Improvement-News-2016

gloscityhomes

Improvement-News-2016

Michael Hill welcomes tenants to their newly built

homes in Bazeley Road, with our Junior Wardens

Improvement and

Development

News

2016

Improvements from the last 12 months

Planned improvements for 2016/2017

www.gch.co.uk


Welcome to Gloucester City Homes 2016

Improvement and Development News

This year we will be investing over £10

million into your homes and communities

as we continue to maintain all homes to the

Government’s Decent Homes standard, as well

as introducing other exciting improvements.

The list of streets where we will be delivering

a range of planned improvements is shown at

the back of this magazine.

We have been busy over the past year and

in early 2016 we were delighted to launch a

number of new homes for rent in Bazeley Road

and shared ownership in Painswick Road.

You can see what we have been up to in

this magazine.

Over the past 12 months we have also been

busy undertaking a major survey of your

homes and we now have a good idea of the

level of investment required to your home over

the next 30 years.

You will have received a letter explaining that,

in April 2017, we will be bringing our repairs

and maintenance service back in-house,

following Morgan Sindall (formerly Lovell)

providing this service for the last 7 years.

The next 12 months will be spent preparing

the transfer of the current Morgan Sindall

workforce into the GCH team. We know that

repairs is the number one priority for our

tenants, therefore we are committed

to ensuring a smooth transition and a

continued quality and value for money service.

The decision is no reflection on our partnership

with Morgan Sindall, but has been made to

develop an already strong and successful

service. We estimate savings of around £300k

per year as a result of this decision and the

intention is to develop the repairs and gas

safe services into other areas. This decision

has been taken by the Board following a full

evaluation of options.

Due to the age and quality of materials in

some of our homes there will continue to be

some issues and it will take time, as a new

housing provider, to improve this through

regeneration. However, we look forward to

maintaining your homes and communities to

the high standards you now expect from us.

2016 has got off to a great start with 33 new

homes built over the last 12 months and more

in the pipeline.

As always, we welcome feedback from you on

all of our services.

Kind Regards

Michael Hill,

Director of Property Services

1


New Homes

Development of New Homes

Since we became a housing association in March last

year, we have been busy building new homes in the

City. We have already launched six rental properties

at Bazeley Road in Matson and four shared ownership

bungalows on Painswick Road, which residents moved

into during early May.

We are currently building new homes…

For rent:

• 8 two bedroom bungalows and 1 four bedroom house

at Hawthorne Avenue, Coney Hill

• 2 one bedroom flats, 1 two bedroom house and 2 three

bedroom houses at St Peters Road, Matson

For Shared Ownership:

• 2 two bedroom bungalows, 5 two bedroom houses and

2 three bedroom houses at Kemble Road, Tuffley

Mary Smith (ex-councillor for Matson)

and Tim Dare (Chair of the GCH Board)

open the properties

The new 2-bed houses

at Bazeley Road

The new 2-bed bungalows

at Bazeley Road

2


What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a type of affordable

housing where you can buy a share of a home

(between 25% and 75% of the home’s value)

and you pay rent on the remaining share.

You take out a mortgage to pay

for your share of the

home’s purchase price.

Shared Ownership provides

an affordable route into home

ownership for those who

could otherwise not be able

to afford to buy

a property outright.

We will have many more

Shared Ownership properties

available, if you are interested

in these please register your

interest by emailing

contact@gch.co.uk or

calling us on 01242 252877.

New Homes at Painswick Road

Two-bed bungalows at Painswick Road

63


We Want To Hear From You!

The tenants who spoke to us at our Annual

Conference told us that they would like to see

GCH focus on…

1. CCTV and security on our estates

2. The general appearance of our estates,

including hedge and grass cutting

3. Car parking

Help us to identify what is important to

you in your area...

Complete the questionnaire online at

www.gch.co.uk/priorities or cut out and return this page to:

Gloucester City Homes, Railway House,

Bruton Way, Gloucester, GL1 1DG.

Your Name

Your Address

Please tick the relevant boxes:

Lighting

Car Parking

Landscaping

Other suggestions:

Fencing

Paths

Security

Above: Some of the

tenants who came to talk to us

at our Annual Conference

Complete the questionnaire to be entered into a prize draw

to win £50 in Handylink vouchers.

