Door to Door, September 2008 - Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing

New game with aserious messageKNH Excelgarden competitionwinnersHelp us improveand win £50!Get covered withour new insuranceSeptember 2008DOOR TO DOORThe tenants’ and residents’ magazine of Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing’Quality homes and services in successful communities’Beat thecredit crunchsee page 4-5Your views countsee page 22-23Win £100in the KNH Excelprize drawsee page 9

In this issue...• Welcome 2• New game helps youngtenants 3• Money advice 4• Save money on fuel bills 5• KNH Excel news &competitions 6-17• Help us improveDoor to Door 18• New KNH website 18• Home insurance 19• Community leadership 20• Don’t lose your vote 20• Leaseholder survey 21• London Park news 21• We’re listening to you 22-23• Have your say 24• Housing office numbers 24ClickontoKNH!You’ll find allkinds of information onthe new KNH website.You can report a repairand contact your EstateManagement Summer edition ofDoor to DoorAlthough neither the weathernor the news these days isparticularly sunny, you'll findplenty of reasons to be cheerfulin this edition.There's information about some ofthe KNH services that can help yousave money and deal with financialproblems.You'll also learn about some of the ways that KNH isresponding to what you tell us.We've got news of our latest innovation to help youngpeople succeed in their tenancies as well as details ofa training scheme for people wanting to take a moreactive role in their community.In the centre pages, you'll find all the latest news,competitions and awards from KNH Excel, our rewardsand recognitions scheme. This month, we're delightedto announce the winners of our annual gardeningcompetition, which has been a great success for thesecond year running.I hope you enjoy this edition of Door to Door. If you'dlike to comment on it in any way, please use the cut-offform on the back page. Better still, take part in the surveyon page 18 and you could win £50.Cora Carter MBEChair, KNH BoardDoor to Door is produced three times a year, in May, September,and December.KNH is a non-profit making company managed by a Board consistingof five tenant representatives elected from across the Kirklees area,five local councillors and five independent members with specialistbusiness and housing knowledge. KNH provides housing andconstruction management on behalf of Kirklees Council.2

A gameto guideyoung tenantsIn June, KNHlaunched“InLiving,” a funmobile phonegame with aserious messagefor young peopleabout independentliving.We know that manyof our customers areconcerned that youngpeople aren’t alwaysaware of theresponsibilities thatcome with having ahome. The mobilephone game is partof a package ofapproaches thatwe’ve developed towork with andsupport youngpeople from schoolage through tohaving a place oftheir own. Otherinitiatives includeDVDs thatencourage youngpeople to think aboutthe consequences oftheir actions andfoster a sense ofrespect andresponsibility, as wellas KNH Kids (seepage 7).Inliving Launched - Cora Carter MBE (KNH Chair), Andy Selman(Director of Business Development), Susan Greenwood & Karen Batty(Young People's Services Managers) and Phil Mundy (Director, CreativeNorth) Photo courtesy of Huddersfield ExaminerInLiving is a fantasticexample of acreative andinnovative way ofengaging with thisparticular age group.The game has beendeveloped by KNH’sYoung People'sSupport Service,working inpartnership withCreative North, alocal game designcompany. Key to thegame's developmentwas the input ofyoung people fromdiverse backgroundsacross Kirklees,including youngtenants and studentsfrom Scout Hill inDewsbury,Rawthorpe HighSchool andHuddersfieldTechnical College.InLiving carriesserious messagesabout the challengesand responsibilitiesof having your ownhome. Theimaginativeapproachseems to beworking andmore youngpeople thanever beforeare nowhavingsuccessfultenancies.If you'd like a copyof the game, pleasecontact Karen Batty,Young People'sServices Manager,on 01484 416721.More informationis also

