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September 2013

How have we done?

What do you think?

Page 4

Flair fair Page 5

WHO’S ON THE FIDDLE?

Page 16

NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR TENANTS AND LEASEHOLDERS OF WOLVERHAMPTON HOMES


Welcome to the September issue of Tenants Update

You’ve received this a bit later this time so we could include some pictures of our Pride in the Community competition judging. You can see them on page 5 and the winners will be announced very soon. Well done to everyone who entered.

e at ryon y. e v da for e fun een fun f o ds urt Loa WVFo

the

In the middle pages, we have this year’s annual report. Please have a read through it and let us know what you think. Are you reading this on a paper copy? Why not switch to email? See page 8 to find out more. Finally, thanks to Lisha Miller for helping out with our front cover. Ann Ramsbottom, editor, Tenants Update. ark ore P others m h s n and ined A We jo Associatio July. unity day in Comm t their fun a

Over 70 tenants signed up for th eir Do it Online account at the City Show in July

to be proud e r e w ly. Staff e in Ju id r P t a

If you require this information in another language or format, contact us on 01902 556789.

2 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


Your Rent Review

DIARY DATES: Put these dates in your diary and come and join us at: Board meetings Mon 16 Sept (Annual General Meeting) at 9.30am Mon 18 Nov at 9.30am Mon 16 Dec at 9.30am At Hickman Avenue

Your Rent Review HAVE YOUR SAY!

The rent you pay covers the services we provide including your repairs and maintenance. It may also include service charges for things like cleaning, fencing or heating. Rents and service charges are reviewed each year and we want to know what you think. Come to the rent and service charges review meetings and find out more. We will tell you the options the Council want us to consult with you about and you can let us know what you think. There are meetings across the city and you can come to whichever is best for you.

Get Togethers Wednesfield: Thursday 12 September at St Patrick’s Church: 6pm to 8pm Low Hill: Thursday 19 September at Low Hill Community Centre: 6pm to 8pm Merry Hill: Wednesday 25 September at St Joseph’s Church Hall: 3pm to 5pm Bilston: Thursday 26 September at Bilston Academy: 6pm to 8pm

Low Hill: Tuesday 19 November at Low Hill Community Centre from 1-2.30pm Merry Hill: Wednesday 20 November at Merry Hill Office from 10-11.30am Central: Wednesday 20 November at Market Street Shop from 6-7.30pm Bilston: Monday 25 November at St Chad’s Church Hall from 6-7.30pm Wednesfield: Thursday 28 November at Pickering Road Community Centre from 2.30-4pm

WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 3


Outstanding residents

Play Area Boost for

Fordhouses Outstanding residents Congratulations to two of our tenants, Adam and Dan, who were awarded the Most Outstanding Resident Award at the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) awards in July. This award is given to residents who go ‘above and beyond’ to help their community by actively campaigning for positive change in their area. Adam and Dan live in Bilston and in just over twelve months they’ve built an online community for the area on the WVFourteen facebook page and are rebuilding a community spirit through events like the WVFourteen fun days and Jubilee Street party. Well done guys!

Tenants in Fordhouses have a brand new community garden and play area thanks to our staff volunteers. The garden in Poet’s Corner was an area of wasteland. Over the past few months more than 80 members of staff volunteered to help clear the area, lay turf, plant shrubs and flowers, and build play equipment. Stuart Clarke, chairperson of the Poet’s Corner Residents Association said: “This area was derelict for such a long time, nobody has used it for about 30 years. The new garden and playground is a huge improvement. People are happy to use it and want to use it. I think it will tie the rest of the estate together. Thank you to Wolverhampton Homes for making this happen.”

4 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


Grounds TenantMaintenance Involvement

THE BEST OF THE BEST

PH A

PHOTOG

R

TALENT?

Flair fair

RS

UR

O

Visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/news or Facebook to find out and see the photos.

CO O CAKE BAK E

Who will it be?

W HATS Y

Well the “Pride in the Community judges have made their pick.

