House & Home Winter 2012 - Riverside

House & Home Winter 2012 - Riverside

The Newsletter For

Irvine Housing

Association Customers

Winter 2012


Me In’


held our annual ‘Count Me In’ Consultation

Event at Cranberry Moss Community Centre,

Pennyburn at the end of November.



New complaints

policy and procedure


Your winter


Enter our Good Neighbour competition - check the back page!

p.3 Festive Fun with Pennyburn

p.4 A Blooming Good Effort

p.5 £1m investment in Drongan

p.6 New Services

p.8 Your Board

p.10 Snippets

p.11 Welfare Reform

p.12 Arran Development

p.14 Sheltered News

p.15 Advice for Christmas

p.16 Good Neighbour Award

Welcome to our Winter

2012 edition of House & Home

Paul Hillard

Managing Director

Wishing you a

Merry Christmas

and all the best

for 2013!

2012 has been a really busy year for the

Association. Since joining Riverside we’ve been

able to start developing new homes again.

Read about the launch of our Arran development on page 12. It’s the

biggest affordable housing development on the island in decades and we

were delighted when Margaret Burgess, Minister for Housing & Welfare

and the local schoolchildren joined us to celebrate work starting on site.

We’re also cracking on with the Pennyburn Regeneration, with plans

to start demolition works in summer 2013.

As well as building new homes, our Dumfries and Drongan homes

are being upgraded and are benefiting from major investment

through our capital programme of major repairs and improvements.

We’ve also expanded our community involvement team and

introduced a range of new services aimed at helping our tenants

including money advice and employability. Find out how you can

access the services on page 6.

Welfare Reform is high on our agenda for the coming months. We

will be contacting tenants affected by the ‘Bedroom Tax’, explained

on page 11 over December and January.

Finally, have a read of our Christmas safety tips and the enclosed

frost precaution leaflet for advice and useful contacts.

Head teacher, Mrs McLaren said,

“We were delighted to be involved in

creating the Association’s Christmas card.

Many of our pupils’ families will benefit

from the regeneration project, so to get

the school involved is fantastic. The

pupils really enjoyed designing their

cards and it was great to get the choir

involved too. We were really proud when

we saw Morgan’s design animated and

live on IHA’s website.”

Class winners were…

P1 – Skye

P1/2 – Olivia

P3 – Mollie

P4 – Mya

P5 – Emma

P6 – Lewis

P7 - Chloe

Festive Fun with

Pennyburn Primary!

The card can be

viewed on our website

As the Pennyburn community prepares for the demolition of the

Pennyburn flats, the pupils at Pennyburn Primary have been busy

helping us design our electronic Christmas greeting – sent to our

many stakeholders and business contacts. We asked pupils to design

a card that would celebrate the regeneration and the festive season.

‘Count Me In’

Over 20 panel members from our communities joined us

to discuss a variety of topics affecting the housing sector.

The agenda covered…

• What the Association is doing to lessen

the impact of Welfare Reform e.g.

working with local authorities, partner

agencies and 1st Alliance Credit Union as

well as introducing a Money Advice

Service and Employability Service.

• Our consultation in relation to our

proposed rent increase of 4% for 2013/14,

and the impact of any rent increase on

our customers and our business.

• Our STAR customer survey results were

overall excellent, however there are

service areas where our customer

satisfaction levels are lower than average.

This session allowed delegates the

chance to influence change.

• The various new support services

launched this year which you can read

about on page 6.

Also up for discussion were the Association’s

plans to review its governance structure i.e. the

way we make decisions, develop our plans,

monitor what we’re doing and how the Board

operates. With the introduction of

the new Scottish Social Housing

Charter and the outcomes we aim

to achieve, there is a greater role

for customers in scrutinising and

influencing the services we provide

and how they are delivered. Delegates were

asked to consider the introduction of a

Scrutiny Group that would link the work of

the current tenant working groups, ‘Count

Me In’ panel, TARAs etc. and the Board.

It was proposed that Membership of the

Scrutiny Group would be nominated from the

community e.g. TARAs. Additional “scrutiny

experts” from the communities would be

responsible for inspections and mystery

shopping, critiquing the Association’s services,

representing tenants’ views and focusing on

making improvements. The Scrutiny Group

would direct, analyse, and monitor the work

of the scrutiny experts.

There was a discussion around the remit, role

and commitment that would be required

from the Scrutiny Group, the relationship with

the Board and TARAs, how many “scrutiny

experts” we should aim to recruit, and

ensuring there is a consistent flow of

information across all communities.

