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Hello everyone

Contents 2 4

5 6

Building more affordable homes Could you join our readership panel? Duncan Wood tells us his Paradigm story

Reform 8 Welfare updates your rent by 9 Pay Direct Debit The latest from 10 the Paradigm Foundation

Since the last edition in December, we have been very busy securing additional funding that will allow us to build nearly 600 new homes, helped community groups and individuals through the Paradigm Foundation, as well as welcoming several new members of staff to our team.

25

Ladies that lunch

in the job residents 7 Success market for

11 12

1988 - 2013 A RY

3 4 5 6

Contents and how to contact your Residents’ Forum

RS

Hello and welcome to the latest Paradigm People.

A N NIVE

13

We have signed a new grounds maintenance contract

14 Your letters and 15 another fantastic competition

16

Going Digital with Duncan

Contacting us

You said and we did

13

Update on our policies

In this issue of Paradigm People, we are looking at the work our development team have been doing to build new homes where a derelict pub once stood in Luton. We will also give you an update on our pets policy as well as more information about how you could win £100 simply by paying your rent by Direct Debit. You will also see there is a new way for you to contact your Residents’ Forum. As always if you have any stories then do let me know. Many thanks

The Residents’ Forum is an assertive, challenging group that questions us and ensures the views of residents are taken into account. To raise a resident issue or concern, or to find out more about the group, email your forum representatives on residents.forum@ paradigmhousing.co.uk 2 SPRING 2014 PARADIGM PEOPLE

Richard Hall Public Relations Executive Tel: 01628 811844 Email: richard.hall@ paradigmhousing.co.uk The features, articles and content of the magazine are believed to be correct at the time of going to press. Some details could be subject to change and no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies. The views expressed by contributors to Paradigm People do not necessarily reflect the views of Paradigm Housing Group. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and fairness of views expressed, Paradigm cannot be held responsible. Although we take the utmost care to ensure that

companies or suppliers of services mentioned are reputable, Paradigm Housing Group cannot guarantee that they will fulfil their obligations under all circumstances. Produced and designed by Quercus Eight, Unit 8b, Huguenot Place, 17a Henleage St, London E1 5LN Tel: 020 7655 0370, info@quercuseight.co.uk www.quercuseight.co.uk The paper Paradigm People is printed on comes from sustainable forests and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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CONTACTING YOUR RESIDENTS’ FORUM


news

COOKING UP A STORM

PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/ MANGOSTOCK

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group of our residents near Slough cooked up some delicious treats thanks to a new kitchen they won in a competition. Independent living residents from Croft House in Iver entered the competition, which saw them pitted against our 11 other schemes across Buckinghamshire in a Dragons Den style challenge. Each of the resident groups had to explain to a panel of judges from Paradigm and Rixonway Kitchens why they should win the competition. The fantastic new kitchen was donated by Rixonway Kitchens, after they were awarded a four-year contract to supply around 500 new kitchens a year for our residents. All of the electric items in the kitchen were donated by Chesham-based Chiltern Domestics. To celebrate the opening of the kitchen, the residents were joined by a group of very talented children from St Bernards Catholic Grammar School in Slough who sang and played musical instruments. Bernie Hedger, who is a resident at Croft House, said: “The new kitchen is absolutely fantastic. It is going to make such a difference to everyone who lives here and those who visit as well.” WEBSITE PARADIGMHOUSING.CO.UK

The ladies from Croft House in Iver that lunch

‘The new kitchen is absolutely fantastic. It is going to make such a difference to everyone who lives here’

FOODBANK DONATIONS HELP RESIDENTS

old Our staff have donated more than £300 worth of food and househ hire. ghams Buckin in items to foodbanks The money raised was used to purchase a wide-range of items, g including mince pies, pasta sauces, chopped tomatoes and cleanin High in Trust Can One the and ank Foodb n Chilter products for the Wycombe. k, has The Chiltern Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust networ provided over 6,300 meals to people in crisis in the Chilterns alone. Duncan Passey, Tenancy Sustainment Officer at Paradigm, said: “More s, so it and more people are turning to the foodbanks to feed their familie is great that staff are able to make this donation.” PARADIGM PEOPLE SPRING 2014 3


new homes

EXTRA FUNDING FOR NEW HOMES

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n additional 594 new affordable homes will be built by us following a loan from the European Investment Bank. The funding worth £65 million forms part of a £500 million loan the government secured through the European Investment Bank, and will be used by us to build new affordable homes across the South East of England and in Greater London. As well as Paradigm, several other housing associations have also benefited from the £500 million loan. This enables housing associations