Moneyadvicefor KNHcustomersWorried about making ends meet?We can help if you get behind with yourrent or need general debt advice.• We offer a variety of affordable ways topay any rent that you owe us.• We can make sure you're getting all thebenefits you're entitled to.• We also offer free debt advice.We realise that times are hard but we havea duty to collect rent. Unfortunately, we hadto evict over 250 households in the last twoyears - including families with children - forunpaid rent. But if you do owe rent, it doesn'thave to end that way.KNH Money Advice TeamOur dedicated team of skilled Money Advisorscan help with any financial difficulties, notjust rent problems. They offer a friendly andconfidential service to any tenant orleaseholder concerned about their debts.If you are worried about your finances, don'tdelay. Call the Money Advice team on 01484223262 to speak to one of our team inconfidence or to request your copy of our“Money Worries” booklet.Our specialist advisors offer free, friendly andconfidential advice on debt and money mattersIf you don't want to speak to the KNH team,other agencies can help. Don't ignore theproblem - rent arrears don't go away.Citizens Advice Bureau(CAB)CAB can help with a variety offinancial and legal issues. Theyhave offices in Batley,Dewsbury, Cleckheaton andHuddersfield town centres. You can findfurther information and opening hours onthe CAB web site or call0844 848 7970.Do you need aloan or a bankaccount?You may think thatyour only option is to borrow from adoorstep lender (or worse). There is abetter way.If you borrow £300 from a doorsteplender, you could pay back £495, awhopping £195 in interest!Making your money go much furtherCredit Unions are a good way to saveand they also offer low interest loans.If you borrow £300 from a credit union,you could pay back £340.44 - only£40.44 in interest.For more information about how to join,contact the Castle & Minster CreditUnion on 01484 226666 or visit theiroffices in Huddersfield, Dewsbury orBatley.4

Rising fuel prices -KNH can help!What you can do:You can help cut your energy bills by beingmore energy efficient and finding the bestenergy deals available:Gas and electricity prices arepredicted to reach record levelsover the next few months.Although none of us individually cancontrol the price of energy, there's lotswe can all do to cut how much energywe use and help keep our costs down.What KNH is doing:Since 2004, KNH has helped customers savenearly 27% on their energy bills - that worksout to savings of £3.5 million a year acrossall council homes in Kirklees. We’ve donethat mostly by installing more efficient heatingsystems and extra insulation through ourdecent homes programme.As boilers reach the end of their life, wereplace them with energy efficient models inboth individual homes and shelteredschemes. Each new boiler will cut bills bybetween £70 and £225 per year.A new programme of external cladding andother insulation will also keep homes warmer.Looking ahead, we're hoping to get the goaheadto invest £13.9 million in renewableenergy systems over the next 12 years. Thesewill both cut fuel bills and reduce carbonemissions.Firstly, get the best energy deal - you couldsave up to 30% by switching suppliers.Getting gas and electric from the same placeisn't always the cheapest option. You'll alsosave money paying by direct debit if youcan. To find the best rates, contact EnergyWatch on 0845 906 0708 or If you don't haveinternet access, see if a friend will check foryou or visit your local library.Secondly, use the most energy efficientgoods you can - an A+ rated fridge freezercould save you up to £63 a year.Thirdly, remember our top energy savingtips:• Don't leave things on standby• Only fill the kettle with enough water foryour needs• Use heating time switches andthermostats to turn things off or downwhen not needed• Close curtains at dusk• Use low energy light bulbs whereverpossibleFinally, don't forget you can get freeenergy advice and help to find the bestdeal from the KNH Energy Team. Call01484 416733 if you'd like an advisor tovisit your home.STOP PRESS: The KNH Energy Team &Money Advisors are joining up with themobile library service to bring moneysaving advice direct to your door. Lookout for us from late September.5