Thank you to everyone who braved the chilly

weather to attend the consultation event.

Throughout the day there was lots of open

discussion and sharing of views. We will take

on board the feedback from the day and as

always, will ensure that the priorities raised

will feature in our plans for the coming year.

If you are interested in expanding your

knowledge of the housing sector and

getting involved in consultation why not

sign up to our ‘Count Me In’ register?

Contact Phyllis Rodgers, Senior Community

Involvement Officer for further information

on 01294 316760.

The entire school took part with entries

ranging from Santa getting stuck down the

chimney, to stockings hanging by lovely

flaming log fires.

Mairi Martin, Executive Director (Resources)

had the difficult task of selecting an overall

winner and winning entry from each class.

Primary 7 pupil Morgan’s creativity shone

through with her striking design of Santa

flying over the Pennyburn flats on Christmas

Eve. Morgan brought her design to life with

the help of graphic designer, Cameron Syme

from See Saw Creative.

Morgan was awarded a £20 Argos voucher

Pennyburn Regeneration Update

The rehousing

process is going well.

All tenants will be

out and flats stripped

bare by the

New Year.

when the electronic card was launched at

the school assembly. All winners received

a certificate and an IHA goody bag with

some festive treats.

The talented pupils in the school choir

recorded a festive song to accompany

the greeting.

The Association took on board the

feedback from the last Planning

Consultation event and finalised plans for

the new houses were tabled at a Steering

Group meeting in September.

A planning application was submitted

on 12 October 2012 to demolish the

48 flats and disused gardener’s store

in Glenapp Place and to build 22 new

houses with associated parking.

The planning application drawings are on

display in The PLAYZ, and Cranberry Moss

Pennyburn, Kilwinning for the community to

view while we await approval from North

Ayrshire Council.

Demolition works are expected to start in

late spring/early summer 2013 and it is

hoped that the new homes will be

completed by late summer 2014.

If you have any questions about the project

please call Pamela Johnstone, Community

Involvement Officer on 0845 112 6600.

2 House & Home Winter 2012

House & Home Winter 2012 3

Did you know you can pay your rent online?

A Blooming Good Effort

Tenants who brought

some colour to the

Association’s streets this

summer were awarded

for their efforts in our

annual In Bloom

Garden Competition.

The competition was judged

at the start of August by

Technical Officer (Estates),

John Brennan. Once again

John was impressed with the

standard of entries, “Front

gardens make such a difference to

the overall look of an area. This year it

was a close call - the standard of entries

was so high. It’s great to see our tenants

taking pride in their home and their area.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!”

This year’s Harbourside in Bloom First

Prize went to Michael Fullerton &

Anne-Marie Carson. Their colourful

display was a real showstopper and

attracted many passers-by. Michael said,

“We’re delighted to have won the

competition! It’s all about making the

area attractive and I really enjoy bringing

on the plants and making a real feature

of the garden. Throughout the summer

we had lots of people, local and from

further afield, stopping to comment on

the garden.”

Cathy Martin received Second Prize and

Bill Campbell was awarded Third Prize.

The Irvine & Kilwinning competition

attracted some new entries. Winning

First Prize was Carol Grayston of

Broomlands. Carol incorporated a

colourful French Shabby Chic theme into

her garden, transforming her front

garden into a little piece of Parisian chic!

Carol said, “I’ve really enjoyed getting out

in the garden. It’s almost therapeutic! I

decided on the French theme as my

Gran, Mary Rament’s family is from

France, so that was a wee tribute to her.

It’s nice to look out and see a bit of

colour. My neighbours are so supportive

and encouraged me to enter the

competition again. I’d like to thank them

for their support!”

Second prize was awarded to Mary

Coulter, also of Broomlands and third

prize went to Maria Wilson of Girdle Toll.

Front gardens make

such a difference to

the overall look of

an area.

Parking in


It has been noted that

residents are parking in

hammerheads on our estates.

Hammerheads are designed to allow

vehicles to turn and to provide access for

emergency vehicles to deal promptly

with emergencies.

Communal car parking has been

provided on our estates. In certain areas

there are individual garages in gardens or

attached to properties, separate lock-ups

and also a small number of parking

spaces provided for individual use.

We appreciate that in some instances there

are less spaces than are cars as some

households may have more than one car –

a sign of the times. However, it is important

that there is access for ambulances and

other emergency vehicles.

Recently, due to cars being parked in a

hammerhead, Fire Services were

obstructed in carrying out their duties

whilst attending a house fire.