“THE DEAL WITH THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK IS A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE” to use a government guarantee to secure private investment at competitive rates. Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Housing, Kris Hopkins MP, said: “The deal with the European Investment Bank is a vote of confidence in our ongoing efforts to restore confidence to our housing market and get Britain building. “This £500 million investment will help deliver up to 4,300 new affordable homes across the country, on top of the 170,000 affordable homes we’ve already delivered since 2010.” 4 SPRING 2014 PARADIGM PEOPLE

Andy Smith from Taylor French with Andrew Main from Paradigm, Chesham Mayor, Mark Shaw and Chesham Town Councillor, Patricia Cherrill

MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR ALFRED BURT VC CLOSE

The Mayor of Chesham joined our staff and those from developer, Taylor French, to mark a major milestone in the development of Alfred Burt VC Close in the town. A specially designed stone brick that shows the year the development will be completed, and poignantly also marks 100 years since Alfred Burt VC courageously went in to battle at the start of the First World War, will be laid at the entrance to Alfred Burt VC Close. The idea to name the street after Alfred Burt VC came from a suggestion from Chesham Town Council. It was choosen to mark the bravery of the Hertford-born soldier who moved to Chesham once the First World War had finished. He went on to manage the New Inn pub in Waterside. The ten new homes are currently being built on Berkhamsptead Road, just a short walk away from the centre of Chesham. They will be made up of a mixture of two and three-bedroom properties. Mark Shaw, Mayor of Chesham, said: “The naming of this road after Alfred Burt is a fantastic way to ensure that he is always remembered by his fellow Cheshamites for the courage he showed in the war. “I was also delighted to be able to visit another development by Paradigm in Chesham, which will help house our townspeople and demonstrates their continued investment and commitment to our town.” WEBSITE PARADIGMHOUSING.CO.UK


new homes

COMMUNITY SPIRIT AT REGENERATED PUB SITE More than a dozen families in Lewsey were welcomed to their new homes by the Mayor of Luton. The 12 brand new homes and two specially designed bungalows, have been built on land where the derelict Unicorn Public House and Marlin Road garages once stood.They have transformed the area around Regis Road and Wheatfield Road. To celebrate the opening, Council Leader Hazel Simmons and Mayor of Luton Sheila Roden, joined Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins, to meet some

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of the new residents in their homes and give them presents. Among those who moved in to their new home was Patricia La Grotta, who lives with her son and husband John. Patricia said: “I am wheelchair bound and before we moved here I had not been able to get around our old home very much. “I have my life back and I am now able to do simple things like get in to the kitchen to help my son Nathan cook, and all sorts of things like that. We are just so grateful to be living here.”

The La Grotta family settle in to their new home in Luton.

PARADIGM PEOPLE SPRING 2014 5


your stories

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MY PARADIGM STORY

e get lots of poems and letters from our residents and you can read about them on page 14 and 15.

There was one that we received that particularly stood out called a ‘day in loo’ and we couldn’t help but find out a little bit more about. Duncan Wood from Chesham tells us his story. For Duncan, who describes himself as being 75-years-old ish, sitting down and standing up at the toilet was becoming more and more of an issue because of mobility difficulties. To help the former nurse overcome this, Duncan contacted Paradigm’s Disabled Facilities Officer, John Smith, to see if there was a solution to try and raise the base of the toilet to make it easier for him. Duncan said: “John was fantastic and he even measured the height of the toilet, which is far too much for a disabled person to manage. That is no mean feat when he was still sat on it. “He got a technician from Paradigm to cement a plinth three inches higher.

You could even say it was spot on to coin a phrase.” As well as looking at the height of the toilet, John also arranged for a joiner to visit Duncan to get a safety rail fitted in the bathroom. “I might add that the workmen left no mess at all. In fact you could not tell they had been there at all. There were a very respectful team.” Duncan can now visit his toilet with ease and finds it ideal for other people because the rail doesn’t get in the way.

