Spring 2016


We’re turning


Spring into good

health and


Help with work

and skills


One newsletter: Spring 2016


by Mick Sweeney

Hello and welcome to your Spring newsletter.

This year One Housing celebrates 50 years of

providing great homes and helping people

to live better. To celebrate, we’re sharing

stories from residents, customers and staff,

Easter office


We hope you have a fun-filled bank holiday

weekend. Please note that our offices will

be closed on:

Good Friday - Friday 25 March

Easter Monday – Monday 28 March

Get social –

follow us online

Be the first to hear about breaking

news, events or just tell us how we’re

doing! We’re on social media Monday

to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm, so send

us your feedback, ask a question and

we’ll take it from there.

and I’ve kicked-started this with a blog of

my own on our website – do check it out

and if you’d like to contribute your story

then visit page 7 to find out how. There will

also be a number of events throughout the

year to mark this milestone and I hope you

will take the chance to join in and celebrate

with us.

In this issue, you can also read about how

we’re helping residents and customers to

live better through our employment and

training service and there are some top

All offices will re-open as normal on

Tuesday 29 March.

If you need to report an emergency repair

over Easter, please contact our Customer

Contact Centre on 0300 123 9966 or

020 8821 5300 and you will be connected

to our out-of-hours service. Berkshire

residents should call Housing Solutions on

0800 587 9941.

‘Like’ us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter


Connect on LinkedIn - get

professional updates and the

latest job vacancies

tips on how you can kick-start Spring with

good health and improve your well-being.

We’re also pleased to officially launch

our new website; we’ve updated lots of

information and made it easier for you to

navigate your way around and do things

quickly. If you’ve not seen it, I’d encourage

you to go online and check it out at

I hope you enjoy this issue of the

newsletter and do feel free to send your

ideas on what you’d like to see in future

issues to



Could you be the face of One Housing?

One Housing in the news

Readers’ corner

We’re turning 50! Share your stories

Spring into good health and well-being

Tenancy fraud is a crime

Help with work and skills











Models wanted! Could you be the

face of One Housing?

Have you got what it takes to be a One Housing model? If so, we want

to hear from you. We need new photographs to help show others what

it’s like to live in a One Housing home. We’re looking for residents and

customers who are willing to let us into their homes and pose for the


As well as enjoying the experience of being a model for the day, we will

give each household £30 in high street vouchers as a thank

you for your time. Everyone is welcome - young and


The photo shoot will take place in April. If you

want to take part, we will arrange a suitable

date and time with you.

Keen to show us your modelling skills?

Contact the Communications Team on

020 8821 5404 or


One newsletter: Spring 2016

One Housing in the news

Pay to Stay and Right to Buy

‘Pay to Stay’ – for ‘high income’ social tenant

We know that many of our residents

and customers are concerned about the

Government’s proposals to make social-rent

tenants pay higher rents if the household

earns over £40,000 a year (£30,000 outside

London). This idea has been put forward as part

of the new Housing and Planning Bill which is

currently going through parliament.

This ‘Pay to Stay’ policy is likely to be optional

for housing associations and One Housing,

like every other housing association, will have

to decide whether or not to implement it. The

proposals are still being debated in the House

of Lords and could change before the Bill

returns to the House of Commons and becomes

law. We know this creates uncertainty and

worry for our residents and customers, but until

the plans become final it is difficult for us to

make a clear decision on whether or not we will

adopt them.

Please bear in mind that if the proposals

do become law they won’t come into effect

until at least April 2017. As soon as the Bill is

approved and we know the full details of the

Government’s scheme, we will then decide how

to approach it and let all our residents know.

Right to Buy

Another measure in the Housing and Planning

Bill and a key part of the Conservative’s

manifesto in the General Election was offering

housing association tenants the right to buy

their home. We know that most people would

like to own their home so we support the

extension of right to buy as another way of

helping our residents to get their foot on the

housing ladder.

The scheme is not yet available however and

won’t be until the Bill becomes law – although

a few housing associations are now running

pilot schemes. There are conditions attached to

the scheme but right to buy will give housing

association tenants who qualify a discount of up

to £103,900 (in London) and £77,900 (outside

of London) on the market value of their home.

If you want to buy your home you will still

need to pay a deposit, stamp duty and solicitor

fees as well as annual service charges on your

home if you become a leaseholder. If you are

interested in right to buy and want to know

more when the scheme comes into effect,

please email us at

One Housing wins

‘most innovative

housing provider’ award

In February we won an award for being

the ‘Most innovative housing provider’

in recognition of our senior living

service - Season.