We hope that you and your visitors will

assist and refrain from using the

hammerheads as an additional car park.

This may mean you have to park your

car further away from your home than

you would like, but this action could help

save lives.

Tenants Appoint New Repairs

& Maintenance Contractors

Our Repairs Working Group has been

working with us to assess tender returns

and appoint contractors for our responsive

repairs contract. The working group has

visited each of the contractors at their

premises and has met with other tenants to

discuss quality standards and performance.

The new contractor will be appointed and

announced during December.

We are also in the process of tendering for

our planned maintenance contract e.g.

£1M Investment

in Drongan

We are honouring our commitment to

accelerate external improvement works

to our Drongan stock by investing over

£1M in the estate.

On top of the investment, we have secured

grant funding from Npower’s Community

Energy Saving Programme to improve the

thermal efficiency of the properties. Work

began on the 127 properties in phase 1 of the

project in November. We are investigating

potential grant funding streams and funding

permitting aim to complete works to a

further 46 properties during 2013/14 .

79 properties are receiving external wall

insulation and rendering, cladding, central

heating systems, loft insulation top ups,

extractor fans and new roofs – all of which

suppliers of kitchens, bathrooms, heating

systems etc. We are working with Riverside

to develop local contractor frameworks in

line with EU regulations and will use the

group’s buying power to make efficiency

savings on buying materials.

The repairs working group will also be

involved in assessing and awarding this

contract in the New Year.

Both contracts will start on 1 April 2013.

Work began on the

127 properties in

phase 1 of the project

in November 2012.

will not only increase energy efficiency, but

also significantly improve the look of the

estate. A further 48 properties are receiving

new energy efficient boilers, extractor fans

and loft insulation.

Owners in the estate can also access grant

funding and details of potential funding and

costs to have works carried out can be

obtained from our Principle Contractor, Mitie


Contact Ryan O’Rourke at MITIE for further

information – 07979540177.

Repairs by


We are in the process of

setting up a trial repairs by

appointment system. Testing

systems and staff training

will take place during

December and the pilot will

commence January to March

with a view to introducing a

repairs by appointment

system from the 1 April 2013.

4 House & Home Winter 2012 House & Home Winter 2012 5

Enter our Good Neighbour competition - check the back page!

A key advantage of joining Riverside has

been the ability to increase the range

of services dedicated to supporting our

communities. Since our summer newsletter

we have launched a money advice service

and an employability service, and are in the

process of recruiting an Affordable Warmth

Officer. The services are free and open to

all tenants. You can make an appointment

or come along to one of the regular drop in

sessions in your community.

£10,000 grant

funding from

Bank of Scotland


Clair Christie,

Money Advisor

and Gillian Scott,



New Services To Support Tenants

Halloween dress

up day for The AQ


New Handyman

Service in Dumfries!

Money Advice





Warmth Service

Do you need a minor repair carried out in your home? Is there

a DIY job you’ve been meaning to get round to?

Estate Caretaker, George Walls is now providing a handyman

service for the Dumfries community. George is a qualified

tradesman and can carry out small repairs, minor adaptations,

moving furniture and home security.

The service is available to all residents within the Stakeford

and Newbridge estates and costs £10 per hour including VAT.

Call our Customer Services Team on 0845 112 6600 to make

an appointment.

The AQ


Since the official launch on the AQ Trust on 1 October 2012

the charity has had 12 referrals, 50% of which are IHA tenants.

The Trust provides crisis support and practical help to people

throughout North Ayrshire experiencing emergency situations

related to their housing. The charity has assisted with gas and

electricity meter top ups, household items such as cookers, beds

and bedding, as well as clothing and food.

Fundraising for The Trust is non-stop with IHA staff organising a

range of events. Their Halloween Dress Up Day and recent Charity

Pamper Night raised almost £200. Housing Association, ANCHO

have kindly donated £500 to the charity and Charity Trustee

Janice Quinn’s nieces Beth, Eva and friend Ellie raised over £700

at their Halloween Disco.

If you would like further information about The AQ Trust,

or wish to make a donation please call 0845 112 6600

or visit

Clair Christie, Money Advisor is looking

forward to working with tenants to improve

their circumstances, “Many of our tenants

are feeling the pinch and we are keen to

make sure that they don’t descend into

further debt. And it’s not just those

on benefits that are struggling. Lots

of working people are finding it

hard to make ends meet, due to

job hours being cut and escalating

day-to-day expenses. A big part of

my job is helping tenants prepare

for the forthcoming Welfare Reform

changes. I will be offering advice

and support on the under-occupancy

(bedroom tax) and Universal Credit

changes and proactively targeting and

assisting those tenants most in need of

advice and practical help.”

