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Street Talk No 67

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Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Spring 2021 | Issue 67

Happy

Easter

from all at

Ocean Housing!

New homes in St Blazey,

find out how you can

register your interest

. . . see page 5

Find out how you can get

peace of mind and keep

your family safe in their

own home

. . . see page 6

Meet China, who in our Christmas edition, said she was grateful for her sister being

born last Summer. Amorah was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at

birth. Thankfully, the family are safely back together at home. China says, “I’m so

happy that Amorah is not poorly any more. I’ve wanted a sister my whole life.”

Find out more about

Chris, one of our

Board members

. . . see page 7

Our Easter opening times…

Our customer service advisors will be unavailable from 5pm on Thursday 1st April

and will re-open on Tuesday 6th April at 8.30am.

For emergencies please contact our out of hours service on 01726 874450.


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Last year our Tenant and

Resident Panel and Scrutiny

Panel combined together to build

the exciting new ‘Together with Ocean’ group

(TWO). We are lucky to have dedicated tenants

who give up their time and energy to share

their feedback and give recommendations on

how we can continue to improve the services

we provide. The coronavirus pandemic hasn't

stopped them either, with meetings switching

to virtual ones, online. Each month they

meet with senior members of staff and Board

members on topics and subjects that matter

to them.

Newest group member, Maria says, “There are

lots of ways to be involved, depending on the

time you have to offer and how much time you

can commit. I’ve overcome barriers of severe anxiety,

loss of confidence and the feeling of being lost after a

breakdown of my health, marriage and employment.

With encouragement, support and understanding,

I have grown and found purpose and a connection

Have you been spending more time at home due to the lockdown restrictions and cold weather?

Perhaps you are missing the social interaction with your neighbours, friends and family. If so, we

have a great way for you to get involved and make new friends from the comfort of your own

home with the Ocean Virtual Internet Panel (VIP). VIP is our new online platform exclusively for

tenants and residents of Ocean Housing. All you need is internet access, a phone, tablet or laptop

and you’re ready to go!

VIP is a great way for you to make a difference and tell us what you think of the services we provide as a housing

association. We have recently received positive feedback on how we have handled the pandemic and given

recommendations on how we could improve in some areas. This feedback

doesn't take much time and you can access it online anytime of the day.

2

Join Maria with Together with Ocean

Become an Ocean VIP!

again by taking part

in this group. I still

struggle with my

physical and mental

health, however I’m

so glad I took the

steps to join this

group of people

from all walks of life

and I feel I can still

contribute in some

way, and hopefully

help others in a

similar situation."

If you would like

to get involved or

you would like more information about the range of

options available, which suit your individual needs,

please contact our Tenant Partnership team on

(01726) 874450 or email help@oceanhousing.com

We can't wait to hear from you.

With every contribution you make, you will be rewarded with points, the

more points you earn the bigger chance you have of winning the prize draw

of a £50 shopping voucher.

This is exactly what happened with Steven from St Newlyn East who is our

first winner. Steven told us, "I found it an easy to join VIP and it's great that

we have a chance to put our views across on all areas of the business, I

would recommend everyone to join."

If you are interested in joining our online community, please follow this link

to sign up www.oceanhousingvip.co.uk/oa/6a612e

or for more information please email

tenantpartnership@oceanhousing.com or call 01726 874450.


Spring 2021 | Issue 67

Every tenant and resident will have received a letter explaining

their new rent charges that take effect from the 5th of April 2021.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit (UC) and get help

towards your housing costs, it is important that you notify the

Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) of the changes to

your rent.

You should receive a notification within your online Universal

Credit account, such as pictured here on the right. There will be

an action in your "to-do" list or you can telephone 0800 328 5644

(8am to 6pm Monday to Friday).

These changes must be reported on or as soon after Monday 5th

April 2021 to ensure you receive the money you are entitled to.

If you pay by direct debit, we will automatically adjust your

payment to reflect the new amount that you need to pay. A new schedule will be sent to you in the post.

If you pay by standing order or are a manual monthly payer, then you will be responsible for amending your

own payments to reflect the new amounts.