ERS

TS TIS R A

LLERY MAKER E S W JE

KS

Who has the best garden, best hanging basket, best communal garden, best kept street and where is the most improved street?

WH

Be inspired by your amazing neighbours Have you got a talent or skill? Come and showcase it at Flair Fair 2013 on Tuesday 29 October. Whether you’re a designer, cake decorator, photographer, dancer, singer, artist or have any other talent – come and exhibit your talent and inspire other tenants. Want to exhibit? We need to hear from you by 30 September. Want to be inspired, come to the show At Wulfrun Hall in North Street. WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 5


Money Smart

Countdown to

Universal Credit Universal Credit starts in October 2013 and everyone will be moved to it by 2017. Are you ready? • Universal Credit replaces income support, JSA, Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. • It will be paid monthly in arrears to your bank account. • Your claim must be managed online. • You must pay the housing element to us for your rent. Need help? Visit www. wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/ tenants/money-and-benefits or contact the Money Smart team on 01902 556789 or on facebook.

Working with the

CAB

Find the Money Smart team on Facebook

Our Money Smart team are on hand to give you advice but if you’d like to speak to someone else we’ve got Citizens Advice Bureau advisors ready to help.

Budgeting Accounts

Barry, Raj, Sharon and Dal can help with any money issues, budgeting and debt.

Coming 1st October 2013 – a new type of bank account.

Contact us to book an appointment.

Manage and pay your bills from your account. Contact 01902 572340 or visit www.wccul.co.uk

6 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

Lynsey Perrin from Bradley saw Dal from Bilston and said: “I had a problem with my rent account and I was really worried. I went to the Bilston Shop and they booked me an appointment to see Dal from the CAB. It turned out that I wasn’t getting all the housing benefit I was entitled to so she suggested I went to the Civic Centre with all my documents. They sorted it out for me straightaway. I’m so pleased that I saw the CAB. They were willing to help and find a solution for me.”

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


Money Smart

PAY

SAVE HUNDREDS OF £££’S AGAINST WEEKLY PAYMENT STORES

PAY

£7.16

PAY

£9.45

a week for 26 weeks!

a week for 20 weeks!

£8.18

a week for 26 weeks!

• Check out our regular offers. • Hundreds of other cookers, washers, fridge freezers. • FREE removal of your old appliance. Beko Wash 512W Spin A rated. Quick wash half load washing machine. Normal price £199.99

• Competitively priced goods. Contact Wolverhampton City Credit Union or visit:

www.wccul.co.uk

for a wider range of products or ask in branch. Prices to be used as a guide only. To apply for a loan you must become or already be a member of the WCCU. Information correct as of 17th May 2013 and are subject to change and loan approval. Terms and conditions apply.

New World ES50W Electric Cooker Normal price £179.99

Ice King FF 115AP-W Frost free fridge freezer. Normal price £175

S L A E D T GREA LIANCES ON APP

SUPER PRIZE FOR MARION Marion Browne from Stowlawn won £300 Asda vouchers for having a clear rent account. If you keep your rent account up to date you could be the next winner. We

HELP WITH YOUR

FUEL BILLS

Ashley knows his sharks Ashley from Wednesfield was the lucky winner of our ‘Sharks in a Jar’ competition.

Are you struggling to pay your gas or electricity bill?

Ashley came to see us at the City Show and won the competition for guessing how many sweets were in our jar.

A social energy tariff could help. If you are 60+, on benefits or a low income you may get cheaper energy through social tariffs. Visit the uSwitch social tariff webpage: www.uswitch.com and search social-energy-tariffs

have a quarterly prize draw with prizes worth up to £150 AND the Super Annual Draw, worth up to £600. You can choose vouchers or double your money in a credit union account.

His prize was a jar full of sweets and £50 in a Wolverhampton City Credit Union account. The competition was part of our initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of Loan Sharks and to let people know about the safe low cost loans the Credit Union can offer. WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 7


Do it online

Do It Online Check it – Report it – Pay it!