A big part of my

job is helping

tenants prepare for

the forthcoming

Welfare Reform


Clair will be…

• assisting tenants to maximise their income by helping them

claim the benefits they are entitled to, including benefit back

dates, assistance with forms and appeal representation.

• offering budgeting advice, support and aftercare - working

with tenants to make the right financial decisions and

providing information to access affordable products and


• lessening the impact of Welfare Reform

(The Government’s changes to the Welfare Benefit System).

• referring tenants to 1st Alliance Credit Union - 1st Alliance

provide a range of services from simple savings and loans,

to accounts with direct debits or pre-paid cards. 1st Alliance

offer supportive, affordable financial services throughout

our communities and compare favourably to other pay day

and doorstep lenders.

Gillian Scott, Employability Officer is delighted

to be responding to the employment needs

of the Association’s tenants, “I will be

supporting and encouraging tenants

towards employment, helping them

to overcome their barriers to work.

I will be meeting with tenants to

offer a tailored one-to-one service,

providing employability advice and

guidance including job search, CV

preparation, help with application forms

and interview preparation. So whether it’s

getting someone off benefits and into longterm

employment, or simply giving them the

confidence to start their journey, I look forward

to supporting our tenants.”

Gillian will be…

• providing tenants with on-going one-to-one tailored support.

• offering employability advice and guidance.

• providing tenants with access to skills, training and education

programmes and volunteering opportunities.

• supporting tenants to make/update their CV and covering letter.

• assisting tenants with application forms and interview


• supporting tenants in their job search, offering in work

support and aftercare.

• providing access to money and benefit advice.

I will be meeting

with tenants to

offer a tailored



To find out when Clair and Gillian are holding their next dropin

session in your community, to make an appointment or

for further information on the services, please contact our

Customer Services Team on 0845 112 6600.

We are set to employ an Affordable Warmth Officer with the

help of grant funding from the Bank of Scotland Foundation.

The £10,000 grant will be topped up with additional funding to

provide an affordable warmth service to tenants, including free

home energy checks, energy efficiency advice and hints and

tips on how to cut down fuel bills.

Phyllis Rodgers, Senior Community

Involvement Officer is welcoming the

opportunity to expand the services provided

to tenants, “Securing the Bank of Scotland

Foundation grant is fantastic! This funding

is really going to benefit our communities.

Many tenants are unable to effectively

heat their homes due to lack of energy

efficiency knowledge and high fuel

tariffs. The aim of the new service is to

help tenants achieve an adequate standard

of warmth at as low a cost as possible. The

Affordable Warmth Officer will be offering

advice in home heating, fuel payments

and reducing heat loss, condensation and

dampness in the home. We are looking to get

the service up and running shortly.”

We are

recruiting now

and will let you

know when the

new service is

up and running.

The Member of the Scottish Parliament for Cunninghame

South, Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare

presented the cheque on behalf of the Bank of Scotland

Foundation, “ Scotland is an energy-rich nation and it is simply

intolerable that so many households across the breadth of

our country find themselves dealing with a combination of

inefficient homes, coupled with rising fuel prices, and suffer

from ‘fuel poverty’ as a direct result. The move by Irvine Housing

Association to recruit an Affordable Warmth Officer, aided by

such a generous Grant from the Bank of Scotland Foundation,

will prove invaluable in helping tenants improve their energy

efficiencies and help them drive down the cost of keeping warm

this winter.”

6 House & Home Winter 2012 House & Home Winter 2012 7

Check out our tweets at


Your Board…

Alan West Caroline Durkan Fiona Dunlop Moira Miller

Billy Dickson Duncan McEachran Cameron Sharp Kathleen Gatherer

Chris Bell

Bobby Sturgeon

John Wood

Wendy Johnstone

The Board is responsible for the overall direction and activities of the Association and for making

sure that the organisation works as well as possible to deliver its core purposes. Our Board

Members are supportive of the aims and objectives of the Association and the service we seek to

provide. Essential functions of the Board include approving policies and plans, risk management,

performance management, ensuring all business is conducted lawfully and ensuring the

Association complies with its own Rules as well as The Scottish Housing Regulator’s Framework.