“I MIGHT ADD THAT THE WORKMEN LEFT NO MESS AT ALL. IN FACT YOU COULD NOT TELL THEY HAD BEEN THERE AT ALL”

Disabled Facilities Grant If an Occupational Therapist recommends major alterations to your home because of a disability, you may be able to get a grant from your local council to pay for the work to be carried out. You would still need to get permission from Paradigm before starting any work, just as you would for any general home improvements. We looked at the way we managed the 98 requests we received from residents last year asking for permission to alter homes through a Disabled Facilities Grant. We did this after receiving feedback from our Resident Internal Auditors. It was felt some residents were concerned about the quality of the work being done by builders, they or the council had employed. We always look to see if a move to more suitable accommodation is available, rather than altering the property. It is likely that additional priority would be given to any application to move. If the alterations are agreed a number of conditions have to be met, including: 6 SPRING 2014 PARADIGM PEOPLE

• documents such as plans, diagrams, specifications, planning consents and party wall agreements are given to us before any work starts • all work must be carried out by qualified technicians and trades people, and completed to the standards set out by us • having a named Project Manager from either the council, a home improvement agency or a contractor • our Regional Maintenance Advisor will visit the property during the work to monitor quality • repairs in the first 12 months will be the tenant’s responsibility. Most residents will receive support from the council, a home improvement agency or family and friends during the application process and any building work. Where this support is not available, our teams will offer support and advice. Call our Disabled Facilites Officer, John Smith, on 01628 811 765 for more information. CUSTOMER SERVICES 0300 303 1010


news

GREATER PROTECTION

PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/JACKF

FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT

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Bill that aims to provide greater protection and support to the people who need it the most is in the final stages before passage into the statute books.

The Care Bill gives people peace of mind that they will be treated with compassion when in hospital, care homes or their own home. The Bill is split into three parts: REFORM OF CARE AND SUPPORT The Bill brings together existing care and support legislation into a new, modern set of laws and builds the system around people’s wellbeing, needs and goals.

RESPONSE TO THE FRANCIS INQUIRY ON FAILINGS AT MID-STAFFORDSHIRE HOSPITAL The Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, identified failures across the health and care system that must never happen again. This Bill helps deliver the Government’s commitment to ensure patients are the first and foremost consideration of the system and everyone who works in it. HEALTH EDUCATION ENGLAND AND THE HEALTH RESEARCH AUTHORITY The Bill establishes Health Education England (HEE) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) as statutory non-departmental public bodies, giving them the impartiality and stability they need to carry out their roles in improving education and training for healthcare professionals, and protecting the interests of people in health and social care research. For more information about the Care Bill, contact your local authority.

SUCCESS IN EMPLOYMENT MARKET A job club for residents at Lea Bridge House is proving its worth with more and more people gaining employment.

PIC CREDIT

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ne of the success stories from the club is Ecuadorian-born Alvaro Rodriguez-Martinez who has just started working as a cleaner near Liverpool Street and at Hammersmith in Central London. Alvaro is one of Lea Bridge House’s newest residents and has been living there since last December. Lea Bridge House is a scheme in Leyton, North East London, that provides accommodation for 142 single homeless people with no support needs. Residents are referred by the neighbouring local authorities or homeless charities. Alvaro said: “This is the perfect CUSTOMER SERVICES 0300 303 1010

job for me while I try and improve my English skills. After living inside Victoria Train Station for a week, this really is a new start for me.” Another success story involves Sonia Coleman, a former council worker who became homeless after she was unable to pay off a loan that she took out. Sonia added: “I have been

looking for a new job for the last two years so my new role as a driver’s mate is fantastic. “I make sure two 14-year-old boys are taken to school and then picked

‘This is the perfect job for me while I try and improve my English skills.’ up at the end of the day. I have also gained new first-aid qualifications because of the job as well.” Tanya Gomez who coordinates the project, said: “We really help each other out to try and remove the barriers for the residents of Lea Bridge. We aim to support the residents in to a positive activity, whether that’s a work placement, training or a long-term job.” Corinna Singam Team Leader at Lea Bridge House said: “The Job Club has proved to be the most successful initiative we have run at Lea Bridge House and continues to go from strength to strength.” PARADIGM PEOPLE SPRING 2014 7


welfare reform

Think ahead!

USEFUL CONTACTS THE MONEY ADVICE SERVICE is an organisation that provides free money advice for consumers to enable people to take the right financial decisions. Call 0300 500 5000 www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk THE CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU is one of a network of independent charities throughout the UK that give free, confidential information and advice to help people with their money, legal, consumer and other problems. Look in the Yellow Pages for your local office. www.citizensadvice.org.uk

All may seem fine at the moment but if someone moves out, or your household changes you might be affected which could have a serious effect on your household budget.