If you are in receipt of housing benefit from Cornwall Council, you do not need to inform them of the

change to your rent. We are able to inform the Council direct of any changes and your housing benefit will

be adjusted accordingly.

If you have any concerns about paying your rent, please contact our Customer Accounts team on

01726 874450 or visit our website www.oceanhousing.com/your-benefits

Changes to be

made to fix-term

tenancies...

Rent Review 2021

Many of our tenants will already have a lifetime tenancy. Following a review

we have decided to stop using fixed term tenancy agreements. This means we

will soon begin issuing lifetime tenancies to all new tenants who successfully

complete their 12 month starter period. If you have a lifetime tenancy your home

is yours for life if you wish, as long as you keep to the terms of your agreement.

Over the next few months we will be contacting all existing tenants who have

a fixed term tenancy, or a starter tenancy leading to a fixed term agreement. For tenants who have kept to the

terms of their tenancy agreement, they will be offered

a lifetime tenancy.

A lifetime tenancy will only be offered if:

• Your rent is up to date with no arrears

• You have let us carry out the necessary checks and

services to ensure your home is safe

• If you have not breached any other terms of your

current tenancy agreement

A member of the team will be in touch if we are able to

make the offer to you, so please ensure your contact

details are up-to-date, you can do this by emailing

help@oceanhousing.com or call 01726 874450.

3


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Did you know that Ocean has a set of Service

Standards which are set and agreed with you, our

tenants?

So that they remain current and cover the things

you expect and want, we’ve recently reviewed

them with Together With Ocean (TWO), our tenant

group and made some important changes.

The standards continue to explain what services

we will provide and when, however, as an adopter

of the National Housing Federation’s ‘Together

with Tenants’ campaign, we will now be listing

these standards against a set of six commitment

which are:

• Relationships

• Communication

• Voice and influence

• Accountability

• Quality

• When things go wrong

Service Standards, set by you

“The revised commitments set out the quality

of service you can expect, the improvements

we are planning and how you can judge our

performance,” said David Jory, Head of Customer Experience, “For the first time we will also be asking you

questions like do you trust Ocean and how easy do you think we are to deal with, as part of our monitoring. It

really is your opportunity to have your say!”

We will be publishing the updated standards in the coming months. In the meantime, you can read our current

Service Standards booklet and see how we are performing against them on our website at

www.oceanhousing.com/home-2/about-us/service-standards

Are you interested in helping shape the services we provide?

If you’ve read our service standards and think that you have ideas on how we might improve, then we would

love to hear from you. As you will have seen earlier on in this edition, there are plenty of ways to get involved

as part of the Tenant and Resident Partnership. There are so many options available to suit the time you have

available and commitment you are able to make. Why not contact the Tenant Partnership team by emailing

tenantpartnership@oceanhousing.com and find out how you can make a difference today.

IFF Survey Update

IFF Research has been selected to complete research on our behalf, as

they are independent housing research specialists.

IFF Research will continue to contact you from 0208 049 5758.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this further,

please get in touch at help@oceanhousing.com or call 01726 874450.

4


Spring 2021 | Issue 67

In January, we were delighted to be able to hand over

the keys to a brand new home in Cubert to Amy and

Debbie. Their new property is one of six affordable

homes in the village. This is their second home

purchased through the shared ownership scheme,

which has helped them to move up the property

ladder and go from a flat which they have outgrown

and into a house. Shared ownership is a stepping

stone for so many people to gain access onto the

property ladder.

Celebrating our 500th shared owner!

Amy said, “I grew up in Cubert. It’s a lovely village

with a great mix of coast and countryside, but due

to high property prices, I never thought I’d be able to

return to living in such a sought-after area. I was so

excited to see that some of the houses at the scheme

would be shared ownership, and due to being local

with my family still living in the area, we were lucky

enough to be accepted for one of the properties. We

have purchased a 75% share, and will pay rent on the

remaining 25%.”