Win £50Tell us what you thinkWe would like to know what you thinkof this magazine. The best suggestionfor improvement will win £50!7. Would you prefer to receive informationin a different format? A newspaper rather than a magazine DVD Other8. What other topics would you like to seecovered in Door to Door? (Please be specific.)NameAddress1. Door to Door is produced three times ayear. Is this... (Tick the option you agree with)too few too many just right 2. Do you find the informationrelevant & interesting?Yes No 9. Do you have any suggestions for how wecan make Door to Door better or improveour communications with you?3. Is it easy to read? Yes No 4. Are you satisfied with it? Yes No 5. Are you satisfied with otherKNH publications, such asour leaflets?6. Are you satisfied with howwe keep you informedabout issues that affect youor your estate?Yes No Yes No To enter the prize draw, simply return yourcompleted form in an envelope (no stampneeded) to: KNH Freepost NAT9958,Huddersfield HD1 6DQClosing date: Friday 26 SeptemberThank you!New look for KNH websiteClick onto new site contains information for current and prospectivecustomers, as well as material that other housingorganisations may find useful.Key features include:• Guides to all major KNH services• Information about paying rent and otherimportant tenancy conditions• All the latest housing news and events• Details of the full range of KNH Excelrewards benefits, complete with onlineapplication forms• A full list of relevant housing contacts18

Home contents insurance madeSimpleOur newinsurancescheme isdesignedwith yourneeds inmind.It offerscomprehensivecover with verycompetitivepremiums thatcan be paidweekly ormonthly, withDirect Debitavailable.There’s noexcess to payand mosthousehold itemsare covered fromfire, explosion,storms, theft,vandalism andmore.Call 01484223262 for moreinformation or toask for anapplication pack.Every yearhundreds oftenants findthemselves in realdifficulty whendisaster strikesand possessionsare lost.In last year's stormsand floods, somepeople losteverything theyowned - clothes,furniture, appliances,carpets, books,bedding and so on.If that happened,would you be able toreplace everythingShocking state of a home following last year’s floodsyou've spent yearsbuilding up?To help make sure noone has to do that,KNH has introduceda new and improvedhome contentsinsurance schemecalled “SIMPLE” -Simple InsuranceMaking People’sLives Easier.The policy isprovided byInsurance brokers,Marsh, on behalf ofthe well-knownRoyal Sun Alliance.All KNH tenants andleaseholders canbenefit from thisscheme and there isno excess to pay ifyou make a claim.Premiums start fromas little as £1.31 perweek for £9000 ofcover, with discountsfor eligiblepensioners.Don’t wait until youneed it to think aboutinsurance. Call ustoday to getcovered.19

CommunityleadershipDo you want to make a real differenceto the area where you live? If so, theKNH community leadership programmecould be just the thing for you.The programme is sponsored by the KNHCommunity Empowerment Team. Spreadover five easy weekly sessions, it is free toanyone living on a Kirklees Council estateand doesn't require any qualifications.Jack Gannon completed the course earlierin the year. Jack has been involved withBatley Carr Tenant and Residents Associationfor 19 years and in 2007 was elected by thetenants in Batley and Spen to represent themon the Board of KNH.Jack said: “This programme is ideal foranyone wanting to make a real difference totheir community. It certainly helped boostmy confidence and I now feel much moreable to tackle the important issues faced asa KNH Board Member.“Those of us attending the last programmehad a great time; everything was put over insimple language and in a way that is easy tounderstand. I thought it was great and wouldrecommend it to anyone.”Many of the skills learnt are transferable tothe job market and highly valued and soughtafter by prospective employers.Sessions are held at a time and venueconvenient to the participants and last forno longer than four hours.For more information about this freeprogramme, please contact the KNHCommunity Empowerment Team on01484 221223 or’tlose yourright tovoteTo make sure you can vote in the nextelection, please complete and send backyour 2008 Register of Electors form,which you should have received recently.Reply by 10 September, and you'll beentered into a prize draw to win £1000.You should list the names of everyone wholives at your address who can vote. Thensign the form and return it in the envelopeprovided.If there are no changes to your householddetails, you can use the Freephone or internetoptions listed on the form to register to vote.Further information about how to completethe form is included in the envelope.Kirklees Council uses the information yougive to update the electoral register.The council will publish the updated electoralregister on 1 December and you can checkto make sure your details are included.The information on the form is required bylaw. But you also need to be on the electoralregister to get credit, apply for a bankaccount, loan or mortgage, get hire purchase,apply for a store card or catalogue or buy amobile phone. If you don't register, you mayhave problems applying for any of these.If you need more information, or help tocomplete the form, please call ElectoralServices on 01484 222400 or

