
                                                                                                           one supplier you will be able
                                                                                                           to save on postage costs.
                                                                                                                                            a loan. Make sure you
                                                                                                                                            choose whichever method
                                                                                                                                            of borrowing is going to
                                                                                                         In an ideal world we would
    Christmas Scrooge, it is         can grab bargains, special         you can have and what you                                           be best for you and most
                                                                                                         all have saved up enough
    still possible to create         offers and BOGOFs (Buy             can get when you’ve got to                                          importantly, make sure
                                                                                                         throughout the year to be
    a fabulous festive time          One Get One Free) when             stick to a limit.                                                   you are able to afford the
                                                                                                         able to splurge at Christmas,
    and make everyone feel           they appear.                                                                                           repayments!
                                                                      • Set time aside to surf.          but for lots of people this just
    special without breaking                                                                             isn’t the case. If saving hasn’t   The repayments will
                                   • Be hard on yourself.               No don’t worry we don’t
    the bank. Try following                                                                              been your strong point this        vary depending on what
                                     Set a budget and stick             mean getting your surf
    some of these simple                                                                                 year and you find that you do      form of lending you
                                     to it. No matter how               board out this winter, but
    tips to save money at                                                                                need to borrow money over          have chosen. To help you
                                     appealing the new ‘must            rather surf the internet
    Christmas.                                                                                           the festive season, there are      decide which may be
                                     have’ gadget is, if it’s not       for online stores that will
                                                                                                         ways to be money smart with        the best for you we have
    • Plan your Christmas            in the budget – just say           deliver. This will not only
                                                                                                         this too.                          provided an example of
      meals ahead. By                NO. Instead of buying              save you money on bus
                                                                                                                                            typical lending rates and
      creating menus and             something way above your           fares but also shopping          Borrowing can be anything          terms below:
      shopping lists, impulse        budget, agree with your            online helps limit impulse       from using store cards, using
      shopping and excess            loved ones to limit your           buying, and if you buy from      your overdraft or taking out


£700
            Mr and Mrs Foster want to buy a laptop for their children costing
            £200. They don’t have the money in their bank account and so need to
            borrow the money. Below is what they may end up paying back.
£500




£300




         Credit Union       Storecard             Credit stores: Brighthouse       Pay Day lender: Wonga         The Provident:               Loan shark
                            e.g. Argos                                                                           Doorstep lender
         £229.11            £233.85               £236.08 for 52 weeks             £286.57 for a 30 day          £364 for 52 weeks            Could be as much as
                            (at 29.9% APR)                                         loan* (see note below)                                     £700 or more

As you can see from the above borrowing from a loan shark will cost you far more in the long run. These are illegal lenders and if you are unable to make a
payment to them you might find yourself with nowhere to turn, loan sharks may use threats or violence to force people into repaying, and the amount may
be unlimited.
*NB: If you default on your 30 day loan, you will receive a fixed £20 charge plus accumulated interest, meaning your loan will continue to grow and grow.

                   For tips on managing your finances, request our FREE money advice DVD by emailing yourmoneymatters@circle.org.uk




                                                                      Reducing your energy bills will save
                                                                      you pounds
                                                                      As winter approaches make sure you are getting the best energy deals
                                                                      to save your pennies.


                                                                      W      ith fuel prices likely to increase even further now is the time to check
                                                                             whether you are getting the best possible prices, and to lock down
                                                                      the fixed rate deals. In order to make sure our residents are getting
                                                                      the best deals possible we recommend you try this energy
                                                                      switching service by using the following website:

                                                                      www.energylinx.co.uk/energy/nhf/
                                                                      This site is quick and easy to use
                                                                      and could save you £££s off
                                                                      your energy bill.



                                               Call South Anglia on 0800 694 0159 or 0845 600 1543
     www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                          Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012                         7



                                                                                                  Heating Switch On
                                                                                                  E   very year at the first sign
                                                                                                      of a cold snap we receive
                                                                                                  a huge jump in the number of
                                                                                                                                    impact of
                                                                                                                                    spells of severe
                                                                                                                                    weather
                                                                                                  calls coming in to customer       and most
                                                                                                  services requesting visits        importantly
                                                                                                  from our gas contractors.         keeps you
                                                                                                  As residents ‘switch on’          warm when
                                                                                                  many residents experience         you most need it!
                                                                                                  problems because the
                                                                                                                                    To test your heating turn your
                                                                                                  systems have been left turned
                                                                                                                                    boiler onto ‘hot water and
                                                                                                  off for a long time
                                                                                                                                    heating’ and run it for at least
                                                                                                  By testing your heating           1-2 hours, making sure turn
                                                                                                  now, you can make sure it         your thermostat up so that
                                                                                                  is working correctly, and if      the heating switches on.
                                                                                                  it’s not, you can let us know
                                                                                                                                    Check the hot water taps are
                                                                                                  before the cold weather
                                                                                                                                    running and radiators are
                                                                                                  really sets in. This helps our