Have you signed up to do it online yet? These ladies did:

Need help with the internet? Just ask the Web Wizards The Wizards are at our One Stop Shops each month waiting to help you. Call in and see them at:

Amy Randall from The Scotlands

Jenny Blaze from Millfields

Stacy Plant from Wednesfield

And they each won a tablet PC in our monthly prize draw. Amy said: “I work shifts so it’s great for me, I can check my account at any time.” We’re picking a winner every month so there’s even more reason to pay your rent, track your repairs and update your personal details online.

Merry Hill 1st Wednesday of the month

All you need to do is visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/do-it-online and follow the instructions.

Market St 1st Monday of the month

So what are you waiting for?

Bilston 2nd Monday of the month Lowhill 3rd Monday of the month Wednesfield 4th Monday of the month Find the Web Wizards on Facebook

WIN WITH EMAIL

Did this newsletter come through your letter box? Why wait for the postman when we can send it to your inbox?

Just drop us an email to communications@ wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk, or send us a message through Facebook or Twitter, with your name and address and we’ll sign you up. As a bonus, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win £25 Amazon vouchers. 8 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


How did we do?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Here’s our summary report of how we’ve done over the last year. Did we meet our targets?

TENANT INVOLVEMENT AND EMPOWERMENT

593

of you joined in with our “Get Togethers”, Special Interest Groups and Review Panel and other groups.

More than six out of ten (65%) of you are satisfied that we listen to your views and act on them.

What do you think about how we did? Want to know more? Read the full report on our website or watch the video on wolveshomes.

Almost eight out of ten (77%) of you said we are good at keeping you informed about things that might affect you as a tenant.Target 79%

Mr & Mrs Agbonmare from Fordhouses: “You provide us with lots of information about different things and you listen to our views and act on them most of the time.” Jenny Harris from Wednesfield said: I would just like to say a great big thank you to all the tenant participation advisors at the Heath Town office who are so friendly and helpful. They work very hard for their community.

We say:

Thank you to everyone who got involved this year, through Get Togethers or giving us feedback. We take all your views seriously and use them to improve our services. See page 5 for some of the ways you can get involved. WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 9


How did we do?

CUSTOMER SERVICE

HOME

DECENT HOMES We carried out Decent Homes work to 1,681 homes. Our target was 1670

Nearly 86 out of 100 of you were satisfied with how we handled your phone call. Target 85%.

We completed eight out of ten homes (83.1%) within 25 days. Our target was 96% Nine out of ten (96.23%) of you said that you’re satisfied with the Decent Homes work. Our target was 96%. Angela Lowndes from Wednesfield said: “I had a new kitchen, rewiring and new central heating. It was a bit traumatic having it all done at once but it was worth it. I’m so pleased with my new kitchen, they’ve done a great job.”

We said: We’re happy that you like the Decent Homes work. Next year we’ll be working to complete more of the work within our 25 day target. We’ve now started the new contract so we hope you will be as satisfied next year.”

We answered six out of ten (63.9%) of your calls within 30 seconds. This was better than last year but short of our target of 75%.

REPAIRS Nearly 99 out of 100 repairs were done on time - just short of our 99% target.

Almost all of you (98.05%) said you were satisfied with the way we deal with repairs and maintenance. This is better than last year.

Mrs Bourne from Tettenhall Wood: “It would be helpful if when people say they will phone, they actually could. It is really annoying and time wasting.” Mary Barlow from Compton: “They are really helpful and there for me if and when I need them.”

We say: Since April, we’ve been much quicker at answering your calls. We’ve also now got a separate phone line for anti-social behaviour calls and people can check their details online.

Margaret Perry, Tettenhall: “I think we are all extremely lucky in Wolverhampton, the Repairs Service we have used is first class.” James Clarke, Wednesfield: “The biggest weakness is the inconsistent response when dealing with repairs.”

We said:

We almost met our targets. For next year, we’ve started text reminders for repairs and we’re changing how we deal with repairs so we hope to fix most problems the first time.

