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Spotlight on


Spring 2012

Award winning residents Cardiff residents triumph in our Making a Difference awards 2011 Also in this edition...

New Integrated Partnership for Cardiff

Minister visits to view good practice

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Welcome to the Spring 2012 edition of Spotlight on Cardiff Ivor Gittens, WWHA Chair, & Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive, with Roman Villains FC in their new WWHA sponsored kit

I do not need to say that we are all still facing very challenging economic conditions and now more than ever we recognise the importance of delivering excellent customer service, supporting innovation to meet demand and, quite simply, going the extra mile to help our residents and their communities to help themselves. We are committed to being green, to helping our residents deal with money-related problems, and to as many of them as possible up-andrunning online. We’re also working with various partners to help people get into, or get back into work or training. Then there are our latest developments within the business including news of our £101m Development programme, our


new RP strategy and how we’re approaching self-assessment. And we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to tell you that we’ve been recognised as the top not-for-profit organisation in Wales in the Sunday Times Best Companies List 2012. So I hope you will take five minutes to read this newsletter and that it proves to be useful and informative. Finally we always value your feedback so don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell us what you think, about Spotlight, the news within it, or any other aspect of our business.

Anne Hinchey Chief Executive

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Close and productive partnership We continue to enjoy a close and productive relationship with Cardiff and our other partners, working together to tackle the many challenges facing social housing providers, and those in housing need, in Wales’ capital city.

At WWHA we have changed our approach to allocating our homes in 2009 and have been working with the Council to help redesign the common waiting list so that it is more efficient and focuses on those people in greatest housing need.

This has, most recently, seen us help to develop and oversee the new Local Housing Strategy 2012 – 2017 designed to support the new Integrated Partnership for Cardiff. We’re also active members of the group reviewing the allocation of social housing.

These are difficult economic times for us all, but through strong partnerships, creativity and hard work we are confident that we are well placed to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead.

Award winning residents Autumn 2011 saw our fourth annual Making A Difference Awards which recognise and reward community spirit among our residents. Seven people and groups from the Cardiff area made the category shortlists. They are: • Unity – a group based in and around the Church Road estate in Caerau, Cardiff. They were nominated by Simon Murray of Ely & Caerau Communities First who said: “Unity is one of the most pro-active groups that we have worked with and has made

a significant impact on the quality of life for many people on their estate and in the wider communities of Ely and Caerau.” • Dave Farah - a resident of Lord Pontypridd House in Canton, Cardiff, who uses former flowerbeds to grow a wide range of fruit and veg. • Wilfred Brook House gardeners – a group at this Grangetown retirement scheme fundraised to buy garden furniture, seeds, a water butt and a compost shed. ...cont’d.


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Award winning residents


Unity receiving their award at the WWHA Mad Awards 2011

• Liberty - from Caerau in Cardiff. Established just a year ago, Ely & Caerau Communities First say the fast-growing and pro-active group is ‘having a huge impact on the area.’ • St Clements Court - from Pentwyn. The Outstretched Hand Lunch Club was saved from closure by the scheme,

Dave Farah


and now 30 plus older people enjoy its many benefits. • Big hearted Sally Thomas, of Great Western Court, was shortlisted for Good Neighbour of the Year. • Caerau Court Rd Potters – a voluntary residents’ gardening club.

Caerau Court Potters

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Roman Villains kick off in style

Ivor Gittens, WWHA Chair, and Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive, with members of Roman Villains FC

LAZAROU Sunday League hopefuls Roman Villains kicked off this year’s season with their first ever sponsorship deal. WWHA is sponsoring Lazarou Sunday League football team Roman Villains.

They were formed in 2008 by a group of friends who used to play Under 16s football in Ely, Cardiff. This season they say they are hoping to reach the Lazarou Sunday League’s Premier Division.

Skip amnesty day As in previous years members of the St Mellons Compact recently held a successful Skip Amnesty day, with all three social landlords providing a total of five skips in Newent Road for residents to help them dispose of unwanted items and clean up their area.


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Minister visits to view best practice

Tackling anti social behaviour We’ve just signed up to the new WASPI (Wales Accord on the Sharing of Personal Information) Information Sharing Protocol for domestic violence MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences) cases. We are the second housing association in Wales to sign up to this.

We were delighted when Finance Minister Jane Hutt recently visited St Mellons residents Anne and Brian Dixon to see their newly adapted bathroom and driveway. The Dixons, who both have health problems, have benefitted from a Welsh Government financed Physical Adaptation Grant (PAG).

More affordable homes for Cardiff We are in discussion with a number of developers with a view of delivering much needed affordable housing across Cardiff. We’re currently looking at four development sites, including Western Leisure Centre, a site in Ely with potential for 27 family homes, Penylan (4 units), and 11 units at Brython Drive.