£10

£10

£10

£10

£10

GIFT VOUCHER

GIFT VOUCHER

GIFT VOUCHER

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

GIFT VOUCHER

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

GIFT VOUCHER

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

4


Improvements completed in 2015/2016

Over the past year we have spent £5.8 million on internal and external home improvements.

During 2015/2016, we have worked with our partners to complete:

48

32

35

New Kitchens

New Bathrooms

Electrical Rewires

£78.6

Since 2008...

158

545

585

308

166

Central Heating Upgrades

Properties with New Windows

Properties with New Doors

Medical Adaptations

Properties and Blocks Repainted

GCH has completed a £78.6 million improvement programme to your homes including:

4,973

External

Works

3,644

Electrical

Rewires

2,687

Central

Heating

2,762

New

Bathrooms

2,003

Medical

Adaptations

27 Properties Externally Insulated

85 Properties Reroofed

56 Major External Improvements

3,403

New

Kitchens 4,157

Windows

& Doors

Mrs Harker of Podsmead

MD have done a wonderful job

installing a new bathroom and

shower. An excellent standard

of work, and very efficient and

courteous work force.

Mr Miller of Westgate

An exceptional job fitting my new

door, I am very happy with how

quickly it was done.

Mr Brown of White City

My new doors are fantastic and I am

very pleased.

Mr Evans of Tuffley

I would like to thank the workmen who

came to my house, it is cleaner now

than before the work. They worked so

hard and did an amazing job.

Mr and Mrs Osborne of White City

The team did an excellent job.

They were very nice and polite people

and worked very hard for us to get

the job finished”

5


Major Improvements to

Kingsholm Roofing

This year GCH have invested over £450,000 to

complete a major roof replacement to a block of flats

in Kingsholm. In order to complete the work without

moving residents out of their homes, we constructed

a temporary roof covering, which protected the block

while the replacement was completed.

The new roof now has a 30 year warranty, which will

reduce future costs and we also took the opportunity

to add modern insulation to the roof, which will help

to reduce heating costs for residents. In feedback

we received on the Mears roofing works:

33% of customers rated the roofing works completed

by Mears as ‘Excellent’

67% of customers rated the roofing works completed

by Mears as ‘Good’

No customers rated the works poor.

Residents from Columbia Close said:

I’m very happy with the work,

there is no longer damp in the flat.

A hard working team and the job

was done well.

Walkways in Kingsholm

We have completed major refurbishment

work to the upper walkways of blocks in

Kingsholm. Over time, the flooring of the

walkways had worn and residents were

reporting an increasing number of repair

issues, such as leaks.

In order to replace the walkways a large

section of wall was removed on the first

floor, which was replaced with railings.

Whilst completing the work we also

took the opportunity to externally paint

the blocks.

This project has reduced a number of

repair issues for residents in 56 flats and

has also improved the look of the blocks.

Tenants from Union Street said:

I am very happy with the

standard of works

Very happy, the work has

cured all of the leaks there

were before

Two of our major external

improvements in Kingsholm

were a new roof (right) and

a new balconies (below).

Before

Before

Simon Taylor,

Repairs and

Investment Manager

After

After

6


Energy Efficiency

Improvements 2015/16

Gloucester City Homes is committed to improving the energy efficiency of properties,

helping residents avoid falling into fuel poverty and delivering affordable warmth.

This year we have undertaken a number of energy efficiency projects, these include:

• Upgrading the loft and cavity wall insulation to 170 of our properties

• Externally insulating 27 non-traditionally built houses in the Severn Estate.

This ensures that our properties lose less heat through the walls and ceilings

and are therefore more efficient and more affordable for our residents to heat

• Upgrading of 158 heating systems, which has resulted in our residents

having an efficient heating and hot water

In addition to these works, we have also

undertaken an innovative project to install

a renewable energy Biomass Heating System

at St Paul’s Court.

The flats within St Paul’s Court were originally

heated by electric night storage units, many

of which were ineffective and costly to run,

resulting in residents experiencing high fuel

costs and poor heating and hot water.