The awards ceremony, held in Covent

Garden, celebrated everything that is

innovative in the UK housing sector and

our win is a testament to the innovative

work we do to deliver more homes and

better services for our residents and


Mick Sweeney, Chief Executive said: “We

pride ourselves on being innovative, so

this is a really significant award and a

very important category for us to win.

I’m delighted that our senior living

service has been recognised in this way.”

Keep us updated

If your contact number or email address

has changed, please let us know in case

we need to get in touch. You can let your

housing officer or homeownership advisor

know or get in touch with our Customer

Contact Centre on 0300 123 9966 or

020 8821 5300.


Minister visits


In February, Department for

Communities and Local

Government (DCLG) Minister

Marcus Jones visited Arlington,

our homeless hostel in Camden.

He met with aspiring

construction workers taking part

in a new building skills course

aimed at helping people across

Camden get a head start in the

construction industry.

The Minister enjoyed a tour of

Arlington and its onsite facilities;

he also spoke with participants

and residents taking part in the


“Arlington has a long history

of providing essential support

to London’s homeless,” said

the Minister. “The work of their

employment and training centre,

helping people off the streets

and back on their feet, is truly


Find out more about Arlington at

Our branding

wins an award

We recently won an award for a great housing

association brand. Up against housing

associations from all over the UK, we beat

other organisations, some of which are over

100 years old, with long established brands.

Frank, Knight and Abel who run the awards,

said: “One Housing have nailed a really clear,

simple message of what they do. The website

has been refreshed and the attention to detail

really shows.”

This is a great acomplishment

for us given that our new-look

branding is only a couple of years

old and was produced on a shoestring


Kevin Beirne, Group Director of Housing Care and Support, with DCLG Minister

Marcus Jones.

State of the art CCTV

to boost security on

the Isle of Dogs

Our Anti-Social Behaviour Team on the Isle

of Dogs has another tool to use in the fight

against crime and anti-social behaviour thanks

to a brand new ‘mobile’ CCTV system. It’s been

brought in following requests from residents

and a number of incidents over recent months.

The new cameras can be controlled and

monitored by the team on the move, meaning

incidents can be dealt with or evidence

collected immediately.

The cameras will provide extra security for

local people and can be moved quickly to

other neighbourhoods suffering from increased

anti-social behaviour.

4 5

One newsletter: Spring 2016

Readers’ corner

Have something to share?

We want to know. Write in

or email us about how we’ve

helped, your home or

neighbourhood or even

things you just want to get

off your chest.

“I’m really grateful for your help

with my flat over the last five

years. You are an exceptional

member of staff and I have

always felt that you are there for

me and respond to my queries


Ms Sigacheva


“I have just spoken to Ron from

the repairs helpdesk and found

him to be so wonderful and

polite. I have never come across

anyone else so pleasant and now

that I’m moving out, I thought it

was a nice note to end on.”

Ms Shoffren


“I would like to thank Lee and

Rapinder who have been very

approachable and understanding.

I am extremely pleased with the

way this anti-social behaviour

case has been handled.”

Mr Keen


“I can tell you have thought

through many aspects

of the refurbishment to

accommodate my situation. Your

professionalism is quite rare

and I would like to express my

appreciation to you.”

Ms Manning


Get in touch:

Send your comments, good and bad, to:

Communications Team, One Housing

100 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8EH

Post on Facebook:


turning 50!

Share your stories

This year marks 50 years since One Housing

was founded as Community Housing. That’s

50 years of providing great homes and helping

people to live better across London and the

South East.

To celebrate our half century we’ll be hosting

events and sharing stories. We kick-start our

‘50 weeks for 50 years’ campaign with our first

resident story.

82-year-old Pat Bearman has lived on the Isle of

Dogs since 1965.

“When I got married in 1954, I lived with the

in-laws for a few months but because of the

bomb damage they moved us and that gave us

an opportunity to get a new place of our own.

After living in Poplar and Dagenham we ended

up moving to the Isle of Dogs where we settled,

worked and brought up a family.

“My neighbours are great and I’m close with

some of the older ones. I often see them at

my local community centre and at the Active

at 70 trips.

“Active at 70 has helped me get out and about

and it gives me the chance to meet old friends

from back in the day. I still see some of them

from when I used to run bingo nights at the

Barkantine Hall. Those nights were packed and

great fun.

“They put on some great activities for us -

my favourite was going to the theatre to see

Mamma Mia - it was terrific!”

“I often tell my sister, who lives in Kent, about

the things we get to do here and she says that

her landlord doesn’t do anything of the sort.

So I like to tell her what I’ve been up to.”

