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Street Talk - Issue 64.

This Spring 2020 edition of Street Talk, Ocean Housing's tenants and residents magazine, contains the latest need to know information. Features include; How to Stay Safe and Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Meet Our Customer Services Team, Your Rent Statement Explained, and much more.

This Spring 2020 edition of Street Talk, Ocean Housing's tenants and residents magazine, contains the latest need to know information.

Features include; How to Stay Safe and Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Meet Our Customer Services Team, Your Rent Statement Explained, and much more.

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Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Spring 2020 | Issue 64

Stay Safe and Well

From us all at Ocean Housing

Kirsty and Henry have settled into their brand new home in Lelant, St Ives.

Kirsty explained, “After becoming homeless last year whilst privately renting,

we were forced to move into temporary

housing. It was such a worry being a

single parent with my young son

Henry, who is seven.”

“Thanks to Ocean, we now have a

permanent home, security for us

both and we couldn’t

be happier,” said Kirsty.

Email and text

reminders, find out

about our new service

. . . see page 4

Put a face to the name

and meet the customer

service team

. . . see pages 6 & 7

Find out about our

first community action

day of 2020 and how it

went . . . . see page 8

COVID-19, Coronavirus Pandemic

Please be aware that due to the pandemic we are operating a reduced service

for our tenants and residents, in accordance with government guidelines.

Please only use our contact number 01726 874450 if your call is urgent.

If it is not please email help@oceanhousing.com

or visit our website www.oceanhousing.com


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

At the time of printing, the situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19)

outbreak continues to evolve rapidly by the day.

Nevertheless, we would like to reassure our residents

that we are doing everything we can to deliver the

best and safest services available, while following

government guidelines.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement about

restriction of movement, on Monday 23rd March our

offices were immediately closed to the public and

our staff are now working remotely.

Strong systems and plans were in place in case of

events such as this, and they have been working

well to date, although we have had to make slight

changes.

What this means for our day-to-day work:

• We are attending emergency repairs only, in

accordance with government guidelines. This is

where there is an immediate risk to your security,

health or safety. Please be aware that if our staff

do not deem your repair to be an emergency

when they arrive it will not be completed and we

may recharge you for this aborted call.

• Face to face meetings with Ocean staff have

stopped. Telephone appointments are being

offered as an alternative, where possible.

• We are asking tenants and residents to only

contact us if it is really necessary. Our Customer

Service team will still be available to take your

calls on 01726 874450. We will also respond to

your emails to help@oceanhousing.com and

LiveChat requests ASAP.

• Downloading the Ocean Housing smartphone

app is now more useful than ever. You can use it

to directly report repairs, pay rent, as well as

having easy access to our social media updates.

It can be found on the Google Play App stores by

searching for ‘Ocean Housing Association’.

• Rent payments can be made via the Ocean App,

phoning 01726 874450, the AllPay website

(www.allpayments.net) and My Ocean. We are

offering intensive help to any resident who

is in arrears at an earlier stage, in addition to our

normal advice and support service. Residents

may be eligible for help towards rent payments

through Universal Credit. If anyone is worried

about paying rent, they are encouraged to

contact us.

• Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide

by all other terms of their tenancy agreement

to the best of their ability. The Government has a

strong package of financial support available.

Rent levels set out in tenancy agreements

remain legally due and tenants should discuss

with us if they are having any difficulties in

paying. We advise residents to speak with us for

guidance and advice at all times.

• Shared owners should continue to pay their rent

and mortgage, and abide by all other terms

of their lease to the best of their ability. Some

mortgage lenders are offering repayment

holidays designed to help people to maintain

their rent payments at this time. Whilst

mortgage repayment holidays are available,

residents should only apply for them if absolutely

necessary. We advise people to speak to their

mortgage lenders for guidance and advice.

Although our doors may now be closed, we are

still here for you. You can continue to contact our

Customer Service team if you have any further

questions about our revised services, as

advised above.

“We want to thank all our tenants and staff for

their patience and understanding during this

difficult period,”

added Mark Gardner, Chief Executive.