WASPI provides a framework for service-providing organisations directly concerned with the health, education, safety, crime prevention and social wellbeing of people in Wales. In particular, it concerns organisations that hold information about individuals and who may consider it appropriate or necessary to share that information with others in a lawful and intelligent way. The WASPI framework is recognised as one of the key elements of the Welsh Government's Sharing Personal Information programme and facilitates this by establishing agreed requirements and mechanisms for the exchange of personal information between different partner organisations; including public sector, voluntary sector and private and independent organisations. There is no restriction limitation as to the organisations that can sign up to and use the WASPI framework.

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Continued investment in our properties During the last six months of 2011 we spent £5.7m on refurbishing our homes across Wales and we on course to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by the end of 2012. Across Wales we’ve invested £1.3m renewing the kitchens in over 400 homes across Wales. This includes £406,000 on the following schemes in Cardiff: • • • • • • • •

Great Western Court (£62K) Wilfred Brooke House (126K) Slocombe Cottages (£30K) Haig Place (£15K) Tidenham Place (£45K) Emblem Close / Cloister Court (£50K) Carmel Court (£18k) Old School Court (£60K).

We’ve also spent more than £600k

refurbishing bathrooms, including £143,000 in properties in Cardiff at Carmel Court, Pent Lee and Waun Lee. We’re also investing a further £1.2m Wales-wide in a major window renewal programme which should make our homes more comfortable, warmer, cheaper to heat and less likely to need expensive maintenance work in the near future. Several of our Cardiff schemes will benefit from this including £550,000 on Caerau Court, and, Church Road in Ely. We have also installed new gas central heating in Great Western Court retirement scheme, and renewed the wiring and communal lighting at West Lee, both in the Canton area.


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Resident completely overwhelmed by volunteer garden makeover

St Mellons resident Angela Biston says she was overwhelmed by a garden makeover by volunteers from WWHA, Hafod and Linc-Cymru Housing Associations. Mrs Biston told us that her back garden was completely out of control with weeds, brambles and the long grass which had taken over what was once an attractive garden after she became unable to maintain it. The volunteers (some of whom are pictured), who were all part of the St Mellons Compact Estate & Environmental subgroup, astounded Mrs Biston by laying a new patio and pathways, planting shrubs, flowers and a new vegetable patch, and reducing the size of the plot by putting up a new boundary fence, so that the


garden would be easier for her to look after. Blooms Garden Centre also donated a pot full of plants to add to the colourful display. “I was totally astounded and overwhelmed - there was no mess anywhere, just a fantastic garden. What a total transformation!” she said. Chris Walton, WWHA Housing Manager, said, “The garden has been significantly improved and should now be a lot easier for Mrs Biston to maintain. I’d like to thank all those involved for taking part in the garden makeover.” To find out more about the work of the St Mellons Compact Estate & Environmental sub-group, contact Chris Walton on freephone 0800 052 2526.

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Home ownership properties for sale in Cardiff WWHA offers a variety of tenancy options for older people who wish to rent or buy their own home. For people who wish to buy, the Association manages 22 Retirement for Sale (RFS) and Leasehold Schemes for the Elderly (LSE) across Wales offering a range of prices and localities. We currently have the following properties for sale in Cardiff: Clarendon, Cycoed Avenue, Cyncoed • Five apartments • One bungalow

Oakmeadow Court, St Mellons • Three 1 bedroom apartments Old Garden Court, Radyr • Four 2 bedroom apartments Pendyrys House, Mortimer Road, Canton • Four 1 bedroom apartments Restway Court, Llandaff • Six 1 bedroom apartments Stephenson Court, Wordsworth Avenue, Roath, Cardiff • Five 1 bedroom and two 2 bedroom apartments

Cwrt Glas, Llanishen • A two bedroomed house

Wentloog Court, Rhymney, Cardiff • Three 1 bedroom and two 2 bedroom apartments

Meridian Court, North Road • Seven 1 bedroom apartments

Western Court, Canton, Cardiff • 1 bedroom apartment

Newlands Court, Station Road, Llanishen • Three 1 bedroom apartments

For more details on any of these properties call the home ownership unit ion freephone 0800 052 2526 or go to


Pendyrys House


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Strong financial performance for WWHA The Association has just closed another strong year of financial performance. Firstly, as part of the new WG regulatory framework, we received a pass for financial viability judgement which is the highest rating awarded and demonstrates that we are adequately resourced to meet current and future business and financial commitments. Secondly, our results for the year show both a surplus and a positive free cash flow. This has allowed us to invest over £30m in the last three years in our existing properties to improve the quality of

our homes. With a further £10m investment planned this year, we are well on track to meeting the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by the target date of 2012. We already have £35m of funding in place to fund future development. Having brought into management 165 newly developed properties this year alone, we have plans to bring in a further 600 over the next 5 years. To do this will require further funding and we are well placed to do this, with low gearing and a large portfolio of unsecured high quality properties on our books.