BE WISE….THINK AHEAD! Start planning now for changes in the future. Think about... Is my family size going to change? Is anyone likely to be leaving home in the next few years? What are the rules on bedroom tax? What help can I get to help me downsize? If I have been hit by the bedroom tax what can I do to make up the benefit shortfall?

AN EXAMPLE OF THINKING AHEAD! Mr and Mrs Adams live in a three-bedroom house and receive Housing Benefit. They have three children – two boys aged nine and 11, and a daughter who is aged 18-years-old. They read about the bedroom tax in the summer edition of Paradigm People and realised that their Housing Benefit might be reduced when their daughter plans to move out to start her new job next month They decided to register on Homeswapper.co.uk and started looking for two-bedroom properties in the same area they currently live. Two months later they found a property they liked and arranged a viewing. In agreement with the other party they planned to swap homes. They have now moved and their Housing Benefit level has not been affected. Because they looked online for a new home, they’ve also taken the opportunity to learn more about using the internet at their local library.

TOP TIPS

• Register online now at Homeswapper.co.uk and plan to downsize via a mutual exchange – starting the search early will give you more time to get a move that suits you • if you are already affected by the bedroom tax, register NATIONAL DEBT LINE provides on your local council’s choice-based letting scheme to free debt advice and support for downsize as soon as possible people with money worries and • learn new skills to get work ready and increase your debt difficulties. income through 0808 808 4000. employment THE BEDROOM TAX LOOPHOLE • if you are having Earlier this year, the Department of Work and money problems, Pensions released an urgent bulletin stating that especially anyone, who has been in receipt of Housing Benefit around debt, continuously at the same property since 1 January seek advice and 1996, is currently exempt from the bedroom tax. support at an The Government has said it will aim to close this early stage – see “loophole” as soon as possible. For further information useful contacts. contact your local council or housing benefit team. 8 SPRING 2014 PARADIGM PEOPLE

WEBSITE PARADIGMHOUSING.CO.UK

©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/MATTJEACOCK

BENEFITS ARE CHANGING

Are you of working age, on Housing Benefit and not currently affected by the bedroom tax?


headerdirect to go debit here

DIRECT DEBIT S T C A F E TH

● Do you have a bank account and a regular income? ● Do you make a regular payment to Paradigm? ● Do you make payments by Direct Debit?

©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/RANGEPUPPIES PIC CREDIT

If you answered “Yes, Yes, No”, then please read on.... Did you know that currently over 4,500 residents pay us by Direct Debit? That’s nearly half of you! Each and every resident that pays by Direct Debit is protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee – this means that: • If the amount to be paid changes, we will notify you five working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed • you can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by contacting us or your bank • in the unlikely event that an error is made, by us or your bank, you’re guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your bank. By using Direct Debit it means you no longer need to call or queue to make a payment. You set it up and the agreed payment will be made automatically when it’s due. We have a variety of frequencies to suit all and we even have dedicated Direct Debit co-ordinators waiting to help you when required. CUSTOMER SERVICES 0300 303 1010

YOU CAN EVEN WIN PRIZES! Everybody that successfully pays by Direct Debit for three months will automatically be entered into a prize UNDS ED PO UNDR draw for a chance to ONE H win £100 worth of shopping vouchers conditions). (see our website for full terms and

0 0 1 £

might suit you If you feel paying by Direct Debit vices team to Ser then why not call our Customer find out more. PARADIGM PEOPLE SPRING 2014 9


header to go paradigm foundation here

SUPPORTING THE SPACE IN HATFIELD

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project in Hatfield that gives people access to funding advice, foodbank vouchers and a listening ear has received a £10,000 grant from the Paradigm Foundation. The Space, which is organised by the YMCA at Queensway in Hatfield, has been running since 2010 and welcomes around 30 people a day through its doors. Visitors to the Space are able to seek advice about Welfare Reform and benefits from the Citizens Advice Bureau, get a cup of tea at the on-site café, medical advice from a visiting nurse or just a chance to meet new friends while playing pool. Among those who used the Space for six months, and now acts as a Team Leader volunteer at the scheme is 21-year-old Paradigm resident, Zac Connell. Zac runs several IT courses at the Space and hopes that by December he will be able to transfer those skills in to the workplace by getting a job in IT support. He added: “I was just being lazy and staying at home before I started coming to the Space, but it has really helped me build my confidence and put me in a better mental state of mind.” YMCA Space Development Manager, Christine Novelli, said: “It is amazing to see the transition that Zac has gone through since he started coming to the Space and now as a volunteer here. He is one of many people who come here on a journey and it is amazing to be part of it.” Mike Gahagan, Chair of the Paradigm Foundation, said: “The Space at Hatfield really is a unique facility that allows people to come together to simply make friends or seek advice and guidance on a whole range of subjects. We at the Foundation were pleased to be able to support it.” The Paradigm Foundation supports a wide range of projects that support people, especially Paradigm residents, into further education, work and training as well as widening financial inclusion.

