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Welcome

In this edition... Welcome 2

Tenants’ Forum

Pip’s Welcome...

9

Looking to the future...

18

Are you ready?...

News Your Homes

3

New homes in Llanarth...

3

Welsh Quality Awards...

6

MHA’s Handyperson...

8

Housing Benefit changes...

9

Changing your services...

16

Trevor Bowen Court...

11

Finding a new home...

19

2011 Census...

15

Improving neighbourhoods...

21

It’s definitely happening...

22

MHA to the rescue...

Spotlight 4

Karran Riley...

Feature 5

Remaining safe...

7

Job Clubs...

10

Upping the ‘anti’...

12

Coping with rising costs...

17

A guide to recycling...

Making a Difference *

Bits & Bobs 13

Happening near you...

16

Competition winners...

20

Letters...

1

Inserted to this issue...

If you would like this Newsletter in a different format (e.g. large print , electronically, etc.) or in Welsh please contact Kate Bradbrook on 01495 761102 or email kate.bradbrook@ m o n m o u t h s h i re h o u s i n g . co . u k


Welcome

Pip’s Welcome... Welcome to the first “Tenant Matters” of 2011. After one of the coldest and most snowbound December for some years, we can now all look forward to the Spring. Even at this early part of the year, tenants have been very busy both at MHA and with other Housing Associations and their tenants. In early February Ian Pearce, a tenant board member, came along to the Regional Tenants Partnership meeting held at Merthyr Valley Homes, where we met up with tenants from other associations and local authorities to discuss current issues in social housing and there affects on tenants.

Got an idea for the Newsletter? - Contact the Newsletter Editorial Team on 01495 761115 or email newsletter@ monmouthshirehousing. co.uk

The Better Build Steering Group took a tour of the County, looking at some of the work being carried out on the Planned Maintenance programme and the work about to be completed on the “Non Traditional” homes. Tenants also attended with staff, a Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Wales), Regulation Workshop looking at the impact of how the new regulation framework will work when introduced this year. All this was done along with the other regular meetings such as Forum, work groups, editorial groups and Scrutiny Panel. The Annual Fun Day is also being planned at the moment with the organising group carrying out a site visit in Monmouth, where this year’s event will be held in July. I hope as many tenants as possible can get along and I look forward to seeing you all there.

2


Feature

Remaining safe in your community... by Mike Metcalfe

Welcome to the Community Safety page of Tenant Matters. It aims to keep you informed with up to date information about Community Safety issues (e.g. crimes) and general neighbourhood concerns (e.g. doorstep sellers).

With rises in the value of scrap lead, Monmouthshire is seeing an increase in scrap metal thefts. A wide range of objects are being stolen, including vehicle batteries, lead roof tiles, metal patio furniture, ornamental objects, and even garden gates. Residents are reminded to be vigilant and not to leave items out in their gardens as offenders trawl streets and housing estates looking for items to take from gardens.

• Keep any metal patio furniture out of sight when not in use. • Keep gates locked and restrict vehicular access. • Move any metal garden ornaments to a safe location. • Security mark your metal items. • Ensure metal gates are securely fastened to properly fixed posts. • Photograph any sentimental or valuable property. 5

Gwent Police have launched live web chat sessions where Monmouthshire residents will be able to ask Superintendent Sutton, who is responsible for policing in the Monmouthshire area, he will answer a range of questions online, which could include questions about local crime or policing issues, as well as how to get involved in neighbourhood schemes. The live web chats are expected to run on a regular basis, the last one was on the evening of the 23rd of February so it won’t be long till the next one. To find out when the next session is and to register for an email reminder so you don’t forget about the chat, simply log onto: www.gwent.police.uk/about_us/ nhp/monmouthshire/onlinemeeting.html


Your Homes

The MHA Handyperson Service... by Steph Dye

How many times have small jobs around the house been left undone for the lack of the right tool, or a person to use it?! In January, Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA) introduced the Handyperson Service to get these jobs done. This new initiative is currently available to disabled residents and those over the age of 60. It’s designed to compliment MHA’s Repairs Service by carrying out jobs that aren’t usually covered but you struggle to do yourself.

For an hourly charge of £15 or £7.50 for half an hour, Kim Fielding and John Davies are able to carry out these jobs or any others that you just haven’t got round to doing. This compares to an average of £20 an hour for a local tradesman and also has the advantage of ‘the known face’ of MHA. Mr & Mrs Mclean were some of the first residents to use our new Handyperson Service, and this was one of the reasons why they decided to use it. They “knew who MHA were and trusted their employees would do a good job.”

Why not do the same as some tenants from our sheltered schemes and share the cost by combining jobs. Don’t forgetthe cost is by time, not per item.

Kim attended to a door that needed rehanging as it was sticking on a newlyfitted carpet, he also fitted a hanging pole in a cupboard, and a safety-chain to the backdoor while he was there. Mr Mclean said, “in this current economic climate, this service is very good value for money and it is safe, secure and reliable. It is nice to know that MHA cares about its tenants by providing this for us.” Both Mr and Mrs Mclean said they would recommend this service 100% to other MHA residents and would not hesitate to use it again. You can book an appointment in the same was you reporta repair by calling the Repairs Hotline (Freephone) on 0800 980 7751 (01495 761143 for mobile users) to book your appointment now! Note: The Handyperson service is an addition to normal repairs. It is not intended to replace MHA’s commitment to providing tenants with a first class repair services. 6


Poem: ‘Easter bunny hugs and kisses’

Do you think you can take a better picture to sum up what Easter is? There’s a prize in it for both children & adults, if you can!

That cute little bunny has hopped all day, delivering baskets for the holiday. His paws are so tired and his nose how it itches, He left you something special to fulfill all your wishesLots of cute little Easter bunny hugs and kisses. Poem: ‘Easter bunny poop’ The Easter Bunny came last night And left this little scoop.

As part of Tenant Matters new look, people of all ages can now enter this prize competition. In the next edition, we will show you who has won both the childrens and adults age categories. To be in with a chance of winning, just send your photo in to us at Nant Y Pia House, Mamhilad Technology Park, Mamhilad, Monmouthshire, NP4 0JJ or email it to newsletter@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk by 1st April 2011.

Because you weren’t too good this year, You’re getting Bunny Poop! Do you have a poem about summer that you want to share? Send it in, and you could see it here in the next edition!


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