GCH have worked with MD Building

Services to install the Biomass Heating

System, which provides immediate access to

heat and hot water, as well as reduced running

cost for residents. It also benefits

the environment, due to be being carbon

neutral.

The new system uses two large biomass

boilers, housed in wooden cabins in the

grounds, to provide heat and hot water

to 39 flats.

A biomass boiler works in a similar way to a

standard gas boiler. It takes a source of fuel

(wood pellets) and converts them into

heat through combustion.

Wood pellets are automatically fed from

storage units into the boilers and when the

pellets burn, they produce heat. This heat is

used to create hot water, which is then sent to

each flat via pipes.

In a climate where fuel poverty is increasing,

GCH hope that projects like this one can offer

residents significant savings on their fuel bills

as well as better heating for a more

comfortable home.

7


Delivery and installation

of the system

The biomass boiler

St Pauls Court

Mrs Robotham

enjoying her new

efficient heating

Mrs Robotham stated “The new heating has made a big

difference to my flat, it’s wonderful that my home is

warm at all points of the day. The workmen were very

polite, clean and would always keep me updated with

works to my flat.”

Miss Telling stated “The new heating system is great!

I am a 100% happy with it. I’m able to have heating

when I want it; it’s nice to know that my flat will be

nice and warm when I get home. Having the new

heating system shows how ineffective the old

heating was. Thanks GCH.”

8


Environmental and Community

Improvements: You said, we did.

Following consultation and input from the Tenancy Services Team,

Community Involvement Team and Local Residents Groups,

we have completed the improvements below:

Badger Vale Court

We have upgraded the community lounge

in this sheltered scheme. This involved

stripping off all of the existing wall coverings

and extensively re-plastering the communal

areas, followed by a full redecoration.

After

Before

Badger Vale Court Community Lounge

Sherborne Street

Citywide

We have continued a project to replace the hard landscaping

at Sherborne Street.

We have completed a number of projects on our estates to

increase security such as the installation of security lighting

and CCTV cameras, and further jobs to improve the estates such

as the installation of benches and new recycling points.

9


Clapham Court

Following a consultation with residents we have refurbished the

reception area at Clapham Court. This involved taking down

sections of the internal walls and adjusting the layout of the

entrance to accommodate a new reception desk. This has made

the reception area more accessible for our residents and has

significantly improved the communal area of the scheme.

Before

Clapham Court reception

After

Before

Clapham Court reception area

After

Painswick Road

Working with our partners, MD, we replaced a large

section of retaining wall. By doing this, we have

made the area safer and have also created easier

access to our properties for residents.

Before

After

Painswick Road retaining wall

To make a suggestion

for any community

improvement that would

benefit the community

as a whole, please contact

your Housing Officer.

10


Getting to know your Occupational Therapist

Meet Kenny, our part-time Occupational Therapist (OT) who works in our

Property & Housing Services Team.

Kenny is here to help recommend and provide

adaptations and equipment to allow our

residents to live safely and independently in

their homes. He can provide a range of aids

to benefit you and help you in your home,

such as shower chairs, toilet frames and bed

levers as well as minor adaptations including

grab rails, additional stair rails and lever taps.

For some residents, major adaptations

are needed to make their property more

suitable to their needs. Kenny can provide

an OT assessment of your needs and

make recommendations for major works

such as removing your bath and installing

an overbath or level access shower, installing

stair lifts if you have difficulty with stairs and

widening doors or providing ramps

for wheelchair users.

How long have you been an

Occupational Therapist?

I qualified as an OT in 1996. Over the past 20

years my experience has included: working in

adult day centres, hospitals, psychiatric units,

forensic services, brain injury units, private

sector and adult social care. My skills include

undertaking health assessments, moving &

handling and stress management.

Do you just provide aids & adaptations?

No, I also provide information and support

to residents and their families based on their

individual needs. Many residents are unaware

of other help and support they (and their

families) can access, so I signpost them to the

relevant agencies and support networks.

I also ensure that GCH tenants are safely

discharged from hospital when returning

to their homes, working with hospital and

Community Social Care OTs.