“IT HAS REALLY HELPED ME BUILD MY CONFIDENCE”

10 SPRING 2014 PARADIGM PEOPLE

Volunteers from the Heart of Ryemead Community Association and the Trades Social Club in High Wycombe are celebrating after they were granted £10,000. This will be used to will be used to help pay for the development of a brand new community centre, which is due to open in the summer. Visitors to the Little Chalfont Library have been casting their eyes over a brand new carpet after the popular facility secured a £2,500 grant. For more information about the Paradigm Foundation, call 01628 811835 or visit www.paradigmfoundation.org.uk CUSTOMER SERVICES 0300 303 1010

PIC CREDIT

FUNDING UPDATE


news

New faces YOU SAID AND WE DID at Paradigm HOUSING SURGERIES We like to introduce you to some of the new faces at Paradigm – here are two of them.

Last year we held eight housing surgeries across the South East where you got the chance to come and meet staff, and discuss any matters regarding your home. Here’s a quick guide to what you said:

Learning and Development

Communal repairs

After working in the housing sector for nine years, Charlotte Hinks has joined us as our new Senior Learning and Development Business Partner. As well as nearly a decade’s worth of experience in housing, Charlotte has also worked in the health and social care industry. Charlotte added: “Paradigm seems like a really positive organisation to work for and after a short break from working in housing, it is nice to return to the industry.”

PIC CREDIT

New Board Member

Claer LloydJones, the former Chief Executive of the Tenant Services Authority, has joined as a NonExecutive Board Member. She brings a track record of working at a senior level within the housing sector from her roles as former Chief Executive and Executive Director of Corporate Services at the Tenant Services Authority, before its merger with the Homes and Community Agency. A practising solicitor, Claer currently works as a Consultant specialising in Ethics and Governance. She has extensive senior local authority experience at Lewisham, Brighton & Hove and Hackney Councils. WEBSITE CUSTOMER PARADIGMHOUSING.CO.UK SERVICES 0300 303 1010

Whilst satisfaction was generally high with repairs to individual properties, there were particular concerns about the time taken to complete communal repairs. Our aim is that communal repairs affecting health, safety or security, are responded to with the same priority as for individual properties. We are making several improvements to the way we manage our services to ensure we are able to deliver this.

Being kept up to date with repairs

A common issue was that you were not being kept updated when repairs are delayed. Where possible, we aim to change a technician’s work schedule to enable them to stay and complete a job or to rebook any follow-on work needed while they are still at the property with the resident. We now examine each job not completed during the first visit on a daily basis so we can improve. We’re also investigating how we can improve our communication around communal repairs, including greater use of emails, texts, estate notice boards and use of the MyParadigm pages on our website.

Rubbish

Concerns were raised about rubbish and issues about there not being enough bins in communal areas, mess, smells, insecure bin areas, insufficient collections, litter, dog mess and dumping. We need to be better at working with the local council and we are also encouraging our front line staff to be more proactive about implementing local solutions like providing more bins or introducing controlled access to bin areas.

Parking

The lack of parking was a main source of dissatisfaction, particularly in relation to relatively newly built homes. We are investigating ways of increasing parking where it is limited. We are also being clearer about parking arrangements when prospective tenants are viewing properties.

Low level anti-social behaviour and neighbour issues

Some residents were frustrated by neighbour nuisance and inconsiderate behaviour, with several reporting a lack of action by us. We are reinforcing the responsibilities of all residents to act considerately towards their neighbours. We also need to be clearer about our role and are developing guidance to help residents to deal with low level nuisance themselves.

Homeowners

A major issue for homeowners was the value for money provided by their service charges and difficulties in communicating with us. We have just recruited a Homeowner Services Manager who will be working to improve our service to homeowners. PARADIGM PEOPLE SPRING 2014 11


our policies

UPDATE ON

OUR POLICIES

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e have looked at a number of important policies over the last year, and here is a summary of some of the changes.