Alan West

(Chair) (Finance and Executive Services

Committee Chair)

Alan was appointed to the Board in 2008

and was appointed as Chair in September

2011. Alan’s background is in corporate

banking, part of which involved lending

long-term debt to housing associations. He

currently provides consultancy services to

The Housing Finance Corporation and sits

on the Board of a number of charitable

companies which own and manage student

accommodation. Alan is on the Board under

the Business, Professional and Technical

Representative category.

Caroline Durkan

Caroline was appointed to the Board in 2009.

She is a Portfolio Office Manager for the Scottish

Qualifications Authority. Caroline previously

worked as a Business Services Manager for

Scottish Enterprise from 1991-2008. She brings

with her business and marketing experience.

Caroline currently volunteers for the Stella

Mares Youth Group. She is on the Board

under the Business, Professional and

Technical Representative category.

Fiona Dunlop

Fiona was appointed to the Board in 2006.

She was Deputy Head of Lawthorn Primary

School and was promoted to Head Teacher

of Gateside Primary School, Beith. Fiona is

community orientated and is on the Board

under the Business, Professional and

Technical Representative category.

Moira Miller

Moira was appointed to the Board in 2004.

She was part of the Steering Group set up to

guide the creation of Coylebank Tenants

Co-operative in Drongan and served as its

Chairperson from 1999 until they joined the

Association. Moira is on the Board under the

Tenant Representative category.

Billy Dickson

(Audit and Risk Committee Chair)

Billy was appointed to the Board in 2008. He

is an experienced local accountant and

manager with his own accountancy and

business advisory practice providing financial,

tax planning and management accountancy

expertise to an extensive client base

throughout the UK.

Billy is actively involved with a number of

local organisations, including Irvine

Incorporated Trades. He is alsoTreasurer of

The Rotary Club of Irvine Seagate and

currently Honorary Treasurer of Irvine Burns

Club. These organisations are steeped in the

history and culture of Irvine and the local

community and his involvement allows Billy

to consider the possible historical, cultural

and community impact in matters being

discussed by the Board.

Billy is on the Board under the Business,

Professional and Technical Representative


Duncan McEachran

Duncan was appointed to the Board in 2011

as a co-opted member. Formerly the Chief

Internal Auditor of NHS Dumfries & Galloway

and Former Executive Board Member,

Dumfries & Galloway Health Board., Duncan

is currently a Trustee for Action for Sick

Children (Scotland). He is a lay member of

Justice of the Peace Advisory Committee

(South Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway)

and Trustee (Chair) of Relationship Scotland,

Dumfries & Galloway. Duncan is on the

Board under the Business, Professional and

Technical Representative category.

Cameron Sharp

Cameron was appointed to the Board in

2010. He is the Country Parks Manager for

North Ayrshire Council focusing on

Environmental Education, Habitat

Surveying and Monitoring, Resource

Protection and Conservation. Cameron

joined Irvine Development Corporation in

1992 as a Countryside Ranger and was

promoted to his current role within Eglinton

Country Park in 2006. He brings with him

practical management, sustainability,

interpretive and community involvement

skills and is on the Board under the Tenant

Representative category.

Kathleen Gatherer

Kathleen was appointed to the Board in

2010. She is a former nurse with over 20

years’ experience. Kathleen is currently a

volunteer with the Scottish Domestic Abuse

Helpline. She is on the Board under the

Tenant Representative category.

Chris Bell

Chris was appointed to the Board in 2011. He

is a freelance consultant in Horticulture and

Agronomy. Chris is on the Board under the

Tenant Representative category.

Bobby Sturgeon

(Operations Committee Chair)

Bobby was appointed to the Board in 2006.

He is the voluntary Project Co-ordinator at

the Fullarton Community Health House, a

co-opted member of the Stanecastle School

Board and former Secretary of the Fullarton

Community Association. Bobby is on the

Board under the Community

Representative category.

John Wood

John was appointed to the Board in 2011. He

has been employed in the housing

association sector for more than 30 years,

starting out as a housing management

trainee, and having progressed through the

ranks to the role of Group Director of Housing

Services for Riverside.

John gained extensive experience in core

housing management activity as well as low

cost home ownership and stock transfer

work before moving on to broader and more

senior leadership roles within Riverside,

initially as Managing Director for Riverside in

2004 and then to his current role as Group

Director, Housing Services in 2009.

As well as having considerable experience

in sitting on Boards himself, John has also

been a co-optee/nominee to a number of

subsidiary boards within Riverside

including Berrybridge Housing, English

Churches Housing Group and now Irvine

Housing Association.

Wendy Johnstone

Wendy was appointed to the Board in 2012.