[                                                                                        ]
                                                                                                                                    warm at both the top and
                                                                                                  contractors to balance the
                                                                                                                                    bottom.
                                                                                                  workload, helps lessen the



      Housing Benefit –                                                                            If you do encounter any problems give our Customer
                                                                                                   Services Team a call on 0845 600 1543 or 01279 714 714
                                                                                                   to arrange a repair. Households with oil and electric
                                                                                                   heating systems should check their systems as well, just
      Will you be affected by the changes?                                                         to make sure everything is ok.


      Next April some people will have their housing benefit cut
      if they have ‘spare’ bedrooms in their home. This is being                                   Crime and Nuisance
                       called the ‘bedroom tax’.
                                                                                                   focus on... Disability Hate Crime
Who will not be                   Who will be affected by            t
                                                                  •			 wo children under ten
affected by these cuts?
If one of the following
                                  these cuts?
                                  If you are deemed to have
                                                                     years old regardless of
                                                                     their sex
                                                                                                    T   here were 1,942 recorded incidents of Disability Hate
                                                                                                        crime in England and Wales in 2011, up 25% on
                                                                                                    2010 and the highest since this data was first recorded
applies to you, you will not      ‘spare’ bedrooms in your           a
                                                                  •			 carer (who doesn’t           in April 2010.
be affected and your housing      house and ‘under-occupying’,       usually live with you) if
                                                                                                    169 crimes were reported in Hertfordshire, more than
benefit will not be cut as part   your housing benefit will be       you or your partner need
                                                                                                    in any other police force area, and marked a seven-fold
of these changes:                 cut after 1 April 2013. The        overnight care
                                                                                                    increase on the previous year, when 24 disability hate
                                  new rules mean that one         The amount you will have cut
   e
•			 ither you or your partner                                                                      crimes were reported. Essex recorded 28 offences in 2011
                                  bedroom (regardless of size)    from your housing benefit
   are over the pension credit                                                                      and Bedfordshire 13.
                                  is allowed for each of the      will be 14% if you have one
   age of 61 and six months
                                  following:                                                        We treat all Hate Crime seriously and work in partnership
   on 1st April                                                   spare bedroom and 25% if
                                                                                                    with police and other agencies to try to resolve it.
                                  •			 ach adult couple
                                     e                            you have two or more spare
   y
•			 ou’re in a home with only
                                                                  bedrooms. These rates are         If you feel that you are a victim of Hate Crime because
   one bedroom                       a
                                  •			 ny additional person
                                                                  based on your total rent and      of your disability or wish to report anti-social behaviour
                                     living with you over the
   y
•			 ou’re are not ‘under-                                        the deduction will be applied     please contact us on 0845 6001543 or contact your
                                     age of 16
   occupying’ your home (see                                      whether you receive full          Neighbourhood Officer.
   below)                            t
                                  •			 wo children of the same    or part housing benefit at
                                     sex under 16                 present.

  Here’s an example of a family that will face cuts as
  part of the ‘bedroom tax’:

  The Wilson family
  Mr and Mrs Wilson have three children, Marie 19, Martin 13
  and John 9. Marie has recently moved out to share a flat
  with her boyfriend. They live in a three bedroom house and
  claim £130.00 a week Housing Benefit.
  Under the new rules, they will lose £18.20 a week or
  £946.40 a year in Housing Benefit because they now have a
  bedroom ‘spare’. Martin and John will be expected to share
  because they are under 16. Mr and Mrs Wilson will have to
  find the £18.20 a week out of their other income or benefits,
  to cover the weekly rent.


 If you want to check what the changes mean for your household, or get advice about
 what options are available to you, please call us on 0800 694 0159.