Kenny with a new stair lift

What’s the best part of your job?

Being able to make a practical difference to

peoples’ everyday lives.

Sometimes people are not aware of the aids,

adaptations and support networks that are

available to them. I am there to help people

get back their independence. Whether it is a

simple or a major adaptation, I enjoy helping

people to become more confident and happy

within their homes and adapting them to their

changing needs.

What if my home can’t be adapted

for my needs?

Sometimes properties aren’t suitable for a

major adaptation and sometimes properties

simply aren’t suitable for an individual’s needs.

In these cases, I can work with GCH to see

if we can move tenants into more suitable

properties and write OT housing needs reports

to support housing applications.

11


Mr Richards enjoys life-enhancing

adaptations to his home.

Mr Richards from Westgate has had a stair

lift and wet room installed to help him to stay

independent in his home.

He said: “I’m glad that I had a conversation

with Kenny because I didn’t really want to

move home. It has taken less than a fortnight

and I have had a stair lift installed, which is

absolutely superb.

I didn’t want to have any work done in my

home but it is a very positive thing. It is not

about handing over your life [to an illness] it is

about helping you to live better.

I am over the moon with the adaptations and

I am impressed that as a housing provider,

you offer such a good service.”

Mr Richards

demonstrates his

new stair lift

Improvements for Leaseholders

We offer our leaseholders, at

competitive prices, a range of

planned and general improvement

services including:

• Installation of central heating systems

• Medical aids and adaptations such as

walk-in showers, ramps and grab-rails

• Replacement doors and windows

• Replacement fencing

• Home and Garden maintenance through

our Handylink service

• Gas servicing and Home Safety checks

Work we complete for leaseholders is subject

to VAT, but we believe that our prices will

match quotes on the open market. Our

contract managers supervise the whole

process, giving you peace of mind and the

benefit of our extended warranties.

Leaseholders should be aware that,

if you sub-let your property and it has a gas

supply, you have a statutory duty to provide an

annual gas safety check for your tenant and

a copy of the safety certificate to us, as the

freeholder. It is an offence not to do so.

If you are a resident leaseholder, you are

expected to have an annual check, for your

own safety and that of other residents in the

block. We would appreciate a copy of your

safety certificate for our records each year.

All new and recent leases contain a clause

that makes a gas safety check part of your

legal liabilities.

If you would like to discuss your improvement

plans with us, please contact our

Leasehold Manager, Lynne Phillips, on

01452 424344 or e-mail

lynne.phillips@gch.co.uk

12


Handylink Service

All works are undertaken by skilled tradespeople.

(This is labour only & includes VAT. Materials charged separately.)

Lawn care – raking moss, weeding & feeding

Lawn cutting – first cuts, edging & strimming

Bed care – turn over soil ready for planting

Planting – bulbs, seasonals & trees

Cutting & pruning – shrubs & hedges

Pressure washing – patios, paths & decking

PLUS MUCH MORE AROUND THE HOME

AND GARDEN

These are just some of the items you can

choose from. For everything else, we can

tailor a quote to suit your individual needs.

Lawn and paving

improvement

Fence

and shed

improvement

£10

£5

GIFT VOUCHER

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

GIFT VOUCHER

Please present this voucher when booking an

appointment at Railway House.

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

www.gloscityhomes.co.uk 0800 408 2000 (freephone) or 01452 424344

Call for a free quote

01452 424 344

www.gch.co.uk

13

The Handylink services are available to everyone - homeowners, businesses and tenants.


Your Repairs and Maintenance Service

Working with our repairs partner Morgan

Sindall, we have transformed our repairs

service from a failing service, to a high

quality service, which consistently delivers

on its targets.

With repairs and maintenance identified by you as

your top priority, you can be assured that we are now

delivering the highest level of service to you in this area.

We are meeting performance against targets set in

all key areas, as you can see from the figures below,

which compare the current service with that which you

received in 2005.

One of our key priorities is ensuring your safety in

your home and 100% of emergency repairs are now

completed within target, as well as 100% of our homes

having a valid gas safety certificate.

In 2014/15 we spent a total of £2.1m providing

your repairs service with 12,155 responsive repairs

jobs completed.