Lettings Policy We want to let our empty homes in a fair and open way, keeping the time they are empty as short as possible. We also want to make the best use of them. The majority of our rented properties are advertised using choice based lettings and are let to people who have been nominated by their local council. There are times where we might refuse a person or household that has been nominated to us and we have added the following reasons to that list: ● people who have abandoned (or been evicted from) a previous tenancy following a serious breach of their tenancy ● people with an unsatisfactory tenancy history, including debts they are not repaying ● people who we think will not be able to keep to their tenancy agreement (unless the necessary support can be put in place). These have been added to avoid housing people who will not be able to manage the property or keep to the

conditions set out in the tenancy agreement. We have to balance the needs of potential and existing residents. We will provide current tenants who wish to move with clear advice about their options, including helping with mutual exchanges (where two tenants agree to swap properties) and encouraging them to register with the local council/choice based lettings scheme if eligible. A small number of our re-let homes are let to our existing residents who need to move. This is done for a number of reasons including, enabling work to be carried out to the property or because an adaptation is needed that isn’t possible in their current home. These are called management moves and we have reviewed our approach and guidance to staff to make sure that all such moves are carried out fairly. Between lettings, we make sure our homes meet an agreed property standard. We are currently reviewing the standard to check we have got this right, and have been speaking to some of our newer residents to get their feedback.

Tenure and Tenancy Management Policies

Our Tenure Policy sets out the types of tenancy and licence agreements Wrongful we use and when. We recently revised this policy sub-letting is now and we now offer joint tenancies ce en a criminal off to people nominated as joint 3 201 The Social Housing Fraud Act applicants from the local nce offe means that it’s now a criminal council. For example, a ial soc a are you if to sub-let your home brother and a sister being nt. tena sing hou legal the ing nominated would get a joint hold son per the re whe Sub-letting is and lets the out tenancy. es mov ty per pro a of tenancy ally in exchange for A joint tenancy means property to someone else, usu knowledge. our out with that anyone named on the rent payments prosecuted, which tenancy is responsible for If you sub-let you risk being rs in prison and ensuring the rent is paid and is punishable by up to two yea your home. a £5,000 fine. You will also lose other tenancy conditions are your If you need to be away from met. Joint tenancies are usually you s, property for more than 28 day between two people, but there is e anc ord w in acc must let us kno with the terms of your tenancy.

a maximum of four in our new policy. This approach will enable us to make better use of our housing stock. Our Tenancy Management Policy sets out our approach to providing a flexible, effective and efficient tenancy management service that reflects best practice, complies with legislation and recognises the rights of our tenants. It covers the following areas: ● tenancy changes ● managing a tenancy ● tenancy breaches ● and ending a tenancy.

Keeping pets We often get asked questions about our policy on residents keeping pets. This is now included in our new Tenancy Management Policy. Some residents aren’t permitted to keep pets such as cats or dogs. This can be because the freehold or lease agreement relating to the property they occupy doesn’t allow it. This is something outside our control. Some properties just aren’t suitable for pets. A no pet clause will be included in these tenancy agreements and potential residents should be informed about this before they move into the property. The pet policy also says: ● residents wanting to keep a pet must request permission from Paradigm to do so unless their tenancy agreement states otherwise. When we give consent it will be in writing. You should keep a copy of this for future reference ● permission will relate to a specific pet or pets. If you plan to get another or a replacement pet you must request a new permission ● permission to keep pets will not be unreasonably withheld ● keep the pet under control and be a responsible owner ● you must ensure that your pet does not cause any damage or nuisance. If problems occur and are not resolved we will withdraw permission and you will have to rehome your pet or move ● if you keep a pet without permission you are breaching the terms of your tenancy.

More information about these policies can be found on our website.


grounds maintenance

PARADIGM SIGNS NEW GROUNDS MAINTENANCE CONTRACT

PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/FIONAMARK

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new grounds maintenance contract that will make savings of around £800,000 has been agreed by Paradigm and Hertfordshire-based John O’Conner. The new contract, which starts next month, was put together following wide-ranging feedback from both residents and our staff. As well as an improved ‘partnership’ approach to the way we work together, the new contract will also see an increase in the number of visits made by the grounds maintenance contractor. To support the delivery of this contract, the Estates Team has been refreshed and two new team

members have been brought on board The new recruits, Robert Turner and Andrew Joiner, will work alongside Derek Currie and Estate Services Manager, Liam Dawson. Established in 1969, John O’Conner operates a large portfolio of prestigious partnership contracts with local authorities, housing associations, sporting and leisure facilities and educational establishments. Liam Dawson, Estate Services Manager at Paradigm, said: “The new contract between the two organisations has come about following an incredible amount of feedback from our residents.