She has 25 years of experience working within

social housing and during this time has gained

a wide ranging knowledge of the issues and

challenges which RSL’s and Local Authorities

face both now and in the future. Wendy is a

member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Wendy has a wealth of operational

experience and more recently has worked on

the development and implementation of a

Common Housing Register. She currently

works as a Housing Register Manager at East

Ayrshire Council.

Wendy is committed to making a difference

to people’s lives and enjoys being involved in

the delivery of all aspects of housing services.

Wendy is on the Board under the Community

Representative category.

8 House & Home Winter 2012

House & Home Winter 2012 9

Did you know you can pay your rent online?


Save the date!

Tenant Conference 2013

Lochside House Hotel,

New Cumnock

Thursday 14

February 2013.


New Complaints Policy and

Procedure launched this

month available from our

reception areas and website

(under ‘Contact Us’) - see

enclosed leaflets.


Reform is


Next year brings some of

the biggest changes to the

welfare benefits system in


From April 2013, new legislation comes

into force about under-occupation,

which is also known as the ‘Bedroom

Tax’. This means that if you are of

working age and have one or more

extra bedrooms, your housing benefit

may be reduced and you will have

rent to pay. The government will only

pay housing benefit for the number of

bedrooms you need.




We are installing new

bathrooms in over 300

properties in Dumfries as part

of our accelerated capital

programme of major repairs

and improvements.

Bathroom suite supplier, Twyfords and

extractor fan company Nuair were on hand

to demonstrate products to tenants at an

Open Day in October. Over 200 tenants

came along to view the range of bathroom

suites, showers, wet wall and fans on display.

Winter Tips from

the Editorial Panel

Clear you paths with salt, or cheap cat

litter works as an alternative.

Make up an emergency kit in case of really

bad weather. Include a few days’ supply

of tinned or non-perishable food, a tin

opener, a couple of torches and batteries,

candles and matches and plenty of

drinking water in case of burst pipes.

Keep warm - lots of thin layers work

better than one thick one.


Furniture Recycling

Free uplift of unwanted,

re-usable furniture

throughout Ayrshire.

Quality furniture and white

goods also available to buy.

Call 01294 475650 for more


Get Involved In

Your Community

We now have Tenants and Residents Associations

(TARAs) in Pennyburn, Fullarton, Fullarton & Harbourside,

Bourtreehill & Broomlands, Drongan and Dumfries.

If you’d like to find out more about your local TARA,

please contact Phyllis Rodgers, Senior Community

Involvement Officer on 01294 316760.

Congratulations PRYDE!

We nominated Pennyburn

Regeneration Youth Development

Enterprise (PRYDE) for ‘Young

People’s Project of the Year’ at

the Herald Society Awards in

Glasgow in November. We were

delighted when we received

a call from our Community

Involvement Team to tell us they

had won! Joan McTurk, Community

Involvement Assistant was at the event to

join in the celebrations, “We were up against

some worthy projects in the category so to

win is a real achievement! We are so proud of

the Shadow Board for their dedication and

commitment to the facility.”

The new government rules

says that you need one

bedroom for:

• Each adult couple

• Any other person aged 16

or over

• Two children of the same

sex under the age of 16

• Two children under the

age of 10 regardless of

their sex

• Any other child

• A carer (who does not

normally live with you) if

you or your partner need

overnight care.

If you have one extra bedroom your

housing benefit will be cut by 14% of

the full rent charged for your home

and if you have two or more extra

bedrooms this cut increases to 25%.

You will need to pay any difference

direct to us.

This only affects people of working

age, so if you receive pension credits,

you won’t be affected. We are

currently identifying anyone who we

think will be affected by the ‘Bedroom

Tax’, so that we can speak to them

individually to discuss their options.

Based on the records we have, we

will be contacting those we think will

be affected by the changes during

December and January.

Laura Kirk, Tenant:

I’m really looking

forward to getting

my new bathroom

after seeing the

products today.

The Right to Buy (RTB) was

introduced in 1980 and gave

tenants the right to buy their

homes at a discount, depending

on how long they had lived in

their home.

The number of houses available for rent

today is in part shaped by the number of

tenants who have exercised their RTB.

In May 2008, in response to the increasing

demand for affordable housing in North

Ayrshire, the Council applied to the Scottish

Individual surveys will be undertaken on

properties in early December, when tenants

will be able to choose their preferred

fittings. Around 30 bathrooms a week will

be replaced, with works due to finish by the

end of March 2013.