If you have a story or memory you’d like

to share, we’d love to speak to you. Email or join the

conversation on Facebook or Twitter, using the

hashtag #OH50.

6 7

One newsletter: Spring 2016

Spring into good health

and wellbeing

Spring clean your diet

As we say goodbye to Winter comfort food and

welcome Spring why not take a fresh outlook

on food too? You don’t have to spend more to

eat healthily - all it takes is a little planning.

Change your shopping habits

• Plan a weekly menu. Match your grocery

shopping to the meals on the menu. This will

help to reduce wasted food.

• Eat before you shop; it will help you stick to

your shopping list and make you less tempted

to impulse-buy or stock up on expensive


Change what you buy

• Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables

tend to be cheaper.

• Switch to store own-brands which are often

cheaper and just as good.

• Keep an eye out for discounts and shop

around for the best deals. Local markets often

provide the best fruit and vegetable bargains.

• Try frozen fruit or vegetables. As well as

being convenient, they are great options

for eating healthily.

• Buy store cupboard items in bulk for

better discounts.

Spring clean your home

Keeping your home in good condition is

important. With Spring just around the corner

many of us will be working to deep clean,

declutter, and organise our flats and houses.

Spring-cleaning doesn’t have to be costly -

we’ve put together some cleaning tips that’ll

get your home in tip-top shape in no time.

So open the windows, let some fresh air in

and restore your home to a clean, happy and

efficient space to live in.

• Remove hard water stains from taps and sinks

with lemon juice.

• Clean baths, toilets, tiles, sinks and stove-tops

with a mixture of baking soda and water.

Clean with a dampened brush or cloth.

• Get rid of mould on shower tiles and around

windows by mixing bleach and water. Apply

with an old toothbrush.

• Use salt to remove coffee or tea stains from

mugs or to shine up silverware.

• An old sock makes a great cleaning

cloth – dampen with water and wear it like a

glove to gently dust blinds and furniture.

• Clean windows with water and white vinegar

and wipe dry with a crumpled newspaper for

a great shine.

• Decluttering makes cleaning easier – donate

unwanted items in good condition to a charity

shop or recycle them (check with your local


Change4Life launches

Sugar Smart

Change4life is a government initiative that

aims to prevent people from becoming

overweight by encouraging healthy eating

and exercise. They’ve launched a new

campaign that highlights the high levels of

sugar found in everyday foods and drinks to

encourage parents to get ‘sugar smart’ and

take control of their families’ calories.

On average, children in England consume

three times more sugar than the maximum

recommended daily amount.

Children might seem fine on the

outside but too much sugar can lead

to the build-up of harmful hidden fat

stores inside your body which can

contribute to serious diseases in the

future. Get free support, tips, ideas and

recipes at

8 9

Tenancy fraud is a crime

Help with work and skills

Illegal subletting is using up desperately

needed homes and depriving families of good

quality affordable housing. If we find a property

that is being sublet, our Anti-social Behaviour

Team will do everything in their power to

recover the property and give it to families in

housing need.

Since 2013, we’ve recovered 27

illegally sublet properties, which

have now been re-let to those in

greater need.

So if you know someone in a One Housing

home who is renting it out without permission,

lied to get the property or is not living in the

home – they may be committing tenancy fraud.

Please let us know by:

• Calling 0300 123 9966

• Texting 07725 823474

• Online

• Emailing

Any information you give us will be treated in

the strictest confidence.

Case study

In December, we were alerted to a property

on East India Dock Road, Tower Hamlets.

It had been advertised for rent on Gumtree

while the registered tenant lived in a house

they had owned outright in Stratford since


Staff visited the property and spoke with the

sub-tenants who were paying £1,300 a month

in rent to a lettings agent.

Our tenancy fraud team then approached

the lettings agents who were unaware of the

full situation. After investigating, the team

found out that an ex-employee of the lettings

agent had made a private arrangement with

the sub-tenants and the registered tenant in

return for a cut of the proceeds.

The registered tenant denied this and

claimed lodgers were living at the address

while they were travelling and thought this

was allowed.

We served a Notice to Quit and the tenant

voluntarily handed-back the property to us,

without going to court. We’re now working to

recover any unlawful profits the tenant and

their helpers made out of this illegal deal.

Data sharing to stamp down on tenancy fraud

In 2017, our tenancy fraud service will join

the National Fraud Initiative, which means

that we will be allowed to share information

about our residents in line with the Data

Protection Act 1998 with the Cabinet Office.

This process will check our residents’

information against information held by

local authorities, government and the NHS.

This will help us to detect and prevent fraud

in our properties.

