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TENANT’S NEWSLETTER SPRING 2014 New Houses Burns Wynd, Maybole

The Provost of South Ayrshire, Helen Moonie, has opened Ayrshire Housing’s latest development. The 13 new houses in Maybole enjoy splendid views towards the Southern Uplands. Provost Moonie said “I’m delighted with this, the latest partnership between the Council, the Scottish Government and Ayrshire Housing. The houses have been carefully designed to meet the needs of the tenants and with energy efficiency in mind. The architects Austin-Smith:Lord and the builder Ashleigh (Scotland) have done an excellent job”. Councillor Moonie then presented flowers to Ms Andrea Corrin, one of the new tenants. Ms Corrin kindly invited the guests to view her three bedroom house.

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LIMONDS WYND ACQUISITION We have just bought the site of the former Prince of Wales pub in Ayr. It is in a prominent location facing King Street. The Council has also agreed to sell us the adjacent former school building. This will be demolished and the combined site will then house approximately 25 new flats and houses.

RENT ARREARS It was very disappointing to note that a number of tenants failed to pay their rent during the festive period. Some have simply said that they used the rent money to pay towards other costs they incurred in the lead up to and during the Christmas holidays. We fully appreciate the financial pressures that arise during this time. It is simply not acceptable though for tenants to use the rent money as a form of “interest-free loan� to help pay the costs of gifts and other items which increase at that time of the year. We aim now to recover the arrears from tenants and we will take whatever reasonable course of action required to recover these debts. If this results in legal action, the legal costs will be recharged to those tenants responsible. The vast majority of our tenants maintain their rent payments throughout that time and make other arrangements to cover the costs of Christmas. We can assist tenants who wish, or need, to plan to ensure that they are not tempted to withhold their rent money and spend it on other items. If tenants wish to pay extra towards their rent each month to ensure that their rent account is in credit at that time of year we can agree the amounts that are required to be paid in the months prior to Christmas. Alternatively, we can assist tenants with joining 1st Alliance Credit Union who have a range of services which can help tenants avoid falling behind with rent payments due to not having properly planned and budgeted. For example, 1st Alliance provide a Christmas savings account which protects the money deposited into that account throughout the year and only allows for a withdrawal to be made from the account at Christmas. This is an excellent way of planning and putting money aside for this time. 1st Alliance also can provide low cost loans to members which are significantly more affordable than high street, payday lenders. An increasing number of our tenants are now members of 1st Alliance and we have put in place a formal partnership with them to help our tenants become members and to open up accounts. Please contact your Housing Officer or Jacqueline Rowlands, our Money Advice Officer, if you wish further information regarding the Credit Union and budgeting generally.

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STAFF & OFFICE NEWS We have recently been joined by two new members of staff, Emma Hamilton and Helen Ross. Emma (pictured left) is based at reception and will be on hand to deal with your enquiries. Helen (right) is our new Housing Officer who is covering Maybole, Dalrymple, Dailly Crosshill, Kirkmichael, Straiton, Corton Howe, South Harbour Street and George Place. Also re-joining us are two maternity leavers Caroline Donald and Dawn Bigham. Both are delighted to have returned to the office and are settling back in comfortably. With Dawn’s return, it will see some areas being split between herself and Marie Brown. Marie is covering Monkton, Symington and Prestwick. While Dawn will cover Troon, Mossblown, Tarbolton and Annbank. These are interim measures in Isobel Moore’s absence and we will make further adjustments once our team is back to full strength.

‘JOHN GETS ON HIS BIKE!’ Now the lighter nights and warmer days are coming in, John will be out even more to prepare himself for the London to Paris Sunflower Cycle 2014, this July. If you would like to support and sponsor please visit the Ayrshire Hospice website, go to the Just Giving page and search for John Hendry. We wish John all the best in his trip and will give you an update in our Summer Newsletter.

BOARD NEWS

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This new year sadly sees the Board saying goodbye to our Honorary President, Pearl Boyd. Pearl has retired after being an active tenant Board Member since Ayrshire Housing’s merger with Carrick Housing Association in 2003. She was also a long standing member of Carrick and has dedicated many years to both Carrick and ourselves. We would like to thank Pearl for her involvement and dedication to our Board and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

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Review of Repairs and Maintenance Policy The association is in the process of reviewing the Repairs and Maintenance Policy to ensure it reflects current legislation and good practice. In doing so, we have sought the views of those tenants on the Consultation Register who had indicated that they would participate in Service Reviews. A summary of the draft Repairs and Maintenance Policy together with a questionnaire was issued to the 62 tenants on the register and 21 tenants (33.9%) provided feedback on the proposed Policy document. We would like to say thank you to all tenants who filled in and returned the questionnaires. Overall, tenants were in agreement with the draft Maintenance Policy and the following is a summary of the responses obtained.

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Q1

Are you happy with the current categories of All tenants responded positively to the repair? proposed categories of emergency and non-emergency repairs.

Q2

Are you happy with the current timescales?

Q3

Do you think that the proposed % targets 95.2% of those responding agreed that the are challenging enough? proposed targets remained challenging. As the majority of tenants who responded to this consultation agree that the timescales are appropriate no changes are proposed. 

Q4

Do you agree with the introduction of All tenants welcomed the introduction of Repairs by Appointment? Repairs by Appointment.

Q5

Are you satisfied with the proposed All tenants were satisfied with the methods methods available for reporting repairs? available for the reporting of repairs.

Q6

Would you use an on-line system if it was 61.9% of tenants indicated that they would use available? an on-line system of repairs reporting if it were available. 