Mortgage rescue Our mortgage rescue scheme is continuing to have a positive impact on the lives of many householders at risk of repossession. We are one of the few associations to operate a self-funded scheme now that the grant funding from the Welsh Government has ended. We are still experiencing considerable demand and are committed to continuing the mortgage rescue scheme in order to help reduce homelessness. So far we’ve invested more than £2m in the scheme and have:


• Purchased 31 properties outright – where the residents have now become our tenants. This includes 3 properties which have been purchased without grant as part of the Associations self funded scheme. A further 4 households have accepted offers of assistance as part of this scheme. • Completed 26 loans to enable the occupiers to remain in their properties as owners To find out more our mortgage rescue scheme call freephone 0800 052 2526.Or go to: MortgageRescue/

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Awards round-up Since our last edition of Spotlight we’ve gained the following recognition: • 2012 Sunday Times Best

Companies. In 2012 WWHA has been named the top not-for-profit organisation in Wales and ranked 8th, up from 14th in 2011.

We are also the only Welsh housing association to be awarded the coveted three stars award by Best Companies.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve been recognised as the top not-for-profit organisation in Wales, and, that we’ve made the top ten NFP organisations to work for in the UK. And to have been awarded the highest rating of three stars is fantastic,” says Anne Hinchey.

“We pride ourselves on being a values-driven company – to be fair, open, supportive, efficient and responsible – to our staff as well as everyone with whom, and for whom, we work.

• WWHA were delighted to be named in the Top 30 Family Friendly Firms in the UK by Working Families, an organisation which campaigns for work-life balance. We were one of only two Welsh organisations to make the list which is dominated by blue chip firms. • Our Stoneleigh Manor More Options Homelessness Project in partnership with Powys County Council won the Cymorth Cymru Promoting Independence

2011 Good Commissioning Award. This project was also shortlisted for a CIH Welsh Housing Award ‘Making Best Use of Stock.” • North Wales Financial Inclusion Forum, of which we are a member organisation, won the 2011 Promoting Independence Award 2011 Service User Involvement Award for it’s ‘My Home… Making Every Penny Count’ DVD. The DVD has since won a second award – the MoneyActionNet Award 2011 by social action information provider Lemos & Crane. • WWHA residents have scooped two TPAS Cymru awards. The groups from the Garw Valley, Bridgend, and Barracksfield estate in Wrexham, beat off stiff competition from other social landlords’ groups in Wales. • Our Powell Road Eco-Friendly Regeneration Project in Flintshire was shortlisted for an Outstanding Achievement in Wales CIH UK Housing Award. • Our retirement scheme Sydney Hall Court in Connah’s Quay, run by scheme manager Rob Holmes, was shortlisted for The Cinnamon Trust’s Pet Friendly Care Home of the Year Award. • We’ve achieved the Gold Standard in RSPCA Housing Footprint.


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Eco-friendly initiatives We are committed to being green across our organisation, as well as supporting our residents to be able to enjoy the many benefits of being environmentally friendly. and we have just passed our annual Green Dragon audit, reaching Level 2.

Picured is the first bore hole being started at Clos Pontganol for the installation of the ground source heat pumps. One of the 10 bore holes will go nearly 200 meters (aproximately 600 feet) down.

We are undertaking a wide range of projects, led by Owen Jones, our Environment & Sustainability Officer. We have been installing Ground Source Heat Pumps at Clos Pontganol, Llangynidr, together with additional sites at Crickhowell, Llanfair Cereinion and Flint. These literally groundbreaking projects are going to have a huge impact in helping residents to save money on their energy bills. Some residents in Maes Yr Onnen, Crickhowell are currently


paying £150 to £200 per month on their electricity bills, and they are now going to benefit from new windows, improved insulation and Ground Source Heat Pumps. Further measures such as removing their electric showers and replacing them with mixer showers will also help to reduce their bills. Ground Source Heat Pumps are amongst the most sustainable space and domestic hot water heating systems currently available and residents will gain from having greater control of their heating and in most cases it will be cheaper to run.

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Other projects include: •

Fuel switching

Continuing to trial voltage optimisation devices

Working with the Environment Agency to develop flood plans for our properties which may be affected.