“This has allowed us to construct a new partnership agreement that will allow us to build on the grounds maintenance expertise already on offer from John O’Conner.”

What’s new: • greater consistency of specification across our stock • increase number of visits during the year (increasing from 12 to 17) • monthly visits over the Christmas and winter period • better contract management arrangements (designed to have a more ‘partnership’ approach to the way we work with them, but with penalties if they fail to deliver).

HOW WE PERFORMED NOVEMBER 2013 – JANUARY 2014 Key performance indicator

Target

NOV

% of calls answered in 20 seconds

80%

84.1%

% of Emergency (within 24 hours) repairs completed in target time

99.5%

% of Routine (15 calendar days) repairs completed in target time

95%

Average time taken to complete routine repair (calendar days)

14

% of repairs completed ‘first time’

94%

% customer satisfaction with repairs

85%

% landlord’s gas safety certificates in date (all properties)

100%

Average time taken to re-let properties (days)

21

NEW Average number of working days to resolve all complaints 15 % anti-social behaviour cases resolved and closed

75%

DEC

JAN

Result

b 98.9% 98.5% 96.3% b 95.3% 95.4% 94.2% b 13 13.9 13.5 b 89.1% 88.7% 89.1% b 80.8% 87% 88.6% b 99.69% 99.94% 99.89% b 20 17.3 26.3 b - - 3.7 b 100% 92.3% 88.9% b 82.3%

69.5%

A full list of performance indicators is available on our website. b indicates met or exceed target b indicates target almost met b indicates target not met CUSTOMER SERVICES 0300 303 1010

PARADIGM PEOPLE WINTER 2013 13


letters

IN PRAISE OF STUART Residents at Atlas House in Chesham are praising an unsung hero who has taken charge of their bin stores and recycling. Stuart Wright has taken it upon himself to give the bin stores at the independent living scheme a lick of paint as well as regularly cleaning out the bins. After getting permission from the landlord at the local pub, he also takes all of the glass and plastic bottles to their recycling bins.

Going Digital with Duncan

USING THE INTERNET AT HOME COULDN’T BE EASIER

Well done Stuart! PETS CORNER

All you need is a computer or a laptop, a broadband connection and a little bit of know how.

CRESTED NEWT

Computer or laptop:

BY PHIL MEAD, CHESHAM

Connection:

Know how

Visit your local UK Online Centre to learn how to use the internet and how to get the internet at home. Call them on 0800 771234 for more information

* GetOnline@Home is an initiative from Microsoft and its partners to provide low cost refurbished desktop and laptop computers to support the Go ON UK digital inclusion programme. ** Simplifydigital is a leading, independent, Ofcomaccredited UK price comparison and switching service for broadband, digital TV and home phone services. 14 SPRING 2014 PARADIGM PEOPLE

PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/WITR

You can get a broadband through your telephone line. Broadband costs are from £2.50 per month (depending on supplier) Telephone line rental costs are from £14.50 per month (depending on supplier) Call Simplify Digital** on 0800 5424704 to find out how to get connected

The crested newt or great crested newt, which is also known as the warty newt, is one of our most spectacular wild animals. The colour is black on the upper surface and orange with black spots underneath. Females often have a yellow line down the middle of the back, this is also present in young animals of either gender. Males in the breeding season are spectacular with a crest along their backs from neck to tail. They also have a lower crest above and below their tail. The skin of these newts is rough, hence the alternative name of the ‘warty.’ Spring is spent in the water for breeding, but for the rest of the year the majority of the time is spent on land. It must be remembered that this is one of Britain’s most protected animals and they must not be disturbed, touched or even picked up without the correct licence.