Q7

Do you agree that the association should 85.7% of tenants agreed that it was have a separate Policy covering the annual appropriate to have a separate policy covering Gas Servicing programme? Gas Servicing.

Q8

Do you agree that the association should exercise Forced Entry procedures where tenants fail to provide access for the annual gas service?

Q9

Do you agree with the 5 year cycle for A similar number agreed with the current 5 year external painterwork? cycle. However, a number of respondents indicated they would prefer the introduction of a reduced cycle.

Again all tenants indicated that they were satisfied with the target timescale proposed for each category of repair.

76.2% of tenants agreed that the association should undertake Forced Entry in order to meet our statutory obligation for annual gas servicing.

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Q10

Do you agree that some repairs should be 71.4% of tenants agreed that some repairs recharged to the tenant? should be recharged to tenants.

Q11

Do you agree that tenants should be allowed to undertake alterations and improvements to the property? Do you agree that the 10% target for Pre and Post Inspection is adequate?

Q12

All tenants agreed that they should be allowed to undertake alterations and improvements. The majority of tenants (95.2%) agreed with the targets proposed for pre and post inspection of repairs. 

Q13

Do you agree with the summary of All tenants agreed with the Summary of Landlords’ Responsibilities? Landlord responsibilities.

Q14

Do you agree with the summary of Tenants’ Again all tenants agreed with the Summary of Responsibilities? Tenant responsibilities.

Q15

Do have any comments regarding the Although there was 100% agreement for both Landlord/ Tenant Responsibilities? the above, 23.8% of tenants provided additional comment regarding these items.

Q16

Do you agree with the 85% target for tenant 80.9% of tenants agreed with the proposed satisfaction? target although several tenants (19.1%) indicated they would prefer higher targets to be set. 

Q17

Repairs and Maintenance works including planned improvements and cyclical painting is funded from the rent paid by tenants. Service enhancements which cannot be accommodated within existing budgets would require to be recovered through rent increases. Would you be willing to pay more for service improvements?

Only 42.9% of tenants indicated they would like to see the introduction of service improvements paid for through increased rents. However, tenants also indicated they would require more detailed consultation on the proposals. A majority (47.6%) suggested that they would be unwilling to accept a rent increase to fund service enhancements.

Q18

If you are willing to take part in the Focus Group, would you prefer meetings to take place during office hours or early evening (5:30 to 6:45)?

Of those willing to participate in a Focus Group (66.7%), the majority indicated they would prefer the discussions to take place in the evening.  

Q19

Do you have any other comments or A number of tenants provided suggestions suggestions regarding the Repairs and including the introduction of an option to Maintenance Policy? complete the Repairs Satisfaction Surveys on-line and for the association to provide tenants with a 5 year draft works programme for planned improvements.

The next stage is to arrange a meeting of the Focus Group to discuss the suggestions provided and the issues raised during the consultation exercise in more detail.

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Renewable Heating Project in Dailly

Following the successful bid to secure partial funding for the provision of Air Source Heat Pumps to 33 properties in Dailly, the contractor (Coolheat Energy Systems) has commenced installation works. The majority of affected tenants in Hadyard Terrace, Eldinton Terrace and Woodside have provided access to enable the pre-installation surveys to take place and a total of 8 installations have been completed to date. Positive feedback has been obtained from tenants where the works have been completed regarding the quality of the installations, the improvements in heating and the reduction in electricity use.

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Cyclical Decoration Works Programme The association is currently in the process of seeking tenders for the 5 year cyclical external painting programme on the following estates: Springfield Rd, Croft St, Tarbolton Highpark Rd, St Brides Way, Glenhead Pl, Glenhead Ct, Coylton Baird Rd, Monkton Fulshaw Pl, George Pl, Ayr Affected tenants will be advised in due course and the works will be completed over the summer months.

Update on Planned Works Programme 2013-14 Kitchen Replacement Project As outlined in the last newsletter, the association has appointed James Frew Ltd (Housing & Modernisation Division), Stevenston to undertake kitchen replacement works in Troon (Wallacefield Rd & Killin Pl), Ayr (West Sanquhar Ave & West Sanquhar Pl) and Girvan (Clyde View). We have now completed 43 kitchens and the works have been well received by the majority of tenants, with favourable comments on the quality of the kitchen units and the workmanship provided by the Contractor.

Replacement Heating Project – Prestwick, Girvan, Dundonald & Troon We are replacing old and inefficient boilers in 15 houses in Logan Drive and Kenmore, Troon, with modern ‘A’ rated condensing combi boilers. To date, 14 properties have been upgraded. In addition the contractor, has commenced surveys of houses in Prestwick (Moor Park Crescent) and will then complete the remaining houses in Rowan Rd, Girvan.

Replacement External Door Programme The association has also instructed JD Thomson to install a number of replacement external hardwood door sets. These doors include double glazing and insulated panels with multi-point locks. Twenty-five properties have had the work done to date and more work is planned over the next month.

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PET COMPETITION ENTRY FORM 2014 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. Name

________________________________________

Address

________________________________________ ________________________________________

Tel/Email ________________________________________ Pet Breed ________________________________________ Pet Name ________________________________________

Yogi our PR Guru wants to hear from you! You can also email your photos with a story! Yogi.culzean@ayrshirehousing.org.uk

GARDEN COMPETITION ENTRY FORM 2014 Spring has arrived and it’s time to head out into your garden. Enter our Annual Garden Competition to show off your horticultural skills. Just complete and return this entry form to us. Name

_________________________

Address

_________________________ _________________________ _________________________

Tel

_________________________

Email

_________________________

Garden

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Window Box

Container

Best Kept Close

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Ayrshire Housing Spring Newsletter 2014  
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