Leaseholdershappier withtheir servicesIn the last edition of Door to Door, wesaid we would report back on the latestleaseholder customer satisfactionsurvey.Overall, we're pleased to report thatleaseholders are more satisfied with theservices they receive than they were in 2006,before KNH took over responsibility for them.We asked questions about our customers'understanding of leaseholder and landlordrights and responsibilities, communication,staff helpfulness and overall satisfaction. In2006, all these areas scored quite poorly -under 50% in most cases.Since then, we've set up a dedicatedleaseholder team; produced a new handbook;set up a section on the KNH website;introduced newsletters, information leafletsand forums; and carried out specialist stafftraining. We are also working on plain English'translations' of leases, to make theimplications of owning a lease even clearer.As a result, the latest survey showedconsiderable improvement in all areas, withthe overall satisfaction rating going up bynearly 20%.There's obviously more work to do, but wethink we've made a good start to reallychange the way we provide services forleaseholders - and it's clear you do too.Young peopletake pride inLondon ParkWe've recently created new play areasand sports facilities on the London Parkestate in Dewsbury to give localyoungsters a healthy outlet for theirenergies.Debbie Hugill, Neighbourhood TenantParticipation Officer, and Julie Hopkins,Estate Management Officer, wanted theyoung people to take pride in the newequipment and their estate and make surethey were well looked after. So theydeveloped a scheme which involved youngpeople doing work in exchange for rewards.During a walk to see what jobs the youngpeople could do, they noticed some woodenfences needed repairing and decided thiswould be a good project. So with materials,training and support from the EstateCaretakers, Ken Hemingway and PhilBeaumont, four volunteers spent an afternoonfixing the fencing. They did a brilliant job,had a great time and received vouchers froma sports shop in exchange for their hardwork.Everyone involved in the scheme is reallypleased with what's been done and the localtenants and residents association has agreedto support similar work in the future.We look forward to working with you to keepimproving and developing our services. Formore information about how you can helpus do that, contact the Home OwnershipTeam on 01484 416990.Repairing fences to help improve the estate21

We’re listening to youHow you’ve influenced the services KNH providesMost of you willhave completeda KNH survey atsome point inthe past andyou may wonderwhy we ask somany questionsor what we dowith yourresponses.Well, your viewshelp us decidehow to improveexisting servicesand identify newareas fordevelopment.DogsYou said thatdogs were aproblem sowe’vedevelopedguidance forpet ownersIn our last customersurvey in 2007, yousaid dogs were aproblem on yourestates. So we'vebeen working with agroup of tenants andstaff to put togethera new guide to goodpet ownership tohelp prevent some ofthe problems dogscan cause.Young peopleYou wanted usto do more foryoung peopleso we’rebuilding newplay and sportsareasIn response to yourconcerns aboutyoung people, we'veinstalled a number ofmulti-use play areasto give children andyoung peoplesomewhere to beactive.We've alsodeveloped twoDVDs, the KNH Kidsprogramme and theInLiving mobilephone game toencourage a senseof respect andresponsibility (seepages 3 & 7).Anti-socialbehaviourYou wereconcernedaboutantisocialbehaviour sowe’ve broughtin several newschemes totackle itMany of you said youwere worried aboutantisocial behaviour.We've developedintroductorytenancies and goodneighbouragreements in orderto address theseconcerns.CommunityWe know that mostof you value a senseof community.We've been workinghard to strengthencommunities bysupporting tenantsand residentsassociations, givingpeople lots of waysto take part andhelping organisedozens ofcommunity events.22

