Bad Weather Causing Delays to Roof Repairs for Tenants – Update with Out of Hours Advice for the Weekend

We are receiving a lot of calls requesting repairs to leaky roofs. Unfortunately, due to the severe weather and the danger to contractors of carrying out such repairs, they may have to wait until the weather improves so they can be repaired safely. We ask tenants to try to minimise damage to their properties from leaks until we can undertake works safely. We fully appreciate that this is not what tenants want to hear but we must consider health and safety for all at this time. Please continue to report repairs as normal during normal office hours, but be aware you may have to wait as the telephone lines are very busy.

The weather will affect our emergency out of hours repairs service over the weekend. We are prioritising those who are at serious risk of flooding, so please only phone the ACCESSLine if your repair is an absolute emergency. Our contractors are having great difficulty travelling in Angus because of the weather, and if you have a roof leak, please try to contain the leak before contacting us as our repairs contractors will not be able to go onto roofs to repair leaks until the weather improves.

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The Tenant Hardship and Homelessness Prevention Funds – Help for People Affected by the Cost of Living Crisis

Are you are risk of homelessness due to rent arrears or other housing-related debt? We might be able to help.

The Tenant Hardship Fund can pay towards rent arrears due to the Coronavirus pandemic between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021. Arrears before 23 March 2020 cannot be covered. Arrears after 9 August 2021 may be considered in exceptional circumstances, where we are satisfied that arrears are due to the continued impact of the pandemic restrictions.

The Homelessness Prevention Fund is to help pay towards rent arrears where there is a risk of homelessness due to housing-related debt. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the main focus being on supporting those at greatest risk of homelessness. Tenants must demonstrate that they have not intentionally withheld rent payments.

Payments towards other housing-related debt will be considered where it would prevent homelessness and there is no other help available.

If you are a tenant
It is important you include all the information requested on the form, the fund is limited and delays in providing information could mean it has been fully committed before your application is considered.
You will need to explain what has affected your ability to pay your rent and provide evidence of this. This could be due to Covid-19, the cost-of-living crisis or something else and evidence, can include correspondence from your employer or other agencies supporting you, payslips, or bank statements.
We may contact your landlord for further information. The application will be considered by our officers, and we will notify you and your landlord of the outcome. Any grant awarded will be paid directly to your landlord.

If you are a landlord
Private Sector landlords must be registered and all landlords must demonstrate that they are complying with the pre-action requirements for rent arrears. They must be willing to enter into a repayment plan and agree not to progress a repossession on the basis of related rent arrears where a grant is paid, and the tenant meets all future agreed rent and repayment obligations.

For more information, scan the code below or click here

Our Annual Assurance Statement 2022

Under the Regulatory Framework, we must submit an Annual Assurance Statement to the Scottish Housing Regulator every year. We also must publish it so tenants and service users can see it.

Our statement was approved at Communities Committee on 27 September and states that the Committee, which is our governing body, is assured we meet all statutory requirements.

Child Poverty Survey

Our Children and Learning Directorate want to understand and support children and families who may have ‘Lived Experience of Child Poverty’, and have created a survey to get views.

They are keen to explore how their services are accessed, if there are any challenges for people from different backgrounds, and what services or benefits you would like them to improve upon. They want to hear from:

•          Adults and children with an additional support need or disability

•          Young mothers (under 25yrs), single parents, families with a child under 1year old

•          People from an ethnic minority background

•          People suffering from poor mental health.

•          Other people who may wish to participate

The survey will take just a few minutes to complete and the information you share may make a difference to how they do things. To access the survey please click on the link below.

Service User Questionnaire

The survey closes on Friday 15 April

A Message for Ukrainian People and Hosts in Angus

Like all Local Authorities across Scotland, we are working closely with the UK and Scottish Governments to support refugees coming from Ukraine. At the moment, we’re still finalising the detail of these arrangements.