Data sharing will help us to identify people

who have given different or conflicting

information about themselves to different

organisations such as the local authority and

other housing providers.

For example, we will be able to spot

contradictions such as a resident claiming

single person discount for council tax while

applying for rehousing because they say

their home is overcrowded.

Visit to

find out more.

We’re not just about housing. We want our residents to have a

good quality of life in their homes and offer help in lots of ways

including supporting them to get a job through work-based training,

volunteering, free courses and local community projects.

A helping hand

40-year-old Manualla Morrice, a customer

of our Islington service, was referred to our

Employment & Partnerships service after she

decided it was time to get her first job.

The team helped Manualla to get onto a few

training courses as she had always wanted to

work in the hospitality sector, but lacked skills

and confidence.

She passed courses in food safety & hygiene

level 1, life skills and also qualified with the

British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS).

With one-to-one support from the team, she

started volunteering with Caterplus, Arlington’s

onsite caterer. Volunteering gave Manualla both

practical and theoretical skills to improve her

chances of finding work.

After volunteering,

Manualla is now

working full-time as a

kitchen assistant for

Caterplus. Manualla

says: “I did a few

courses at Arlington

and the team

encouraged me to

further develop myself

and it took off from

there. I started volunteering with Caterplus,

which has been great and has helped me secure

work – without volunteering, I don’t think I

would have found a job.

“I feel great now I’m working full-time: I love

my job. My children are really proud of me and

it’s my turn to do something for myself. The

team’s help was fantastic and has really made a


Helping Serene

back into work

31-year-old Serene was out of work for

some time after having a child. Finding

suitable work to fit around childcare was

proving difficult as her previous jobs

had always been in youth work which

included evening work.

She got in touch with our Employment

& Training Team who advised her on

her CV, interview techniques and job

applications. They also helped her to

look for jobs in other areas using her

experience in youth work.

With the team’s help, Serene is now a

housing administrator at our office on the

Isle of Dogs. Her job includes welcoming

visitors, answering calls and day-to-day

office duties.

Serene says: “The service has been great

– very accessible and the staff are very

helpful. I’d encourage anyone out of work

looking for help to sign up as there is

something for everyone.”

If you need help looking for work

or training, call our Employment &

Partnerships Team on 0300 123 9966 or


10 11

How to contact us


General enquiries and complaints

0300 123 9966 / 020 8821 5300

Complaints by email

Repairs 0300 123 9966

Berkshire residents

0800 587 9941

Local housing offices


This newsletter is also available in other languages, large print, Braille

and audio format upon request. Please contact 0300 123 9966 / 020

8821 5300 or visit your local housing office.

0300 123 9966 / 020 8821 5300


, , , -

য 0300 123 9966 ( ) / 020

8821 5300 ( )

য [Bengali]

0300 123 9966 / 020 8821 5300

[Traditional Chinese]

Na życzenie można również otrzymać ten biuletyn w innych wersjach

językowych, w powiększonym druku, w języku Braille'a lub nagrany

w wersji audio. Prosimy skontaktować się z nami telefonicznie pod

numerem 0300 123 9966 / 020 8821 5300 lub odwiedzić swój lokalny

urząd mieszkaniowy (housing office). [Polish]

One Housing

Head office

100 Chalk Farm Road

London NW1 8EH

Maidenhead office

Ground Floor

25–27 Broadway

Maidenhead SL6 1LY

Suttons Wharf South

44 Palmers Road

London E2 0TA

Millwall office

12 The Quarterdeck

London E14 8SJ

Castalia Square office

17 Castalia Square

London E14 3PQ

Waxaa warsidahan weliba lagu heli karaa luqado kale, far waaweyn,

farta Braille ee dadka indhaha la' iyo nuskhad dhegeysi ah marka la

codsado. Fadlan la xiriir lambarka 0300 123 9966 / 020 8821 5300

ama booqo xafiiska guryeynta ee xaafaddaada. [Somali]

Bn tin này cng có th có bng các ngôn ng khác, đưc in c ch

ln, ch ni Braille và đnh dng âm thanh nu có yêu cu. Xin vui

lòng liên h 0300 123 9966 / 020 8821 5300 hoc ghé thăm văn

phòng nhà ti đa phương ca quý v. [Vietnamese]

Do more online


Be part of the One Housing

community and get the latest

news as it happens.

Email your questions or suggestions to

• Check out our fresh new


• Connect with us and browse on

your mobile, tablet or desktop


• More interactive and


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‘My Account’.

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relevant to you in the

Residents section.

• Quick links to send feedback,

report a repair or pay your rent.

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