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www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


How did we do? TENANCY

LETTINGS AND REHOUSING More than eight out of ten (85.37%) of tenancies were accepted on the first offer. Our target was 80%.

1,701

We re-let homes, on average, in

council properties were let using ‘Homes in the City’.

17days

Our target was 18 days.

Venia Bwititi of Wednesfield said:

Lorna Harris from Wednesfield (via Twitter):

“I think all the services are great. Apart from that I am stuck in a 2 bedroom flat with 2 children a boy 9 years and a girl 5 years.”

“Today’s the day collecting the keys to my @WolvesHomes apartment in Wednesfield!! #mixedfeelings #excitedyetscared”

We say:

There is a huge demand for family accommodation and not enough housing to meet that demand. We try to re-let homes quickly so that we are not keeping much-needed homes empty for any longer than necessary.

TENANCY We carried out 85.96% of home visits during the eighth month of introductory tenancies. Our target was 92%.

PREVENTING AND TACKLING ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

1,537

cases of antisocial behaviour were reported to us. More than eight out of ten (85.14%) of you were satisfied with the way we dealt with your anti-social behaviour problem. Our target was 80%.

We carried out 85.78% of new tenancy checks within 28 days of the tenancy starting. Our target was 95%.

Mrs B from Old Heath “The anti-social behaviour team are very good, they have helped and keep an eye on us.”

We said: We missed our target to visit new tenants within 28 days. This visit is important to make sure new tenants get the support they need. We’ve increased the number of people doing these visits so we hope we can meet the target next year.

We said: This year we have introduced our new city-wide anti-social behaviour team with more staff and a direct phone line, so we hope to carry on improving the service.

WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 11


How did we do? water

YOUR ESTATE We carried out 120 estate evaluations every three months with 96.72% achieving a good rating. Our target was 95%.

We carried out 96.01% of three monthly safety checks on fire safety, minor repairs and cleanliness of low rise blocks of flats. Our target was 99%.

Y COMMUNIT

We carried out grass cutting every 10.7 days on average.

RENTS AND VALUE FOR MONEY

We collected £98.28 of every £100 of the rent due. Our target was £98.25.

We said: Thank you for paying your rent on time. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible to pay your rent, so you can pay by Direct Debit on a range of dates or pay online from the comfort of your home.

Karl Jones from Parkfields said “Could they change estate inspection times? Realistically how can they expect people who work to go on them and give feedback etc?” Katelin Hughes from Bilston said “You keep the gardens nice.”

We said: We want you to be happy with your estate, so please come to your estate inspection and let your estate manager know how it can be improved. During the summer months, the inspections take place at 5pm, so hopefully more people can come along. You can also report any problems to us and we’ll inspect it within three working days and try to put it right.

Councillor Peter Bilson is responsible for housing in the city, this is what he thinks: “Wolverhampton City Council is proud to endorse the fourth ‘Annual Report to Tenants’. In a year that has seen many changes to social housing the Council has renewed its commitment to Wolverhampton Homes for a further fifteen years by signing a new management agreement with them for the delivery of housing services to the Councils’ tenants. “Wolverhampton Homes has performed well against standards put in place by the Homes and Communities Agency, the regulatory body for social housing in England. The City Council continues to monitor and support Wolverhampton Homes to ensure services of the highest standard are provided for the Councils’ tenants.”

So what do you think?

Tell us by using the reply slip on page 20 or survey link www.surveymonkey.com/s/ WHAnnualReport2013 by 31 October. You could win £25. 12 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

Seven out of ten (75%) of you said that your rent gives you value for money.

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


A chat with...

A CHAT WITH...

In this issue, resident Brenda Barker MBE, from Stowlawn, chats to Harbinder Singh (known as H) from the anti-social behaviour team. Brenda: What are the most common anti-social behaviour problems? H: It can be anything from loud music, domestic noise, pets, drug dealing, untidy gardens, offensive behaviour, verbal abuse towards tenants or staff. Noise complaints are always the most common. Brenda: What actions can you take? H: It depends on the complaint and who is causing the problem. We always take the same steps to investigate, but if it gets to court we can only apply for an eviction if the issue is caused by a tenant. If it’s an owner occupier or a private tenant causing the problem, there are other measures we can take, but we wouldn’t be able to evict them. It’s important to remember that taking people to court is a last resort so we work with people and put a lot of support in place to try to modify behaviour.