However, if you have arrived from Ukraine through the UK or Scottish sponsor schemes, and need help, or if you are a host sponsor providing accommodation, and your guests from Ukraine need help, please contact our ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778. We can then work out what type of support you need, and direct you to the appropriate help, such as benefits advice, information on schools, getting medical assistance, or emergency cash payments to help with short term essential living expenses. Please be aware that visa checks will be required.

If you are a host sponsor waiting to receive the £350 monthly payment, we will arrange this once we’ve done the required disclosure and property checks. We will arrange these checks once we have confirmation of your details from the Scottish or UK Government authority supporting this process. Thank you for your patience as we set up these arrangements

Tenants – Beware of a Scam

A number of tenants have contacted us today to inform us they have been phoned by someone asking questions about repairs and rent. The telephone number used was 0330 190 0299 and we believe it is a scam call.

We have alerted our Trading Standards team but in the meantime if you receive a call from this number please hang up.

Our Annual Assurance Statement 2021

Under the Regulatory Framework, we must submit an Annual Assurance Statement to the Scottish Housing Regulator every year. We also must publish it so tenants and service users can see it.

Our statement was approved at Communities Committee on 28 September and states that the Committee, which is our governing body, is assured we meet all statutory requirements.

Staff Shortage at Arbroath Community Housing Team

Arbroath Community Housing Team is currently affected by a staff shortage. We will try to provide as quick a response to customers as we can, but it may take longer than normal, so please bear with us. We expect this problem to last for 4 – 6 weeks, initially, and we apologise as this is outwith our control.

Free Fringe Event on Veterans Issues

The Mind is the Frontline is a series of panel discussions hosted as part of Army@The Fringe. The discussions involve a series of expert speakers These include ideas about freedom, security and warfare examining if the new frontline is being fought in our minds. With the military expanding into cyber and space, and everyday technologies monitoring our every move, what place do artists have for voicing freedoms and resistance? Audiences are invited to expect provocations, new perspectives and interesting debate.

More information is available here.

Satisfaction with Housing Services Increasing

Our recent Customer Satisfaction Survey was the subject of a recent report to our Communities Committee. This year, we asked Research Resource to carry out our survey. Having an external company doing the survey makes sure we don’t influence was tenants want to tell us, and allows tenants to be completely honest with their views. This time, because of the COVID pandemic, we were unable to have face-to-face surveys, so it was all done by telephone, and over 1000 tenants took part. We thank all the tenants who gave up their time to give us their views.

Here are some of the results – the latest results are in orange:

Satisfaction with the overall Housing service increased by 7%.

Satisfaction with how we keep tenants informed about our services increased by 5%.

Satisfaction with opportunities to participate in shaping housing services rose by 35% and we think the work done involving tenants in the Tenant and Community Participation Strategy was recognised as positive.

Satisfaction with the quality of tenants’ homes increased by 6%.

Satisfaction with the management of estates increased by 11%.

The proportion of tenants who feel their rent is value for money increased by 5%.

So we can see that satisfaction increased in all aspects of the housing service and we are now performing better than the Scottish average in all areas. Our challenge now, is to maintain that and increase it further!

Mark Salmond, Communities Convener said 

We thank all our tenants who took time to give us their views. We fully recognise just how important it is to hear the opinions of those people with first-hand experience of paying for and receiving our services.
“It is good to know that, with that experience, the vast majority believe that we provide good value for money. The survey clearly demonstrates that we are going in the right direction, but we must not rest on our laurels, as there are still areas where we can do better. Our team will continue working hard to deliver further improvements in the years ahead.

Tom O’Brien of our Tenant Steering Group said 

These results are good news. I’m particularly impressed by the dramatic improvement in the level of satisfaction tenants have with opportunities to participate in the landlord’s decision-making processes. This has risen from 59% last time, to 94%. I think that underlines the success of the customer engagement strategy. There are areas that still need work, and these will be addressed going forward.