We’ve also invested more than £15,000 from our Environment Fund in 29 projects across Wales. These are all resident-led projects which have applied to us for grassroots funding. Projects include developing biodiversity gardens, installation of raised beds for accessible planting,

to purchase of seeds, tools, greenhouses and other equipment. We are continually working hard to make sure that, where possible, we use and incorporate environmentally friendly technologies into every aspect of our new developments as well as in our refurbishment programmes. However, uncertainty around funding has unfortunately resulted in us having to put on hold our plans to install solar PV panels on the roofs of our suitable properties. This was due to factors beyond our control and we are among many other social housing providers across the UK in this position.

Picured is the former bin store at Western Court, Bridgend, which has now been transformed by the residents into a greenhouse, thanks to a £200 contribution from the WWHA Environment Fund.


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012

Wi-fi broadband access for older residents

Self-assessment and planning for the future

We are committed to providing broadband WiFi access at all our 100 older persons schemes across Wales within the next two years, investing £1m in the project.

Like many other housing associations we conduct rigorous self-assessment exercises to look at how well we are performing and to help us plan for the future.

We are already working on a pilot scheme at Ty Pontrhun, one of our retirement schemes in Merthyr Tydfil, in partnership with Welsh provider Boynes. Four lines, routers and boosters will be up and running at the scheme from March 2012 providing 1MG download capacity for each resident. The cost to residents will be an affordable £1 per household per week.

We always welcome constructive feedback about any aspect of our business, our properties, or the services we deliver. To find out more about our plans and self assessment process please go to: CorporateInformation/ Performance/InspectionInformation

Upskilling with Communities 2.0 and Take Ctrl We’re also working with a number of partners to upskill any of our residents, regardless of age or previous experience, to be able to enjoy the benefits of digital technology. In Merthyr Tydfil we’re working with Communities 2.0 on the Connect Merthyr Project. This is supporting older people to learn how to use a variety of platforms on the internet inclusing email, Skype, search engines, Twitter and YouTube. It is also helping them to use a variety of other


digital equipment including mobile phones, cameras and video cameras. Welsh Finance minister Jane Hutt visited the project recently to see for herself the incredibly positive impact it is having on its older participants. And in North Wales we are hosting Jen Bailey, co-ordinator of the Take Ctrl Project. This is a partnership between seven housing associations including WWHA. For more details go to:

Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2011

Employment and training opportunities We are continuing to work in partnership with our contractors and others to provide work and training to people within many of the communities where we work.

• Working with JobMatch to train two dedicated Energy Advisers who will spread the word among residents as to how to get the best fuel deals and how best to cut costs.

Donna Samuel, (pictured below) is one of two returners to work who have secured permanent jobs with WWHA thanks to JobMatch, Bridgend. Donna recently met First Minister Carwyn Jones at a local Health and Wellbeing event, and she took the opportunity to explain how finding a full-time job had transformed her life.

• Supporting our contractors and suppliers to create apprenticeships in electrics and window fitting. • Creating work placements through JobCentre Plus and the Department of Work and Pensions’Work Programme. • And we’re exploring what job opportunities we may be able to create through recycling.

New Resident Participation Strategy

Donna receives her certificates from First Minister Carwyn Jones

Many of our contractors have taken on apprentices as a result of the work we commission them to do. Some other example of how we are supporting people to get back into work, include:

We’ve updated our resident Participation strategy. If you’d like to find out more please go to: NR/rdonlyres/6C6733C0-FA834302-912C-F846D2D3C68F/0/ InTouchWinter20112.pdf Or you can read the strategy in full at: rdonlyres/10FD0DC5-E4DD4B9C-9FC0-EF0F5A83AA1B/0/ WHALTPS2011.pdf


Spotlight on Cardiff Spring 2012



Head Office 3 Alexandra Gate, Ffordd Pengam, Tremorfa, Cardiff CF24 2UD Tel: 0800 052 2526 Fax: 029 2041 5380 Website:

Flint Office Unit 2 Acorn Business Park Aber Road, Flint, Flintshire CH6 5YN Email: Minicom: 0800 052 5205 Follow us on @WWHA

STRATEGIC Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive 029 2041 5335

Tony Wilson, Finance Director 029 2041 5346

Shayne Hembrow, Operations Director 029 2041 5362

HOUSING Lynnette Glover, Head of Housing 029 2041 5365

Chris Walton, Housing Manager (Gen. Needs) 029 2041 4078

Jackie Bloxham, Housing Manager Housing) H O U S(Retirement/Supported ING 029 2041 4083

DEVELOPMENT Nikki Cole, Head of Development 029 2041 4093

PROPERTY SERVICES Steve Porter, Head of Property Services 029 2041 5373

16 Wales & West Housing Association is registered as a charitable association under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 No. 21114R

Spotlight on Cardiff  

Wales & West Housing Association's newsletter for the Cardiff area

Spotlight on Cardiff  

Wales & West Housing Association's newsletter for the Cardiff area