When the UK was placed into our third lockdown,

Nicola, Sales Co-ordinator was thrilled the sale could

go ahead. She explained, “We are committed to

ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our tenants,

residents and staff. We have a secure handover

procedure, making sure we are following the latest

Government guidelines, so we can continue to deliver

much needed homes to our buyers, such as Amy and

Debbie, keeping everyone safe and happy is

our priority.”

We have a number of precautions in place to keep

everyone safe: these include appointments for

viewings and key handovers, redesigned our viewing

process to ensure social distancing is allowed for, and

introduced additional safety measures such as hand

sanitising and wearing masks and gloves.

If you are interested in becoming a shared owner,

please visit our website www.oceanhousing.com

or email help@oceanhousing.com or call

01726 874450 and we will be able to give you

more information.

New Year, New Homes!

Polgrean is entering an exciting stage with the new build phase of the first ten social rent homes due to complete

this Summer. Despite the national lockdown, our essential work to deliver these new affordable homes has

continued. Just up the road, is where we will be offering, for the first time in St Blazey, the opportunity to purchase

a shared ownership property.

There will be nine homes in total across the project for shared ownership and you can register your interest with

our sales team. We have also begun the exciting building of our bespoke block of older persons' flats, similar

to our other older persons' accommodation at Windmill House in Fowey. This block will specifically cater to the

needs of our older community with a lift serving all floors as well as a mobility scooter storage and charging room.

We would like to hear from anyone over the age of 55, with a connection to St Blazey. This may

be a great opportunity for you to secure a brand new purpose-built flat in the heart of the new development.

We would like to take this moment to thank all the residents, neighbours

and the wider community of St Blazey. We are doing all that we can to

ensure that noise and disruption is kept to a minimum and we really

appreciate the patience and support we have received from everyone,

whilst we undertake this exciting project. For more information or to

register your interest, please email

help@oceanhousing.com or call 01726 874450.

5


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

We love to hear your feedback, whether it is positive

or negative, as we understand that we

don’t always get things right.

If things do go wrong, our three stage

complaints procedure is designed to

give us an opportunity to resolve the

problem, put things right and work

with you to find the best outcome.

Where possible, we will try to resolve

complaints as early and quickly

as possible. If this isn’t possible,

or you are not happy with the

outcome, your complaint will be

logged formally at Stage one of our

complaints process.

We want to hear your feedback, good or bad!

At Stage one your complaint will be

referred to a manager, who will take a look

Our Complaints

Procedure

at the issues you have raised. You can expect a call

to discuss your concerns within five working days,

and a full written response within

10 working days.

Your guide to making a complaint

with Ocean Housing

T: 01726 874450

www.oceanhousing.com

Ocean Housing Ltd Stennack House

Stennack Road St Austell PL25 3SW

We hope this resolves your

complaint, however if it doesn’t then

you can escalate your concerns to

Stage two and three which is reviewed

by a Managing Director or finally our

Group Chief Executive.

At any stage of the process you are able

to contact the Housing Ombudsman

to seek advice and support. We’ve

included these details below and

information about what you can do if you

remain unhappy after completing our

complaints process.

After completing our procedure, if you feel the issues persists or you are still not happy with our

response, you can take your complaint to a Designated Person or speak to the Housing Ombudsman

Service. You can visit the Housing Ombudsman Service website for more information at

www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk

To find out more details about our procedure, and access our online complaints form visit our website at

www.oceanhousing.com/home-2/contact-us/online-complaint-form

Lifeline, peace of mind to continue living independently

Within the last year we think we have

all noticed how much we appreciate

our independence. Our lifeline service

gives this to so many of our older and

vulnerable tenants who live alone. You

don't need to be a tenant to access the

service, lifeline is available to private

residents too. The Lifeline service

provides 24-hour monitoring and

emergency service all year round. The

call centre team will have access to the

details and contact information you

provided for your local doctor, family and

friends, ensuring you get the assistance

you need as soon as you need it. This service costs just £3.95 per week, which includes installation.

For more information please contact the Ocean Extra team by emailing help@oceanhousing.com or call

01726 874450.

This service is NOT only for Ocean residents so if you think a member of your family or community would benefit,

please do contact us.