10 years comparison targets of when GCH took over

to where we are now...

You said:

Mr Albright from Kingsholm

A job well done, very pleased.

The Engineer is a credit to

the company.

Mr Baker fromTuffley

Very pleased with work done.

The workman was thorough and

left the house in excellent order.

A very pleasant experience.

Mrs Norfolk from Matson

Very pleased with the service.

They were very efficient.

Indicator

% of emergency repairs

completed within target

% of urgent repairs completed

within target

% of routine repairs completed

within target

% of tenants who think that

overall the repairs service is

excellent or good

Number of homes with a valid

gas safety certificate

Target

2005/6

Achieved

2005/6

Performance

against Target

Target

March ‘16

Achieved

March ‘16

100% 82% 100% 100%

96% 93% 99.5% 99.5%

96% 94% 99% 99%

85% 83.8% 95% 99.3%

99.8% 99.6% 100% 100%

Performance

against target

Performance achieving

target or above.

Performance within

tolerance of target

Performance below target with

action plan in place to improve.

14


Gas Safety Checks

This year GCH have undertaken 4824 Home Safety Checks

Why do I need a Home Safety Check?

Although Gas is a safe and cost effective

method of providing heat and hot water to your

home, if appliances are not regularly checked

and maintained they may become dangerous.

Faulty gas appliances can cause explosions

and give off poisonous fumes such as Carbon

Monoxide, which kills around 40 people every

year. You can’t see, taste or smell it and it can

kill in just hours. Even low levels can cause

serious health problems.

Don’t put yourself, your family and others at

risk of illness or death. Make sure we can get

into your home to service your appliances.

What is your responsibility?

You must ensure that you let the engineers

into your house to check appliances are safe

each year, this is required by law.

We are not responsible for checking gas

appliances that you have fitted yourself.

Therefore to you must get these appliances

checked and serviced every year, by a Gas

Safe registered engineer.

What do we test?

The service includes testing of all GCH

owned gas appliances and an inspection of all

detectors within your property.

What if your property doesn’t

use gas?

Home Safety Checks also monitor other

things, therefore we must attend every

property. If you have a gas supply but don’t

use it, you could still be at risk.

How you can help us

We will give you at least a weeks’ written

notice of the appointment and the service

itself will take no longer than one and half

hours. If this date is inconvenient, please

contact us to rearrange immediately.

Important Notice to all

Tenants - Please Read

Change to the process

If you miss your appointments, you will now

receive a £20 penalty charge for every

appointment missed. If you continue to

refuse access then we will still start legal

action to take possession of your home and

all costs will be recharged to you.

If we smell gas or have concern for your

welfare, we reserve the right to force entry

into your home to take emergency action.

Not allowing access presents a risk to you

and your neighbours.

You can help us by…

Contacting us as quickly as possible when a letter comes to notify you

of your appointment, if it is not convenient.

Clearing working spaces where appliances are, for example if a boiler

is in a coat cupboard.

Checking the gas meter has gas before calling out our Breakdown Engineers.

15


The Cost of Waste Management

As Gloucester residents are now able to

recycle most of their waste, January 2015

saw Gloucester City Council reduce City bin

collections to once a fortnight .

With the City Council and their contractors,

Amey, GCH have worked hard to prepare for

the change by delivering food waste caddies,

waste audits and educational sessions about

recycling. A review of bin areas is being

undertaken to make appropriate changes

to waste areas.

New lockable bin stores

at Winnycroft Lane

Thank you to all tenants who have started recycling

more waste. However, some blocks still aren’t

recycling enough, causing overspilling bins, which

the Council are unable to empty. This has left GCH

Estate Service Workers with the task of waste

removal, costing around £7,000 extra per month!

Amey will not collect bins under these

circumstances:

• Bins are overfull, with bin lids unable

to be closed properly.

• There are bin bags around the

communal bin.

• There is general waste in bins that are

for recycled items only.

GCH Estate Service Workers will clear excess

waste to avoid any Health & Safety issues and to

allow bins to be collected. However,

• we will recharge the responsible tenants /

residents if we have evidence that extra waste

belongs to them, and

• if we are unable to identify who waste belongs

to and it is a persistent problem, we will

recharge the costs to the whole of the block.