John Watson, Technical Inspector (Dumfries

& Drongan) was at the Open Day to advise

tenants on the works, “What a great turn

out! The tenants are really pleased that the

contract is progressing and we’ve had really

good feedback on the products.”

Tenant, Laura Kirk was impressed with

the products on display, “I’m really looking

forward to getting my new bathroom after

seeing the products today.”

Right To Buy Pressured

Area Status Consultation

Government for ‘pressured area status’ for

certain areas. Pressured area status means

that the RTB is suspended. This was granted

for a period of 5 years. The pressured areas

have more people who need social housing

than there are homes available. The number

of houses available to rent would be less if

tenants living in those areas used their right

to buy their home.

The Council and local RSLs are updating

housing demand information to decide

whether the pressured area status should

be continued for a further ten years.

Contact us on 0845 112 6600 to let us

know what you think.

10 House & Home Winter 2012 House & Home Winter 2012 11

Check out our tweets at

Margaret Burgess,

Minister for Housing and Welfare,

“The project is a shining example of

close partnership working between

Irvine Housing Association as

part of Riverside, North Ayrshire

Council, the Scottish Government

and the local community to deliver

new affordable housing on Arran.”

New Housing Minister Launches Our £8.9M

Affordable Housing Development on Arran

The pupils will be

participating in

supervised visits to

the site throughout

the development as

part of their studies.

Margaret Burgess, Minister

for Housing and Welfare

officially launched our latest

development project

on the Isle of Arran in


The site launch event celebrated

construction works commencing on

the 56 affordable homes in Lamlash.

The development will comprise of

40 properties for social rent and

16 for shared equity sale and is due

to be completed in summer 2014.

Local developer, John Thomson

Construction Limited is the main


The £8.9 million project is the biggest

affordable development on Arran in decades.

The development has received grant

funding of £2.44 million from The Scottish

Government and almost £800k from North

Ayrshire Council.

Joining the Minister in the celebrations

were pupils from the local primary and

high schools adjacent to the site. The

Association will be working with Lamlash

Primary School on a time capsule project

during the development. The pupils will be

packing the capsule full of interesting stories

and objects related to the school and the

local community to be buried within the

development next summer. John Thomson

Construction Ltd will be supporting fourth

year pupils completing a SQA Skills for Work

course in construction skills at Arran High

School. The pupils will be participating in

supervised visits to the site throughout the

development as part of their studies.

Key speakers included Alan West, Chair

of Irvine Housing Association, Paul Brant,

Chair of Irvine Housing Association’s partner

organisation Riverside, Paul Hillard, Managing

Director of Irvine Housing Association,

Councillor Anthea Dickson, Cabinet Member

for Health and Social Care and Kenneth

Gibson MSP for Cunninghame North.

Also in attendance were representatives

from North Ayrshire Council, local

councillors and MSPs, representatives from

the Arran community and Isle of Arran

Homes, business contacts and contractors

that are involved in the project and Irvine

Housing Association and Riverside Board

Members and staff.

Margaret Burgess, Minister for Housing

and Welfare stated, “A vibrant, expanding

housing sector can stimulate economic

growth by protecting and creating jobs, and

supporting regeneration.”

“The project is a shining example of close

partnership working between Irvine Housing

Association as part of Riverside, North

Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Government

and the local community to deliver new

affordable housing on Arran.”

“I am delighted that pupils and teachers

from Lamlash Primary School and Arran

High School are involved in the project

The development will also support jobs in

construction as John Thomson Construction

Ltd is an Arran based company.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP for Cunninghame

North said, “Arran has long had a shortage

of good quality affordable housing both for

hard-working families and older people. This

important investment - in the island’s largest

ever affordable housing development - is

a huge step forward in addressing Arran’s

housing need while sustaining and creating

local employment.”

Mr Auld, Head Teacher at Lamlash

Primary School and Arran High School

said, “Our links with local enterprises

are of great importance to us. The time

capsule project will give us an opportunity

to celebrate life on the island and the

achievements of the pupils in Lamlash

Primary School.”

“These new affordable homes will be

for local people so it is particularly

important to have local children, some

of whom may well end up living here,

involved in the early stages of the project.

Likewise we’d like to thank Mr Thomson

for his commitment to supporting our

construction skills course. The planned

onsite visits at various fitting stages will

give our construction skills pupils further

insight into the construction industry.”

12 House & Home Winter 2012 House & Home Winter 2012 13

Check out our tweets at

Sheltered News

Tenants at West Doura Court, Kilwinning held a coffee morning

in September for Macmillan Cancer Support and raised an

amazing £190 for the charity!