Brenda: Does it take long to take someone to court? H: We can get an injunction very quickly but evicting someone can take a long time. We need to gather enough evidence and prove that we’ve worked with them to stop the anti-social behaviour. Brenda: How can we help? H: It’s vital that tenants help. We work with all communities to build trust so that people feel confident to report any issues to us. Anonymous cases are hard to tackle, a case is much stronger if tenants give us a statement.

WolvesHomes

We always support tenants who report asb to us. We have a dedicated victim and witness support officer who will stay in contact with them throughout the case. Brenda: Why is the new anti-social behaviour team better? H: We cover the whole city so there’s no confusion about who to report the issue to. We tackle all asb regardless of whether it’s a council tenant, private tenant or owner occupier, as well as non-housing asb, for example, in the city centre. If you need to report an anti-social behaviour, there’s just one number to call – 01902 551188.

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 13


Energy Wise

BE

Energy Wise

Do you have high fuel bills and want to know how to reduce them? Did you know that our Climate Change Team offers free Home Energy Health Checks that can help you to save energy and money in three easy steps? Step One: Understanding your home’s energy needs. We can help you to do this by providing an energy survey of your home - Just call Homes Direct on 01902 556789 to arrange a home visit. Step Two: A trained home energy expert will call at your home to complete a whole house energy survey. Step Three: We can advise and support you to get the information and measures you need to help reduce your energy consumption and save you money in the process.

Check existing levels of loft insulation

Check your doors, windows and letterbox for draughts

We can help with:.... • Loft insulation • Cavity wall insulation • Pipe Lagging • Draught proofing • Energy saving tips • Water saving kit • Energy company / Tariff switching • Debt advice • Accessing ‘Social Tariff ‘schemes • How to use heating systems and appliances • Reducing condensation and damp Over 350 of you have already benefitted from Home Energy visits and are enjoying warmer homes and lower bills. being energywise can also improve your living conditions and health, help you understand your heating system and reduce your carbon (CO2) emissions.

Provide energy saving recommendations and tips

Review and explain heating and hot water settings.

For further information • Visit www. wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/ energy-management • Contact the Climate Change Team on 01902 556789 or on Facebook

Irene Dodd from Wednesfield had a home energy visit and said: “The visit did make me think. Now I don’t just switch the TV off, I switch the power off as well and I don’t leave things plugged in. It must have done some good because after sending my last meter reading to Scottish Power they have reduced my direct debit by £7 per month.”

Analyse and explain your energy bills

Explain the benefits of water saving devices

To get the most from your visit we recommend participating in the inspection of your loft, boiler and heating system. Doing this will help you understand how energy is used in your home. Please make sure there is adequate access to your loft, energy meters and boiler before your visit. The visit takes no more than 30-45 minutes. 14 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


Knock Knock

KNOCK Don’t fall victim to bogus KNOCK callers this autumn, if in WHO’S doubt – leave them out THERE? Make sure you keep yourself, your home and your money safe by being on guard against bogus callers at your front door. Earlier this summer, quick-thinking neighbourhood wardens, from the City Council’s Neighbourhood Services Team, saved one resident from Bushbury from being fleeced of £800 by bogus gardeners. Eagleeyed Dave Commins and Laura Wallace spotted and reported bogus gardeners working in the area. The rogue gardeners had already conned one householder out of £50 for some shoddy work and were planning to return the following day to complete a project priced at an extortionate £800. Dave and Laura discovered their plan, took a note of the vehicle registration and called the police and trading standards. Please be on your guard against cold callers who could be rogue traders in disguise. Here are a few useful tips to stay safe and stay one step ahead of the bogus callers: • Don’t agree to any work by cold-calling traders unless they provide a written quote • Never agree to paying in full up front – any payment you make in advance should be no more than 10% of the full amount • Agree all the details of the work in writing – including a completion date before any work starts If in doubt – leave them out!