“We will continue to keep our website updated

with the latest information. I want to reassure

our tenants that we will still be available

to help and support them through these

challenging times.”

Further information, advice and updates about our

response to COVID-19 can be found online at:

www.oceanhousing.com/coronavirus/

2


Spring 2020 | Issue 64

The Safety of Your Home is Our Top Priority

As a social landlord, we pride ourselves on the safety and well-being of our tenants and residents. To ensure our

homes are safe and compliant, our Property Services team carry out regular inspections and services across our

housing stock every year. Gas checks, along with other inspections are a legal requirement and so entry to your

home is very important. Tenants who refuse to co-operate with us will be served with a court injunction – which

is a last resort. In 2019, over 8,000 checks were carried out, as shown below –

Gas Supply Pipe inspections 277 Landlord Gas Safety Reports 1,866

Legionella Risk Assessments 820 Fire Safety Inspections 4,237

Electrical Installation Condition Reports 850

In addition to these, we will be carrying out an extra 1,600 asbestos management surveys and fire door

inspections during 2020.

You can help us, help you and keep both yourselves and your homes safe by ensuring appointments are kept and

property issues are reported promptly. Our property services team will do everything they can to make suitable

appointments for you and your family.

Further information can be found in the free publication Tenant Guide to Property Health & Safety which is

available on our website at www.oceanhousing.com/firesafety or can be requested by emailing

help@oceanhousing.com or calling us 01726 874450.

3


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Everywhere you turn, someone’s glued to the screen of a phone, e-mailing,

posting status updates or playing a mobile game. However, being digitally active

is not something everyone is able to be a part of and there are still around 69,000

people in Cornwall that haven’t ever switched on a computer. Ocean’s Digital

Heroes are able to show you how to do a number of actions online at a venue

and pace that suits you. Resident, Shan explains “I found becoming a Digital

Champion very rewarding. In this digital age, there are so many reasons to get

online for everyday tasks, for some of us that’s really easy but for a great majority

of people the thought of having to submit a form or shop and bank online is

really quite intimidating.”

I have used a computer since the 80s, in an effort to give something back

to the community it’s a skill I am able to share. I chose to use my experience

and computer knowledge to help Ocean tenants online and get comfortable Shan

with using a computer or tablet. I’m also supported by Cornwall Council‘s digital champions, and NatWest’s

community banker. It’s about feeling safe and confident online, with Ocean we can help to set up free clinics in

the community.”

If you are interested in becoming a digital champion or signing up for free digitial training, please

contact us by emailing help@oceanhousing.com or 01726 874450.

In January, we introduced a system where you will

now receive a reminder for the repair appointments

you make. If you have a mobile number or an email

address registered with us, you will automatically

receive this service. Depending on your chosen

method of contact this will either be sent as a text or

email. The reminder will contain your order reference,

appointment slot time and date.

Jenny

4

From Zero to Digital Hero

Appointment Alert!

Resident, Jenny, received a text reminder for her gas

servicing appointment. Jenny told us “this service

gives me the reassurance that I won’t miss an

appointment, as my phone is always with me.”

As a business, a missed appointment for us can cost

up to £72. So we are asking if your appointment is

no longer suitable, to call us and we will arrange a

new one.

The new service also allows you

to text 07520632741

for rent information:

BAL

PAY

for a balance enquiry

to find out about your last

rent payment

CARD to order a replacement

payment card

RENT if you require a call back to

discuss your account

Your contact details are important to

us, if you need to update these

please email us at

help@oceanhousing.com or call

01726 874450.


Spring 2020 | Issue 64

Your Rent Statement Explained

All tenants and residents will receive their annual rent statement in the coming months. The picture below shows

how the statement is broken down and explains if you are in credit, arrears, have an agreement set up, pay a

service charge or have any other monies owed other than rent.

Should you have any further questions regarding your rent statement, please contact us by emailing

help@oceanhousing.com or by calling 01726 874450.

