The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) recently published a short guide called:
‘How we regulate: a guide for tenants and service users.’
This short, summary guide lets people know more about:
- who SHR are and what they do,
- what tenants can expect from a social landlord,
- how tenants can find out about their landlord’s performance; and
- how to raise a concern about a social landlord.
Watch the videos about the SHR and how to raise a concern about a social landlord :
Our aspiring Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) was approved by Councillors last week.
The SHIP was developed in partnership with Housing Associations and the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, along with our own planning and property services sections. The main purpose of the Plan is to set out the investment priorities for affordable housing over a five year period.
The SHIP makes sure we and our partners deliver housing which meets the needs of the local community and informs Scottish Government investment decisions. It includes affordable housing supply through new build, replacement, renovation and re-modelling.
We and our partners aim to deliver 120 new affordable homes each year, significantly increasing development over the lifetime of the LHS and beyond. This target was exceeded in 2018/19 with 128 units delivered across Angus. Up to the end of August 2019, 38 units have been completed, and it’s likely that the target of 120 units will be exceeded again this year.
Funding for affordable housing has been increased in recent years to meet the national target of 50,000 affordable homes within the lifetime of the current Scottish parliament. Our SHIP estimates that around 510 units could be delivered in the period to 2024/25, with the Council set to deliver around 272 of those homes.
Some tenants have been called by a company saying that they have been authorised by us to change their property over to a smart meter and would have to gain access within 5/6 weeks. The company advised the next time residents tried to top up their card meter it would go straight onto a bill. The telephone number they called from was 0800 023 8992.
This number is a known nuisance caller and Angus residents are being advised not to engage with them. We have not authorised any company to change properties to smart meters and we do not get involved with changing tenants’ energy provider.
If you or someone you know has received a call like this, please contact Trading Standards on 03452 777 778.
If you want advice about energy switching, we advise you to contact the Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT)
See the current scam warnings on our website.
The launch of the Angus Tenant & Community Engagement Strategy 2019-2022 took place last week at Arbroath Academy. The new strategy was presented by our tenant representatives and two elected members, Cllr Tommy Stewart and Cllr Lois Speed.
The purposes of the strategy is to improve how we engage with our tenants and communities and to meet outcomes and standards of the Scottish Social Housing Charter
It sets out 6 priorities:
- Establish an E-panel for consultations and information sharing
- Establish a Scrutineers panel
- Promote and advertise tenant participation in the best format for our tenants and review and revise our information regularly
- Give recognition for learning and participation through awards and accreditations
- Develop local area action plans in partnership with our local Community Housing Teams
- Produce a calendar of tenant participation opportunities
The full Strategy document can be found here.
John Morrow, Service Leader – Housing, highlighted the importance of the strategy for Angus. He said:
At a time of great change, it’s more important than ever for tenants to have a voice in shaping our policies. We want to be sure that what we do reflects the things that are important to customers. Whether that means installing new bathrooms, building new council houses, keeping our rents at some of the lowest in Scotland, or making sure that repairs are done right first time, it’s only through listening to tenant views that we really learn what our priorities should be.
This Tenant Engagement strategy sets out how we will encourage a greater level participation, including a broader representation and age range, as we don’t currently have many young people actively participating. So the Strategy sets out a wider range of communication methods, including the Housing Blog and the new e-panel, designed to reach many more people.
I hope that tenants will play a greater role in helping to keep us on track to deliver good services in return for reasonable rents, and help us demonstrate value for money, not just to our customers, but also to the Scottish Housing Regulator as one of the principles of the Scottish Social Housing Charter. I think if we can help make the link better between the big picture issues, and rents and investment, and what really matters for tenants in their home, then we can get more people interested in being involved.
And that is exactly what this Tenant Engagement Strategy is designed to achieve.
Choice for Angus gives local people an opportunity to have a say on how a pot of public money is spent and see the direct results of their decisions. Choice for Angus enables various partners and communities to design and develop ideas and projects together.
Each local area has a pot of £50,000 Council funding to enable partners and communities to develop ideas and projects together. Each Locality Partnership is leading on this work and is testing different ways of doing this.
In Arbroath, the suggestions and ideas must address one or more of the Angus Community Planning Partnership priorities :
- reducing poverty,
- improving mental health and wellbeing and
- improving accessibility.
Tell us your idea!
If you would like to put forward your ideas on these themes then please visit the Social Pinpoint page.
Questionnaires are also available in Arbroath Library and Learning shop and Arbroath ACCESS office.
You can telephone 01241 464628 to request a questionnaire or give your views over the phone, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase 1: Generating ideas – Early to mid November 2019
Phase 2: 19 November 2019 – Building projects event in Arbroath Webster Theatre
All ideas will be presented at an event on 19 November 2019 where groups, organisations and individuals will decide if and how they can take any of the ideas forward to the development stage. If you would like to attend this event, please email email@example.com or phone 01241 464628 to register.
Phase 3: Finalising project ideas – December 2019
All those interested in taking forward projects will come together to develop and finalise their proposals.
Phase 4: Early 2020
Early in the New Year, finalised projects that meet the priorities and selection criteria will be put forward to a public vote.
Police Scotland are working in partnership with the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers in an early evening Housebreaking initiative. During the dark winter nights, it is easier for would-be thieves to identify properties which are empty as they may not be lit. This is most common in early evening, just before residents arrive home from work and other daytime activities.
Take simple steps to improve the security of your property, at very little cost.
Keep your home secure!
Your home could be a target for would-be thieves if not secured. Housebreakers can take advantages of poor security. Reduce your chances of being broken into by taking a few simple steps:
- Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else an intruder may easily find them.
- Always make sure your keys are well out of sight and reach of letterboxes or windows.
- Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house. If you must, then put it in various locations.
- Secure mark your property with a UV marker pen
- Don’t leave valuables in view of windows, particularly around the tree at Christmas time.
- It is advisable to lock your doors and windows, even when you are in the house.
- Fit timer switches to lights in living areas, such as bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens.
- Angle blinds so that the light will get out but no-one can see in.
- Make sure lighting outside of your house covers all aspects, particularly doors and windows.
- Ensure your shed and garage are always secured.
- Always be vigilant and report anything suspicious.
For more in depth advice about crime prevention in your home, visit the Police Scotland website. If you see signs of a break-in at your home, call the police on 101 or, if you believe the intruder is still there, dial 999.
See the latest updates on product recalls and safety notices from our Trading Standards Team below:
The UK government have a new campaign about blind cord safety. Check your blind cords and keep your home safe
Whirlpool Tumble Drier Recall
Lots of people have been getting their tumble dryers replaced, but there are still unsafe dryers out there. See the facts and figures about the Whirlpool tumble dryer recall programme here.
If you want to find out if your dryer needs to be recalled and replaced, check your model here.
The new Housing Options survey is open now.
If you met with one of our Housing Officers to talk about your housing circumstances, please give us your opinions about our service by completing our short survey before 31 December 2019.
The next Third Sector Health Hub events will take place on these dates :
Dates: 18 November, 16th December & 20 January
Time: from 2 – 3.30 pm
Venue: Academy Medical Centre, Academy Street, Forfar, DD8 2HA
If you are interested in finding out about local organisations who may be able to offer you support visit the Academy Medical Centre in Forfar to find out more.