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TENANT’S NEWSLETTER SPRING 2012 GARDEN COMPETITION ENTRY FORM 2012 Spring has arrived and it’s time to head out into your garden. To enter our Annual Garden Competition and show off your horticultural skills complete and return your entry form to us. Name

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Address

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Tel

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Email

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Garden

Window Box

Container

Best Kept Close

Best New Garden

PET COMPETITION ENTRY FORM 2012 It is also time for our ever popular Pet of the Year Competition. To enter send along a picture of your pet with an explanation of why they deserve to win. Your Name

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Address

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Tel

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Email

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Pet and Pet Name

______________________________________ Or email me your photographs to: Yogi.culzean@ayrshirehousing.org.uk

119 Main Street, Ayr, KA8 8BX Telephone: (01292) 880120 or Lo-Call 0845 2712 327 www.ayrshirehousing.org.uk


PROPOSED EXTERNAL REFURBISHMENT OF BISF PROPERTIES Ayrshire Housing has just been given planning permission by South Ayrshire Council for the external refurbishment of the remaining untreated BISF properties in our ownership. These are all in the Forehill estate in Ayr. The proposed improvement works costing around £450,000 are necessary in order to bring the houses up to the requirements of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS). The project covers 21 properties located in Leslie Crescent, Mossgiel Road and Mount Oliphant Crescent. Ayrshire Housing has appointed CCG (Scotland) Ltd to undertake these works. This experienced contractor has successfully completed a similar project involving BISF houses on behalf of the housing association Atrium Homes in Kilmarnock. The improvement works include the provision of external insulated render and replacement roof coverings together with associated works to renew the front and rear external doors and the installation of a new canopy over the front door. The project will significantly improve the thermal insulation of the structure to reduce heat loss. In addition, the external appearance of the properties will be enhanced. We plan to get the work underway in May. Tenants affected by the work will be contacted with the start date for their own home.

CHANGE OF GROUNDS MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR Following competitive tendering, Ayrshire Housing has appointed JMK Groundcare Ltd of Kilmarnock to provide grounds maintenance services for the next three years. The contract covers open space maintenance on the mixed tenure estates and the communal areas of Ayrshire Housing’s other developments. In addition to grass cutting, shrub bed maintenance and litter picking, the contract includes properties covered by the Garden Maintenance Scheme. Within the next few weeks the new contractor will be visiting all sites and will begin this year’s work.

Garden Maintenance 2012 All tenants are responsible for keeping their garden neat and tidy. You should ensure that any grass and hedges are cut regularly during spring and summer. If you are elderly or disabled and there are no other members of your household able to cut the grass then you may qualify for the Garden Maintenance Scheme. You should contact Carol Craig on (01292) 885563 or by email c.craig@ayrshirehousing.org.uk if you would like to apply or if you require further information about this scheme. Please note if you are already in our scheme you do not need to contact us unless your circumstances have changed.

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DID YOU KNOW ....... UNIVERSAL CREDIT is a new benefit that will replace current means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age people. Which benefits will be affected? Income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance, income related employment and support allowance, council tax benefit, housing benefit, child tax credit, working tax credit, crisis loans, community care grants and budgeting loans will all be gradually phased out and replaced by the new credit. Which benefits are not affected? Contribution based jobseekers allowance, contributory employment and support allowance, child benefit, carer’s allowance and some other benefits will not be affected. Please see www.cpag.org.u k/ unive rsal credi t/ for information on other benefits. When does it start? It will be introduced in October 2013 and phased in over a 4 year period. Who will administer it? The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Further information can be obtained from www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR PROACTIVE WARNING INITIATIVE As part of our efforts to address antisocial behaviour in our communities we have been participating in a unique initiative throughout South Ayrshire. Individuals who are identified by this initiative are visited by a team of officers from Ayrshire Housing, South Ayrshire Council, Strathclyde Police and West of Scotland Housing Association. The visit is further strengthened by a very strongly worded warning aimed to discourage the individual from further antisocial conduct. This letter is from the Strathclyde Police Area Commander, Ayr Division and leaves no doubt that any antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.

RIGHT TO REPAIR We always aim to carry out repairs within target timescales and you should always be told what those targets are when you report a repair. As part of our repairs service we have an additional duty to advise you if the repair you have reported is a “qualifying repair” under the statutory “Right to Repair” scheme. We should tell you if it is a “qualifying repair” and we should tell you the timescale for completing the work. If the contractor does not carry out the repair within the target timescale you are entitled to get the work carried out by a second contractor, who has been appointed and authorised by us to carry out such work. To make this easier we will contact the second contractor on your behalf. So you should contact us first if the repair is not completed by the original contractor within the target time. You may be entitled to compensation if the “qualifying repair” is not carried out on time. Compensation will not be considered if you have not allowed access for the work to be done. In cases of no access the repair will be cancelled and re-issued and the process will start again. For a full list of ‘qualifying repairs” please refer to your Tenant’s Handbook or visit www.ayrshirehousing.org.uk.

This picture shows our Housing Manager, David McGivern, along with our partners from the other organisations involved in promoting the initiative.

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www.ayrshirehousing.org.uk


A BOARD MEMBER’S STORY Hi, I am John Mitchell, I am married and live in Ayr. I am a community member of the Board. My background is having spent 35 years in the private house building sector. I worked with a Prestwick based company who were acquired by a national house builder and was successful in holding various positions eventually being Construction Director for 17 years. My John 2nd from the left on official Board duty responsibilities included team building, people management, customer care and health and safety. During this time we won various construction quality and customer focus awards within the house building industry. I joined Ayrshire Housing’s board in 2008 and was keen to compare the build quality and level of service in the social housing sector. I must say I have been very impressed on both counts. The Board is represented from local councillors, tenants, community members and works alongside senior members of staff from Ayrshire Housing. This culture has a wide and varied experience base and often leads to interesting debates on social housing issues. The operational staff work in a pleasant controlled environment and achieve a high standard of results which are monitored at our own monthly meetings. My hobbies include walking my dog and gardening. I am also a member of Prestwick St Nicholas Golf course and the Stroke Association.

WE ARE PLEASED TO SUPPORT

22nd—24th June 2012 A family friendly weekend of entertainment from a small Ayrshire village with historic attractions. Visit www.dundonaldmusicfest.org.uk for more information.

STAFF NEWS W e h a v e recently been joined by Amy Fowler. Amy is based at reception and will be on hand to deal with your enquiries.

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We can supply this document in a print size to suit. It is also available in Braille, audio and other formats, and in other languages. Our website also has several accessibility features which you may find useful. AYRSHIRE HOUSING DONATES TO HOUSING AID CHARITY

Ayrshire Housing has donated £1,000 to the charity Ayr Housing Aid Centre. Their Coordinator, John Mulholland said “A major part of our work is to provide advice, information, advocacy, representation and support for people who are homeless or are threatened with homelessness. We are facing an increasing case load so Ayrshire Housing’s continued support is even more appreciated”. www.ayrshirehousing.org.uk


Tenant's Newsletter Spring 2012