Mr Oliver Ocean

15 Ocean Street

St Austell

PL25 3SW

Please quote your tenancy ref when

paying by Standing Order or Bank Transfer

or to register for ‘My Ocean’

Account Statement

This indicates

the basic rent

you are charged,

breakdown

of service

charges and the

combined total

This statement covers any rent, service charges and

personal charges that are applied to your current tenancy.

This indicates if your rent

account is up to date or in

arrears

Address: 15 Ocean Street, St Austell, PL25 3SW

Your Customer Accounts Advisor is Hayley Heap

Summary of Weekly Charges

Basic Rent £100.67 Grounds Maintenance £1.09

Total Charges £101.76

This shows changes and payments that we recorded on our systems between 12 January 2020 and 12 March 2020.

Opening Balance as at 12 Jan 2020

Tenancy Ref: 000000

Your Account is in Arrears

Date Description Charges Payments Balance

13/01/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £54.71 In arrears

16/01/20 Payment - Housing Rent Cash £120.00 £65.29 In Credit

20/01/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £36.47 In Arrears

27/01/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £138.23 In Arrears

31/01/20 Payment - Housing Rent Cash £520.00 £381.77 In Credit

31/01/20 Payment - Housing Benefit £23.69 £405.46 In Credit

03/02/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £303.70 In Credit

10/02/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £201.94 In Credit

17/02/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £100.18 In Credit

24/02/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £1.58 In Arrears

28/02/20 Payment - Housing Benefit £94.76 £93.18 In Credit

02/03/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £8.58 In Arrears

03/03/20 Payment - Housing Rent Cash £110.00 £101.42 In Credit

If you have an

agreement

for repayment

of rent arrears

or a court

order it will be

shown here

09/03/20 Weekly Charge £101.76 £0.34 In Arrears

Closing Balance £0.34 In Arrears

Accounts on this Tenancy

Rent Account £0.34 In Arrears

Total For This Tenancy £0.34 In Arrears

Payment Agreement(s)

Weekly Agreement £5.98 Weekly

Other Non Rent Account Charges

Personal Charges £142.04 In Arrears

Got a query? Then log onto the Ocean Housing app, available on the App Store and Play Store.

This

balance

indicates

whether

the rent

account is

in credit or

arrears

This indicates any monies owed other than rent.

All outstanding debts should be paid in full or paid on-line

with a repayment agreement

5


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

If you’ve called to raise a repair, pay your rent, then

you will have spoken to one of our fantastic customer

service advisors. They enable us to deliver our promise

to provide excellent customer service to you.

Within the team a number of areas are covered,

including initial contact when visiting the main

office, the allocating and dealing with garages, pet

permissions and tenant improvement requests.

The team also deal with Homeswapper accounts, My

Ocean registrations and filter enquiries around the

business.

In 2019

the contact centre

took over

60,000

calls

We understand that you want a fast, friendly and

efficient service. To enable you to contact us we

offer the following methods;

• LiveChat on our website

www.oceanhousing.com

• Emailing us at help@oceanhousing.com

• Call us on 01726 874450

• Visit our reception at the St Austell office

• Via social media, Facebook, Instagram

or Twitter

• Our NEW smartphone app

Spotlight - Custom

The average wait time was

1 minute

20 seconds

Davina

Customer Services Advisor

Hazel

Customer Services Supervisor

In my role I enjoy the variety of topics we cover, no two days are

the same. It is very rewarding when we can help a tenant with their

query ”

I enjoy enabling residents to

self-serve, they are able to do this

using our new Ocean app or via

www.oceanhousing.com ”

Claire

Customer Services Advisor

I enjoy my job as I get to

interact with different individuals

and challenges. I like solving

problems and learning something

new every day ”

David

Customer Services Advisor

I’ve been a part of many a team over the years and never felt happier.

