We are planning to spend about £4.4m on the maintenance and improvement of our houses over the coming financial year. This will include replacement doors, kitchens and heating systems. This will make our houses even more pleasant to live in as well as more energy efficient. This level of expenditure is dependent on us having enough income through the rents we charge. The Board is consulting on an increase of no more than 1.75%. For a typical 2 bedroom house this would be £1.39 a week extra. We have sought to balance the financial pressures facing our tenants with the value they place on the current high standards of service. Our proposed increase is lower than the majority of our peers, many of whom are proposing increases upwards of 2%. At its meeting on 22 February the Board will decide on the rents to be charged from 1 April 2017. You can give us your views before then in the following ways:
If you have no cold water through your taps, please try the following before phoning our repair lines.
Thaw the pipe and stop cock using a hairdryer or hot water bottle – PLEASE DO NOT USE A BLOW LAMP OR HEAT GUN.
Half open the stop cock and the cold tap and heat for 5 minutes.
Turn both the tap and the stop cock on full and heat for a further 30 minutes.
If this does not fix the problem please call us at 01292 880120 during working hours.
At other times, please contact J D Thomson (Property Care Ltd) at 01655 882234.
We’ve just sent each of our tenants a report on the quality of the services we are providing to them. The report assesses our performance against the Scottish Social Housing Charter.
Introducing the report to our tenants, Board Chair Rhonda Leith said:
“Welcome to this year’s report on our services to you. It tells you how well we are performing against the targets set by the Scottish Parliament in the Social Housing Charter. Overall, we think that we give good value for money for the rent that you pay for your home. This is reflected in the generally excellent feedback that we get from you and your fellow tenants. There is always room for improvement though.
We have agreed the content of this report with a group of interested tenants. So the report concentrates on the areas that they think are important and which need to be developed further. We would welcome your own thoughts on what we can do better or just differently. In the next few months, we will be carrying out a major survey of our tenant views. I hope that you will contribute to this since it will help to make our services even better.
Ayrshire Housing sees itself as very much part of the wider community. I was particularly pleased recently to award the first of our new Building Community Capacity Grants to a varied range of fellow volunteer led groups. We would welcome your own suggestions of groups worthy of our support”.
You can read the full charter report for 2016 here.
Are you an Ayrshire Housing tenant or family member? Do you want to improve your knowledge and get more out of your computer, tablet or phone?
Ayrshire Housing in partnership with Access to Employment Ayr is running basic IT drop in sessions from Wednesday 7 September 2016. They will run every Wednesday for 5 weeks, from 1pm to 3 pm. The sessions will be held at the offices of Ayrshire Housing, 119 Main Street, Ayr.
The sessions will help you with the following:
If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please contact June McWhirter on 01292 270867 or at email@example.com .
These sessions are being supported by a grant from South Ayrshire Council’s Life Long Learning Partnership.
Ayrshire Housing has launched a new Building Community Capacity Fund.
It’s particularly aimed at helping smaller groups who want to improve their engagement with their community or to develop new a community initiative. Ayrshire Housing is especially interested in exploring opportunities to provide practical assistance alongside financial support.
One of our first awards is to Lochside Mission and Outreach to support a children’s summer lunch club in this Ayr neighbourhood. Ayrshire Housing’s chair was delighted to hand over a cheque for £200 to Dylan Harper from the Mission. Rhonda said “as a community focused organisation, we are delighted to be able to support and work with other likeminded organisations”.
The association welcomes applications which directly involve its tenants, or would at least be of general benefit to tenants or housing applicants. The fund builds on a longstanding commitment to contribute to community activities such as galas, and gardening and sports clubs. We welcome suggestions from our tenants for modest donations to such initiatives alongside direct applications.
Download further details here:
A guid new year frae Ayrshire Housing!
To hansel in the New Year with all our tenants and many friends, we’ve sent each a postcard booklet to use over the year.
Six pupils from Ayr’s Kyle Academy helped to make the booklet. They each selected a photograph from their Higher Photography portfolio on the broad theme “of a’ the airts” (of all directions).
The booklet builds on the success of last year’s card project with Kyle Academy. The overall design is by Neil McGuire of After the News. Hopefully, the individual cards will find uses throughout the year for messages to friends, reminders, bookmarks and on pin boards.
We are also donating once again to the Ayr homelessness initiative Care and Share. Neil has kindly forgone part of his fee to top up Ayrshire Housing’s own contribution.