Examples of rubbish that Amey will NOT collect and

which is costing you more money in your rent

Throughout 2016/17 we will record waste removal from each property and its cost.

For properties that show a persistent unwillingness to recycle and continue to abuse waste

facilities, the costs will be built in to the service charges of the property.

We look forward to co-operating with all our residents throughout 2016 to recycle effectively,

reduce these costs and to improve your environments.

Recycling information is available at:

www.gloucester.gov.uk/resident/bins-and-recycling

16


2016/2017 Housing

Investment Programme

Please note that all work is subject to survey by a GCH Surveyor or relevant Partnering

Contractor. This is not a definitive list and may change. The extent of works to be carried

out to individual properties will be confirmed following surveys and the timing of when

the works are carried out is dependant upon available budgets.

Street Name

Internal Improvements

Heating

External Improvements

Street Name

Internal Improvements

Heating

External Improvements

Alington Close

Alvin Street

Amberley Road

Archdeacon Court

Archdeacon Street

Arlingham Road

Badminton Road

Barnaby Close

Barton Street

Bathurst Road

Bazeley Road

Beacon Road

Beaufort Road

Bibury Road

Birch Avenue

Bisley Road

Blakeney Close

Bourton Road

Byron Avenue

Caledonian Road

Campion Close

Capel Road

Chalford Road

Chaucer Close

Clare Street

Cleeve Road

Columbia Close

Coney Hill Road

Copperfield Close

Court Place

Evenlode Road

Fountain Square

Garnalls Road

Goodyere Street

Gurney Avenue

Hathaway Close

Hillhay Road

Hillview Road

Huxley Road

India Road

Juniper Avenue

Keats Avenue

Kemble Road

Kimberley Close

Langley Road

Lannett Road

Lilac Way

Longney Road

Malmesbury Road

Matson Avenue

Matson Lane

Meadowleaze

Melbourne Street

Moor Street

17


A new kitchen installed in

Byron Avenue

Street Name

Munsley Grove

Nickelby Bungalows

Oak Tree View

Peggotty Bungalows

Penhill Road

Pickwick Close

Quenneys Close

Sandyleaze

Sapperton Road

Shelley Avenue

Sherborne Street

Silver Close

St Mary’s Square

St Mary’s Street

St Michael’s Square

St Paul’s Court

St Peter’s Road

Stansted House

Swan Court

Sweetbriar Street

Union Street

Vetch Close

Vicarage Road

Victoria Street

Whiteway Road

Willow Avenue

Willowleaze

Wilton Road

Winnycroft Lane

Winsley Road

Internal Improvements

Heating

External Improvements

Kitchens installed in the new homes

built in Bazeley Road Road and

Painswick Road

Internal improvements - can include kitchens,

bathrooms and electrical rewiring where required.

Heating - can include replacement gas boilers,

pipes and radiators or replacing old electric

heating with alternative heating where required.

External improvements - can include new doors,

windows, roofs, chimneys, paths, fencing etc.

18 19


Planned Community &

Environmental Improvements

The following Community & Environmental Improvements are planned for 2016/17:

Area

Pickwick Close

Kingsholm

Westgate

Copperfield Close

Penhill Flats

St Pauls Court

Wellar Bungalows

Reservoir Road

Citywide

Description

Creation of a car park

Replacement of decaying bin store doors with roller shutter doors

Improvements to bin stores

Resurfacing of pedestrian paths

Installation of cycle racks and a recycling compound

Improvements to communal drying area

Installation of security fencing

Completion of fencing

Installation of additional security measures where appropriate,

including CCTV, Fencing and Security Lighting

All improvement plans are provisional and are subject to being surveyed.

See pages 9 - 10 for examples of work we have carried out recently

and how to make suggestions for your community

If you would like to suggest an improvement for your area,

please contact your Housing Officer:

Email: Getinvolved@gch.co.uk

Telephone: 01452 424344

Or visit www.gch.co.uk for more details on how you

can contribute towards the improvements to be made in your area.

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