Home or away - keep all doors

LOCKED

STOP Is anyone EXPECTED? Back door LOCKED?

DON’T FORGET We have a programme to make sure your homes have Loft and Cavity Wall insulation. So don’t let them in. WolvesHomes

CHAIN Put CHAIN ON before opening the door

CHECK Ask for caller’s I.D. Check it by PHONE

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 15


Are you covered?

BUY 1 MONT 1 GET T HS 12TH HE FREE

HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE WHO’S ON THE

fiddle? Do you know someone who:

• Doesn’t live at their Council flat or house • Is subletting their Council home • Lied to get a tenancy Our housing fraud team want to know. They have recovered over 120 homes so far – homes that have now been offered to people who need them. Visit: wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/fraud Text: 60066 (start your text WHomes Fraud followed by a space) Phone: 01902 556789 All reports will be investigated and acted on.

Amnesty

If you are guilty of housing fraud - give your keys in before 31 October and we won’t take any legal action. 16 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

ARE YOU

covered? Great value contents insurance from £1.23 a week We’ve teamed up with Allianz Insurance Plc to give you a great deal on home contents insurance. It’s really important to insure your belongings. We’ve made it easy for you to make sure you can have peace of mind – at an affordable cost. You need to take out your own insurance for your belongings and decorations in case of theft, fire, vandalism, burst pipes and other household risks. The good news is, taking out insurance with Allianz is really easy to do – and it won’t break the bank either just call freephone 0800 408 0454. or visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/home-insurance www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


WFTA WFTA MEET THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

In May the Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants’ Associations held an event to introduce tenants and residents to the new antisocial behaviour (ASB) team. The new team brings ASB staff from Wolverhampton Homes and the City Council together as one unit. Nigel Homer Head of Housing Management at Wolverhampton Homes and

Dealing with

The Council’s Welfare Reform helpline is 01902 572006.

The session was well attended with lots of discussions from participants. If you’re interested in coming to similar events by WFTA, please contact Lal Salter on 01902 55 6816 for future dates.

Asbestos

Asbestos Dealing with

In August the Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Associations was pleased to welcome Cllr Roger Lawrence, the Leader of the City Council to their meeting. Cllr Lawrence spoke about the Council’s plans to reinvigorate the City by attracting business and bringing new jobs to the area. He expressed his concerns about how the welfare reforms will impact on residents and spoke about the work council officers are doing to give advice and support where needed.

Jo Mason from the ASB Team led the session and updated attendees about proposed legislation.

WHAM5200 12/11

WHAM5200

Asbestos in your home With this newsletter we’ve included a “Dealing with Asbestos” booklet. This tells you where you might find asbestos in your home and what to do if you have it. Don’t worry - asbestos isn’t dangerous if it’s in good condition and left alone. We hold a register of homes where asbestos has been found or is believed to exist. If you would like a copy of the report please contact the Stock Investment team on 01902 556789 or visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/asbestos-report. Please remember that asbestos is not dangerous if it’s in good condition and left alone, but if you are worried about it, please call 01902 556789.

WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 17


Q&A

Q&A

Wolverhampton with Homes ch.

ase get in tou le p d re e sw n a e k li ’d n you If you have a questio nhomes.org.uk, to p m a rh e lv o w s@ n o Email communicati ebook page c a F r u o n o it st o p r call 01902 556789 o on page 20. ip sl ly p re e th in d n or se Mrs Westwood from Bradley Q. I’m worried about Universal Credit, I cannot save £400 plus by the time it comes round this area.

Wolverhampton Homes

Rose Nalon from Whitmore Reans Q. As I am not on the internet and I know benefit changes are coming are there other ways I can check besides online?