I enjoy seeing my colleagues smile and the fact that we all care a great

deal about each other is what keeps me coming in each day. It’s less

working with colleagues and more working with friends; who doesn’t

like seeing friends? ”

6


Spring 2020 | Issue 64

er Services Advisors

Aled

Customer Services Advisor

Sometimes you face a

query that’s not necessarily

our responsibilty. However, we

can give advice or guidance

and signpost them in the right

direction. The conversations when

you leave a tenant or resident

with more information than they

had when they first spoke to you,

is the best thing about my job ”

Emma

Customer Services Advisor

What I enjoy most about

my job is the feeling of helping

someone who calls in frustrated,

but by the end of the call it is truly

appreciated. ”

In 2019

the team handled over

20,000

customer forms received

through the

Ocean Housing website

Chelsea

Customer Services Advisor

I most enjoy helping tenants

solve problems they are having,

it’s very rewarding helping and

providing a service to others ”

Matilda

Business Administrator Apprentice

What I enjoy most about my

job, is being able to help people

and make a difference to their

lives for the better ”

The team

3000

completed

over

Live Chats

Michelle & Jill

Receptionists

The best part of working on

Reception at Ocean is dealing with

customers face to face. Every day is

different. We also get to deal with

all areas of the business, when

taking in deliveries and signing in

visitors for meetings ”

Tina

Customer Services Advisor

As a newbie to the team, I’ve

really enjoyed learning the wide

variety of topics which cover

Ocean’s responsibilities: from

making tradesmen appointments,

and taking rental payments,

to assisting with Homechoice

queries and offering general

advice to our tenantse ”

7


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Newquay Community Spring into Action

Last month we invited residents of Hawkins Road,

Newquay, to participate in one of our Community

Action Days (CAD). The aim of the event was to enable

residents of the area to meet with staff and talk to

local agencies. It was great to see so many people

attend and meet up with their neighbours. We were

joined by the dog warden, police community support

officers, Harbour Housing, South West Water and

Cornwall Council who were on hand to answer any

questions.

Community action days are so important, and

benefit both our residents and staff. They give us

the opportunity to hear first-hand how we can

improve our services that you receive. Residents were

delighted to speak to staff who were available to ask

questions regarding their rent account, report a repair,

and discuss any neighbourhood queries.

Cllr Oliver Monk who attended the day told us

“As the local Cornwall Councillor for the area I know

residents were pleased with the response

shown by Ocean Housing’s staff. The

community action day proves how

successful modern housing associations

should interact with the public.

These community events seek to

bring residents to connect with their

neighbours, staff and local service

agencies, Local resident, Loren told us

“I have really enjoyed meeting staff

who keep the area tidy for me and my

neighbours.”

We look forward to visiting and meeting

more residents later in 2020.

We’ve launched a brand new app!

From reporting a repair to paying rent,

carry out a range of tasks in just a few clicks

- all from your mobile!

8


Spring 2020 | Issue 64

IFF Voluntas –

Helping us to help you

• interviewers will introduce themselves as calling from IFF-Voluntas

Your views are vital when it comes to what we do and how we do

it. Your experience and feedback will enable us to work to improve

the services we provide and how we communicate with you.

Over the next few months, IFF Voluntas will contact a number of

residents by telephone to update the details we hold for you and

ask you a number of questions.

IFF Voluntas are an independent housing research specialist who

have been selected to complete this research on our behalf. We

know that cold calling can be a worrying time for you so to be

confident:

• the number which will appear on customer’s phones will be 0800 077 3572 or 0808 169 9378

• IFF Voluntas will make calls between 10am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on a Saturday

• IFF Voluntas are registered with the Market Research Society and bound by their code of conduct so we will

never pass a customer’s details to any third party.

Polgrean Progress

We are working closely with our colleagues at Gilbert & Goode to deliver the redevelopment project in St Blazey.

The long awaited redevelopment has now commenced on site; the first blocks have been demolished and further

technical design work is now being carried out. We will be starting the first phase of the new build construction

works in the coming months with the first tenants able to move into their new homes next year. The project is

exciting for us, the residents and the future community, we look forward to seeing the dawn of a new era for

everyone at Polgrean and Landreath Place.

9


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

“It’s hard to believe that it ever happened,” says George, as he reflects on his former working life.

The 102-year-old - thought to be our oldest resident - served in intelligence at Bletchley Park, the historic centre of

Allied code-breaking during the Second World War.