Over a quarter of the total was raised by

tenants collecting 5p coins throughout

the year and the rest was raised through

selling raffles and donations by friends

and colleagues.

Anne Black, Warden at West Doura

Court said, “At West Doura we love any

excuse to have a tea party and what

better than for Macmillan. The tenants

made a real effort bringing along home

baking and other treats and we were

delighted to have raised £55 from our

5p collection. A great morning for such a

great cause!”

The tenants were rewarded for their

charity work when Ann McGoogan of

Whitehirst Community Association

presented them with a cheque for

£250 towards their next trip. The

community association raises funds

for such donations by organising social

events in the local community.

Over at Hawthorn Place, Mary Gaw was the

lucky winner of our International Customer

Services Week prize draw in October. Mary

was presented with a £50 M&S voucher by

Andrea Walker, Customer Services Advisor.

“This is a lovely surprise, especially when you’re

not expecting it! My daughter and grandson

are arriving this Friday from Canada so I’ll

treat them with my voucher. Thank you to

everyone at Irvine Housing Association!”

Anne Black,

Warden at West

Doura Court:

“At West Doura we love any

excuse to have a tea party

and what better than for





Our offices will close at 5.00pm

on Friday 21 December 2012 and

will re-open on Thursday

3 January 2013 at 9.00am.

If you need to report an

emergency repair during

the festive period,

please call 0845 112 6600.

The Association’s Board and

Staff wish all customers a

Merry Christmas and happy

new year 2013!

Keep decorations and

cards away from fires

and other heat sources

such as light fittings.

Don’t leave burning candles

unattended; make sure you put

them out before going to bed.

Remember to buy batteries for

toys that need them - that way

you won’t be tempted to remove

batteries from smoke alarms.

Do not



Don’t leave fairy

lights and electrical

decorations on when

you’re out or when

you go to sleep.

Always remember: If fire



Don’t try to fight

a fire yourself!

We wish you a happy

and safe festive season!

14 House & Home Winter 2012

House & Home Winter 2012 15

Simply complete the form and hand it into

your local Association office by 1 March 2013.

Nominations will be considered by a judging panel made up of

members of the Association’s Board. The judging panel will

decide the winner.

If you require any further information about the Good Neighbour

Award, please contact Phyllis Rodgers, Senior Community

Involvement Officer on on 01294 316760.

Nomination Form

I would like to nominate:




Please state why you are nominating the above person

(if you require more space please continue on a separate sheet):

How often does the person nominated help you?

Daily Weekly Monthly Other

Your Details




Telephone Number:

Good Neighbour

The Joe Smith

Good Neighbour

Award 2013

We know that many people in our estates

commit their own time to help others live

comfortably and safely in their homes. The Good

Neighbour Award is your chance to say thank

you and reward the support of your neighbour.

Do you know anyone who helps to

make your or someone else’s life easier?

Please state your relationship with the person you have nominated:



You must ask the person you have nominated to agree to his/her

name being put forward and ask them to sign below.

Nominee’s signature:


Has your neighbour, for example helped you:

• Keep your garden tidy

• With your shopping

• With household chores

• With your children

• In a crisis

• Complete forms

• Walk your dog

• With transport

• Organise social activities.

The winner will

receive a trophy

and a £50 gift


When you have completed the form please return it to your

local Association office by 1 March 2013.

If so, why not nominate them for a Good Neighbour Award.

The nomination could be an individual or a family.

The winner will receive a trophy and a £50 gift voucher.

Availability in other formats

If your circumstances require a copy of this publication in another language or another form

(such as Braille or audio tape) please tell us and we will seek to provide you with a copy as

soon as we are able.

Equal opportunities

The Association will endeavour to ensure that no person or organisation receives any less

favourable treatment than another unless it can be reasonably shown to be justifiable in the


The Association is opposed to any improper discrimination and will take appropriate steps

within its powers as an employer, service provider and receiver of services to counteract any

such improper discrimination.

Head Office

44-46 Bank Street,

Irvine, Ayrshire,

KA12 0LP


Dumfries Office

Community Centre,

Steel Avenue, Dumfries,


Customer Services Number 0845 112 6600


Drongan Office

9 Glencraig Street,

Drongan, Ayrshire,



Registration No. 2459 R(S) and Registered with The Scottish Housing Regulator No. HAL 280.

Registered Scottish Charity No. SC042251

Designed by See Saw Creative,

Printed on 100% recycled paper

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