Repairs serviceWe know that mostof you are happywith the repairsservice.We've tried toimprove this evenmore by producing anew handbook thatmakes rights andresponsibilitiesclearer. Our newrepairs contract withBuilding Serviceshas also beendesigned to makethe service moreefficient andresponsive to yourneeds.Empty homesAlthough most ofyou are happy withyour homes, newtenants sometimesfeel theirs could bein a better conditionwhen they move in.We're currentlyreviewing how wedeal with emptyhomes so we canimprove this service.DampSome of you feel thatdamp andcondensation are aproblem, so we’redeveloping a DVDthat will give clearand effective adviceon how to preventmoisture build up.Digital TVWe’re installingcommunaldigital arialsacross KirkleesIn order to make theswitch over to digitalTV go as smoothlyas possible, we areupgrading ourcommunal aerials.Payment cardsMany older tenantshave asked if wecould re-introduce aversion of the old rentpayment card fortheir own use, torecord when they'vemade a payment andto remind them ofpayment and nonpaymentdates.We've done this andwill be sending themout in the near future.LeaseholderservicesIn the past, less thanhalf of leaseholderswere happy with theservices theyreceived.In response, we setup a dedicatedleaseholder service,published a newhandbook, and wesend out a regularnewsletter.Satisfaction levelshave increased by19% since KNH tookover responsibilityfor leaseholders.Contacting usYou've also told usthat you sometimesfind it difficult to gethold of the rightperson. To help fixthis problem, we'veimproved ourtelephone system sowe can answer yourcall quicker andmore effectively.New servicesFinally, when weasked whatadditional servicesyou might like us toprovide, many of yousaid that a HandyPerson servicewould be useful.We've set this upand are now testingit out in southKirklees. It's lookinglike a great successso we expect to rollthe service outacross the boroughvery soon.As you can see, wedo listen to what youtell us and moreimportantly, we dosomething about it.So the next time youget a survey, pleasefill it in. Your viewsreally do count!23

REPAIRS CONTACTA convenient way to order repairs is tocall Kirklees Direct on: 01484 414800,Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.For emergency repairs out of hours call:01924 324700If you are acouncil tenantand wouldlike advice onsaving fuel costs,please contactour energy teamon 01484 416733To contact your local KirkleesNeighbourhood Housing Team,email or call:Almondbury & Holme Valley 01484 416500Batley & Birstall 01924 326047Cleckheaton & Heckmondwike 01274 335050Colne Valley 01484 416500Dalton, Denby Dale & Kirkburton 01484 226953Deighton 01484 234270Dewsbury & Mirfield 01924 431456Huddersfield 01484 226953Newsome & Crosland Moor 01484 416500Bi-lingual housingservices availableFor information and adviceon housing services in Urdu,Gujarati, Pahari, Potwari andPunjabi:• finding a home• rents and housing benefits• repairsCall 01484 226967HAVE YOUR SAY!If you would like to make a comment or criticism aboutDoor to Door or other KNH services, please let us know.This will help us improve what we do. Write yourcomments in the space below (you don’t have to includeyour name and address). Then cut out the slip and returnit to us at this address. You don’t need a stamp, just anenvelope:KNH FREEPOST NAT9958 HUDDERSFIELD HD1 6DQ.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Name ............................................................................................✄•••••DOORTODOORDoor To Door © Kirklees NeighbourhoodHousing 2008. All efforts are made toensure the information contained in thispublication is correct and accurate, butno liability is accepted for errors.Door to Door is published by KirkleesNeighbourhood Housing and is printedon paper recycled from 100% consumerwaste. 09/08Address .........................................................................................................................................................................................12................................................................................................

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