Wolverhampton Homes A. There are a lot of different ways that you can use the internet, even if you don’t have access at home. Lots of places, like librarys, offer free internet access and we are installing new computer kiosks in our shops. Don’t worry, we will always offer a range of ways for you to contact us so you won’t need to be online for our services. To apply for Universal Credit you will need to apply online so if you would like to find out how to get online, our Web Wizards will be happy to help. Just call in and chat to them at our One Stop shops (see page 8 for details.) 18 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

A. It is a worry for a lot of people especially the fact that it will be paid in arrears and direct to tenants so everyone will need to pay their rent. The best advice we can give is to plan for it now. Ask for advice from our Money Smart Team or the CAB, and think about starting a savings account with the Credit Union so that you put a little bit away each month if you can (see page 6). Above all, don’t ignore it, always ask for help.

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk


Performance

HOW ARE WE DOING? You’ve seen how we did last year, now

Repairs

check how we’re doing at the moment. (April – June 2013)

Anti-social Behaviour

Rents

We take all cases of antisocial behaviour (asb) seriously. We now deal with asb for the whole city and this has affected our performance, but we hope that this will improve.

We collected just over £9.60 out of £10 (96.75%) of rent above our 96.63% target.

More than seven out of ten (75.76%) people were very or fairly satisfied with the way their asb complaint was dealt with – this is below our 80% target. Almost seven out of ten (69.7%) people were very or fairly satisfied with the outcome of their asb complaint - this is below our 80% target.

The percentage of tenants owing over seven weeks rent was 1.76% (lower is better) against a 2% target.

More than 98 out of every 100 response repairs were completed within their timescales - slightly below our target of 99% and was due to a small number of jobs being completed just outside of their timescale. Nine out of ten (93.96%) appointments were kept - just short of our 94% target but a 4% increase since last time. The number of homes with a valid gas certificate was 99.95% - above our 99.6% target.

There are almost two out of ten (17.75%) of you paying by our preferred method of payment – Direct Debit – above our target of 17.50% Direct Debit is less expensive for us and makes paying your rent easier by not having to wait in queues.

Empty properties and lettings

Customer Care

The average time to re-let empty properties was 22 days - our target is no more than 25 days.

The average time for calls to be answered by Homes Direct was 25 seconds – our target is no more than 60 seconds.

Rent lost through empty properties was 1.93% - this is above our 1.7% target. This is mainly due to the redevelopment of some high rise blocks.

The number of calls abandoned has dropped a lot in the last 3 months to just four out of 100 (4.3%) - within our target of 5%. Nine out of ten (94.35%) complaints were dealt with inside our timescales - just below our 95% target.

Over eight out of ten (83%) of tenancies offered were accepted first time - above our 80% target. WolvesHomes

WolvesHomes September 2013 Tenants Update 19


Kids’ Competition

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Can you spot the Web Wizard somewhere in the newsletter (and not on the Web Wizards page). As usual there are two prizes up for grabs. Win £20 in a Credit Union Account. Last issue’s winners were Gurveen Kaur from All Saints and Brooke Leo from Wednesfield. Name: Age: Your Address:

Quiz time Complete our quiz to win up £100* in a Credit Union Account. Find the answers in this issue. (*£50 will be paid into a Wolverhampton City Credit Union account, another £50 will be paid in 6 months later.) 1. When are our Web Wizards in Bilston? 2. Who won the outstanding residents award? 3. What date is the Flair Fair event? 4. How much does our basic insurance policy cost? 5. How many people came to our Get Togethers and other groups last year? Closing date 31 October 2013. Last issue’s winner Juliana Mbisa from Woodcross

Your Feedback

We want to know what you think of our services, especially the ones we talked about in the annual report, so we can improve for next year. Anyone who gives us feedback by 31 October will be entered into a prize draw to win £25 vouchers.

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Return to: Communications, Wolverhampton Homes, Chillington Fields Industrial Estate, Off Hickman Avenue, Wolverhampton, WV1 2BY. 20 Tenants Update September 2013 T: 01902 556789

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk

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Tenants Update September 2013