It was there that Alan Turing and his team famously cracked the German Enigma code, greatly helping the

Allies secure victory. This remarkable feat was brought to life in an Oscar nominated film, starring Benedict

Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

Speaking to us 80 years on

from his time there (while

stressing that he has

signed many an Official

Secrets Act!), George

described it as ‘surreal’.

His dedication has

been commemorated

in the form of medals

and inclusion on the

Codebreaker’s Wall at

Bletchley.

Know your neighbour - 102 Years Young

“I still remember when

the brown envelope

arrived and told me that

I was being conscripted,”

he added.

“More is being understood about Bletchley now,

all these years on. It’s incredible to think that 9,000

operatives passed through in that time.”

Another brown envelope arrived for Mr Aston

recently, but its contents provoked an entirely different

reaction.

“An eight year old girl named Jessica - who is my great,

great niece - recently wrote to me. She has based her

school project on Bletchley and my service.”

“That’s the best letter I’ve received in a long time. She

is taking my medals in to show her classmates!”

George, originally from Dorset, moved to St Austell

after meeting his second wife, Betty, while on

holiday to the Isles of Scilly. They had both lost their

first partners to illness and found love again with

each other.

His first marriage lasted for 40 years, as did his second.

Betty passed away last August, aged 99.

George’s advice for people growing up in 2020 is

simply to ‘slow down’. “There’s a terrible pace to

everything,” he adds.

“The world today has a lot going for it, but it’s lost a lot

on the way. We’ve gone from having horse and carts to

putting a man on the moon, but basic principles and

manners have gone.”

‘Good, old-fashioned and honest food’ is what George

puts his good health and longevity down to. Tripe,

onions and dumplings are regular favourites and he

makes sure to fast every Saturday.

With a cheeky smile George gestures to his pile of

completed puzzle pull-outs and adds: “See, I’m a

crazy man for crosswords”, as he continues to carry on

codebreaking.

10


Spring 2020 | Issue 64

Building Homes for Cornwall

In Cornwall, house prices are 12 times above average

earnings, so there is a huge need for new homes for

rent and shared ownership across the County for local

people. As a landlord we recognise this and have an

ongoing development programme which will enable

us to contribute to meeting the housing need across

the region. Our aim is to build over 2,000 new homes by

2030 with over 900 new homes planned over the next

five years. We are constantly working towards this and

for 2019/2020 have provided 72 affordable homes and

29 shared ownership properties.

Here are some of our recent developments in Lelant,

Constantine and Praze-an-Beeble.

11


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

The first three correct entries drawn will win:

1st Prize

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

Happy 20th Birthday

Ocean Housing Group.

Ocean Housing celebrated its

20th birthday before 7th February this year.

Can you spot the differences, how many

can you find?

£60 Shopping Voucher

£40 Shopping Voucher

£20 Shopping Voucher

The competition is open to all Ocean residents.

Only one entry per household. Closing date will be

a week after the office re-opens.

Good Luck!

You don’t need a stamp, just cut out the

picture with the differences circled and pop

it into an envelope addressed to:

$

FREEPOST RSES-LCCA-EJUJ

Birthday Spot the Difference

Ocean Housing Stennack Road

St Austell PL25 3SW

Name:

How many differences did you spot?

Our Christmas Competition

Thank you to those that took the time to enter our

Christmas Competition, the details of those that won

are below.

Congratulations to Kelly from St Dennis who was thrilled

to win the £60 shopping voucher.

Also, Carole from St Dennis and Delia from Newquay

who won 2nd and 3rd prizes.

Carole

Address:

Tel No:

Email:

Postcode:

Delia

Please recycle your Street Talk. Printed on Re-cycled paper. Designed & produced by Karen Jackson Design 01326 373108 Photography by Frame by Frame 01503 262684.

email: help@oceanhousing.com

www.oceanhousing.com

01726 874450

Out of Hours Numbers

Emergency Repairs: 01726 874450

Anti-Social Behaviour: 01726 874450

Contact us for a Large Print or Audio CD of this newsletter

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