WRITE TO: Richard Hall, PR Executive, Richard.Hall@paradigmhousing.co.uk CUSTOMER SERVICES 0300 303 1010

PIC CREDIT

You can buy a reconditioned computer from as little as £49 with a broadband deal if you have an entitling benefit, or from £99 if you don’t. Call GetOnline@Home* on 0800 0901297 to find out how to purchase a reconditioned computer


competition

PRIZE DRAW

PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/JOANNA_AGNIESZKA

PRIZE DRAW RULES

Ode to a pigeon

by Patricia Rose from Ruislip

As I laid me down to sleep He held a feather in his beak Soaring high up in the sky He took the message so that I Could live to fight another day Taking the message on its way This gentle bird is vilified Looks at people as he cries Why do you all hate me so It’s something I would like to know I have never shot or stabbed a man Or dropped a bomb on Vietnam I was not there when you did take A child and cause it’s heart to break You took my woods and fields away You didn’t ask if it was ok So tell me people, let me know Why do you hate me so?

Paradigm Housing, 1 Glory Park Avenue, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0DF WEBSITE PARADIGMHOUSING.CO.UK

1. Open to Paradigm residents aged 18 and over, except employees of Paradigm Housing Group. 2 The closing date for receipt of the entries is 10 January for the prize draw 3. Price draws valid for a limited period and subject to availability. 4. One entry per person. No third party. Spammers and bulk entries will be disqualified. 5. Proof of entering is not proof of receipt. No responsibility can be accepted for entries incomplete, delayed, damaged, corrupt, wrongly delivered or not received for whatever reason. 6. Prizes must be accepted as offered and are nontransferable and non refundable. There are no cash alternatives. 7. The winner will be notifield by post within the 28 days of the closing date. 8. The promoter’s decision is final and binding. No correspondence will be entered into. The winning entry will be the first drawn at random by an independent person after the closing date. 9. Paradigm Housing Group reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. 10. Name and countries of winners can be obtained by sending SAE to Paradigm Housing Group, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0DF 11. Promoter: Paradigm Housing Group, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0DF

WIN

To enter a fantastic competition where one lucky winner could get up to £200 WORTH OF worth of vouchers. VOUCHERS Simply fill out the coupon and answer the question in the coupon below:

£200

We had loads of entries for our last competition, but unfortunately there can only be three winners and they were... Mrs Irene Brown from Chesham

won £200

Paul Cooper from Bicester

won £75

Peter Young from Aylesbury

won £25

HOW TO ENTER

Winners must be keeping to their tenancy and lease holder agreement (no arrears or sundry debt). To enter, complete the coupon below and return it to Richard Hall, Paradigm Housing Group, 1 Glory Park, Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire HP10 0DF CLOSING DATE IS 17 APRIL 2014 We put the community spirit back 7 in to a derelict pub site in Luton. How many new homes did we 10 build at Lewsey? 12 Name: Address:

Postcode: Contact number: Email:


Contact us: Customer Service telephone number

0300 303 1010 PRESS 1 for repairs PRESS 2 for rent and housing PRESS 3 for corporate queries

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Our Customer Services team are available 8am - 6pm. OUT OF HOURS SERVICE

Please note our out of hours service providers (Invicta) have changed their name and are now called Centra. If you have an emergency, call us as above and you will automatically put through to Centra. If for any reason your call is not automatically connected, you can call Centra direct on 02070 936405. If the matter is not an emergency, please call us during the hours above to speak to a Customer Services adviser

BY POST

Paradigm Housing Group, 1 Glory Park Avenue, Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire HP10 0DF

VISIT 1 White Hill, Chesham, US Bucks HP5 1AB Office hours Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm

Office hours Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.30pm

EMAIL

WEBSITE

SIX WAYS TO PAY YOUR RENT

www.paradigmhousing.co.uk

Paradigm Housing or Milton Keynes-Luton Paradigm Housing Resident Group

Call Richard Hall on 01628 811844, email: richard.hall@paradigm housing.co.uk Or write to: Paradigm People, 1 Glory Park Avenue, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0DF

1

enquiries@paradigmhousing.co.uk

Find us on two Facebook pages

• Please send us your comments and ideas for subjects you think we should be writing about • Send us your letters, photos or poems. We will send a £10 high-street voucher for any contribution published

Follow us on Twitter, we tweet as @paradigmhousing

If you have a bank account, the most convenient way to pay is by Direct Debit. Call us on 0300 303 1010 for details

2 3 4 5 6

On our website at www.paradigmhousing. co.uk

Pay at any shop that displays the Payzone symbol

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If you would like any of the articles in this magazine reproduced in another language or format, please contact us on 0300 303 1010

By phone, please call 0300 303 1010 You can pay at your local post office

Post a cheque to: Paradigm Housing, 1 Glory Park Ave, Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire HP10 0DF

Paradigm People Spring 2014  
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