                                             Call South Anglia on 0800 694 0159 or 0845 600 1543
   8          www.southanglia.org.uk                                                                           Home Matters – Autumn issue 2012



Olympic torch held high by                                                                         Tenant
big-hearted South Anglia
resident                                                                                           Incentive
Our inspirational resident
Stacey Johnson was cheered
through the streets of
                                 S   tacey, from Much
                                     Hadham, was nominated
                                 to carry the torch by South
                                                                                                   Awards
Haverhill as she carried the     Anglia Housing in recognition
                                                                                                   Some of you may be
Olympic torch through the        of her tireless charity work.
town on Saturday.                Despite suffering from an                                         aware that we run a
                                 inoperable brain tumour,                                          quarterly cash prize
                                 Stacey set up her own charity
                                 Kisses4kids which raises
                                                                                                   draw for residents who pay their rent in
                                 money for treats, presents        and I still can’t believe
                                                                                                   advance in line with their tenancy agreement.
                                 and family days out for           I did it. It was awesome        This prize draw also applies to those residents
                                 seriously ill children.           – thank you to Ami and          on housing benefit who bring their account
                                 Kisses4Kids has also              South Anglia.”
                                 contributed to a games and
                                                                                                   into advance, each winner receives a cash prize
                                                                   Ami Spring, equality and
                                 DVD room and garden area          diversity officer at South
                                                                                                   of £125 for their efforts.
                                 at Dolphin Ward, in Harlow’s      Anglia Housing, who
                                 Princess Alexandra Hospital,                                      Our lucky winners for the      their rent by direct debit will
                                                                   nominated Stacey, said:
                                 which provides acute care                                         July were:                     all be entered into an annual
                                                                   “It was fantastic to see
                                 services to children.                                                                            prize draw for a chance to
                                                                   Stacey carrying the torch.      • Mrs Peddar from High
                                                                                                                                  win £250. There will be a
                                 After carrying the torch,         She is a real inspiration         Wych
                                                                                                                                  total of 20 winners selected
                                 Stacey said: “It was an           to us all and the torch         • Mr and Mrs Webb from         at random.
                                 amazing day and one I will        relay is a great way to           Luton
                                 remember forever. It was a        celebrate the incredible                                       If you would like a chance
                                 once in a lifetime experience     work she does.”                 We are now offering a new      to be included and would
                                                                                                   incentive for customers        like to set up a Direct Debit
                                                                                                   who pay their rent by Direct   please call the Income Team
                                                                                                   Debit. All customers who pay   on 01279 714799.




  Luton Summer School
  a scorching success!
  This summer saw us supporting a hugely successful summer school project in Luton,
  jointly organised by Mitalee Youth Association (a youth charity) and Diverse FM
  (Community media & training Project).


 I t was supported by a
   range of other agencies
 including The Army,
                                  wider community. Typically
                                  ASB and crime rates rise
                                  during the summer holiday
                                                                   the best in terms of proving
                                                                   a wide range of educational
                                                                   and recreational activities,
 Bedfordshire Police, Fire &      but Bedfordshire Police          including many new activities
 Rescue Service, National         confirmed a huge drop in         such as horse riding.”
 Career Service and Luton         ASB reporting in August,
                                                                   In addition to this project
 Borough Council.                 during the period of the
                                                                   we have two new projects
                                  summer school.
 Young people were able                                            running! A 5 A-Side football
 to participate and benefit       Mehbub Koyes, coordinator        league for young people aged
 from over 50 activities          of the Summer school said        9-11 years, at Marlow Ave in
 including accredited             “Mitalee Summer School is        Luton started on Saturday
 training programmes and          unique because it is entirely    8th September. It takes place
 educational workshops            run by young people for          every Saturday between
 such as mentoring, first aid,    young people. We were able       11am to 12.00 noon. All
 child protection, health and     to successfully recruit nearly   equipment including training
 safety in the workplace,         80 young volunteers and          bibs are provided.
 radio broadcasting               provided them with relevant
                                                                   From early October a mobile
 & presenting, bicycle            training so that they can run                                    located on Addington Way/      Information, Advice &
                                                                   Youth Bus equipped with
 proficiency, food & hygiene      the project and work with                                        Angel Close every Thursday     Guidance (IAG) worker,
                                                                   computers, radio broadcast,
 and many more.                   their peers more effectively.                                    afternoon. The bus will also   ready to offer advice,
                                                                   music production, DJ-
 This summer school has had       He also added “This year’s       ing and other indoor and        have a qualified and trained   information on any related
 a massive impact on the          summer school was one of         outdoor equipment will be       Youth and Community and        matters.

                         For further info please contact Ashuk Ahmed on 015820 808562 or Mobile 07771831091


 If you require this publication in large print, audio, Braille or an alternative format, or you need this document
 translated into a different language, please call 0845 600 1543 or 0800 694 0159 and we will do our best to help.

				
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