6


Spring 2021 | Issue 67

I was born and raised in the Clay Country, so I have deep roots in the area

which makes me feel really privileged to be involved with the Ocean

Group. I have spent my entire 21-year career working in the social housing

sector, from being a housing officer working in Truro to now working for a

national law firm as a housing consultant. In my spare time, I like to enjoy

the natural pleasures that Cornwall has to offer, with my wife and three

daughters. The last year has meant that I haven’t needed to travel away, so

I have really enjoyed spending quality time with my family. We also have

a cat and five chickens which the children love, and we enjoy spending

time outdoors as much as possible, enjoying the fresh air. I paddleboard

regularly and play golf when I get the chance!

As a board member, I take great pride in the fact that I am involved

with an organisation that provides affordable, safe and secure housing to people in Cornwall. At board

meetings, we always have a lot to discuss, whether it’s about approving new policies or investing in

housing stock such as energy efficiency programmes. Getting the balance between investing in our

existing homes and building new ones for local people is always a challenge, but we do this in a balanced

way. I joined the Board of Ocean Housing Ltd in 2019 and it’s been an eventful couple of years, especially

2020 with the global pandemic and ensuring that both staff and tenants are safe, whilst still working

with the Executive Group to ensure that services are delivered. It’s been an absolute pleasure serving as

a Board member and I look forward to seeing what we can all achieve in 2021, and working with TWO

(Together With Ocean).

Our Neighbourhood Services Team

is now headed up by David Hooper.

David has worked in the housing

sector for 30 years, most recently for

a large national housing association.

Away from work David likes to relax

by visiting the gym and watching

football, both professional and

non-league.

David has told us:

‘I’m very pleased and excited to be

working at Ocean.

Meet our Board Member, Chris Grose

We have a great team, achieving fantastic results,

and I’m looking forward to working with them to

make our services even better. I’m particularly keen

to focus on making sure our neighbourhoods are

safe, clean and welcoming, as experience tells me

these things often matter most to people. If you

have any thoughts on how we can improve our

services or the area where you live, it would be

great to hear from you.

Meet David, Head of Housing

Hopefully life will get back to

something we recognise as normal

in the not too distant future which

means I will be able to meet more

of my team in person. So far there

are some who I’ve only met via a

video meeting, which isn’t ideal.

That said I’m hugely impressed by

the way my team, and the others at

Ocean, have continued to provide

services during the lockdowns,

finding new and innovative ways to do so.

We will make sure that we keep the best bits of that

learning as we move forward and will always look

for ways to deliver a better service. Our cleaning

teams are now using backpack hoovers which are

quicker and safer to use, while we will be investing

in another remote controlled lawnmower (known

as a spider) which offers a number of advantages

over a traditional ride on mower.

I hope your 2021 is healthy and happy.

7


Street

TENANTS & RESIDENTS MAGAZINE

Easter Spot the Difference

Competition

Can you spot the differences between these

two Easter pictures ,

how many can you find?

The first three correct entries drawn will win:

1st Prize £60 Shopping Voucher

2nd Prize £40 Shopping Voucher

3rd Prize £20 Shopping Voucher

The competition is open to Ocean residents.

Only one entry per household.

Closing date is Friday 21st May 2021.

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

Easter Competition 2021

Ocean Housing, Stennack Road,

St Austell, PL25 3SW

Name:

Address:

How many differences did you spot?

Good Luck!

$

Take part in Census 2021

Census day has now passed, but you still have time to

complete your pack that you received through the post.

This happens just once every 10 years and gives the most accurate information of the households

in England and Wales. You are able to complete the questionnaire on a computer, tablet or phone.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services

and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, Deputy National Statistician

at the Office for National Statistics, said. “This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools

and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for

people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

The census

is here

If you need further information www.census.gov.uk or contact us on (01726) 874450 or help@oceanhousing.com

Tel No:

Mobile:

Email:

Postcode:

Sunday 21 March

By taking part,

you wi l help inform

decisions about

the things that

matter to you and

your community.

If you need help

to fi l in your census

form, we’ve got it

covered.

Visit

www.census.gov.uk

to find out more.

CGPTP15VT

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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