Ayrshire Housing’s Board is consulting with tenants on a proposal that rents from April 2016 will be increased by no more than 2%. This would equate to an increase of no more than £1.64 a week for a typical 3apt house (2 bedrooms) and £1.85 for a 4apt house (3 bedrooms).
In considering this proposal the Board took into account the need to reconcile the financial pressures facing many of our tenants with the value that tenants attach to the levels of service which we provide such as our repairs and property investment programmes, including major renewals of doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
Based on preliminary budgeting there is a reasonable prospect that the actual increase may be lower, however the Board agreed that it was prudent to consult on a maximum weekly increase of 2%. This would make an adequate allowance for the significant level of major improvement works that are planned for 2016 and 2017.
It is important that tenants are fully consulted on such a proposal and we are keen to receive any views which you may have. In addition we are sending out a survey to the tenants on our Consultation Panel asking whether our rents provide value for money. We are also providing the Consultation Panel with a number of options regarding the rent review and making clear the potential impact which each of the options would have on service levels and service quality. If you wish to be included in our Consultation Panel please contact Caroline Donald, our Performance and Quality Manager, for further information. Caroline can arrange for a rent survey to be sent to you.
If you have any comments or views on the proposed increase we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us either in writing, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, text or by speaking to your Housing Officer. You can also leave a public comment here.
We will take note of all your comments and feed them back to the Board before they make the final decision regarding setting rents at the February Board meeting.
Ayrshire Housing’s annual pet competition goes from strength to strength.
This year, the judges were delighted to award red winner’s rosettes to three happy hens. Fran, Bubble and Squeak who live in a shared garden in Barr. The hens were also really pleased to see their human companions being rewarded for their skills in the association’s garden competition.
Also amongst the winners were Lhaso Apsos Molly and Muffin, Brian a laid back black labrador and Noushka, a rescued piebald husky.
Finally, Ruby the competition’s organiser was delighted to award Poppy a lovely British Shorthair a red rosette.
Ruby joined us earlier this year as our new Pet Access Advisor. She brings with her a wealth of customer care experience gained in the Cretan hotel trade. She follows in the paw steps of her predecessors Keanu and Yogi.
Yellow commendation rosettes went to:
Welcome to this year’s report on the services that we provide you with.
Like every other housing association and Council housing department, we report on how we are doing against the national standards for housing. These are set out in the Scottish Social Housing Charter adopted by the Scottish Parliament in 2012.
In developing this report, we have worked with a group of interested tenants. So hopefully its content and style should reflect what is important to all our tenants.
I think you will agree that the overall quality of service is very good. This is reflected in the positive feedback that we generally get from you. There is always room for improvement though. For example, we want to increase further the number of repairs done by appointment. We are also working with some of you on improving our online communications.
Ayrshire Housing would also like to hear your ideas on how we can improve the community you live in. We’ve re-launched our Community Grant Fund to help local initiatives. For example, we’ve supported a garden club, a youth sports team and village galas so far.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you would like to chat about any aspect of Ayrshire Housing’s work. Just email me at email@example.com orleave a message on 01292 880120. I’ll get back to you!
Everyone has received their own copy of the Charter report in the post. You can also view the report here or by clicking on the link below:
With best wishes
This year, Ayrshire Housing’s garden competition winners are all teams of tenants who have come together to transform areas of common ground into attractive and productive gardens.
In the village of Barr, Mr Cole, and Mrs and Mrs Orr have created a shared kitchen garden out of an area of previously well maintained but boring grass. This is on top of transforming the backcourt of their flats into a garden for all to enjoy.
In Ayr, Ms Rolwich and her neighbours at Good Shepherd Court have made a paved courtyard an attractive garden to sit in and enjoy. They are also working in a nearby community garden.
In Girvan, Ms McLean and Mr Sweeney have turned the walkway to their flats into a splendid container garden. It adds to the already attractive appearance of their flats in the town’s historic centre.
The winners were announced at Ayrshire Housing’s AGM. For Mr Cole, and Mr and Mrs Orr it was a double celebration. They picked up red winner’s rosettes for their hens in the association’s annual best pet competition! Of which more to follow.
Commendations for their gardens went to Mrs Currie (Ayr), Mr Dodrill (Straiton), Mr Reid (Maybole) and Mr Slider (Ayr). Mrs Maddox and Miss Macintyre both of our Citadel development in Ayr also received commendations for their window box displays.
The entries were judged by Board member Councillor William Grant and the Director Jim Whiston. All the winning and commended entrants will receive garden implements as prizes.