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from all at

Ocean Housing

Find out about the

new community hub at

Polgrean and how to get


. . . see page 4

Read about our successful

Community Action Day

in St Dennis

. . . see page 5

Meet Archie and Ava-Grace, whose mum Michelle was offered a lifetime tenancy

earlier this year. We all know this year has been a difficult one for many and we

want to make life a little easier going forward. Michelle explained,

I was previously on a fixed term tenancy, I was over the moon to be offered a

lifetime tenancy. I gratefully accepted the offer and thanks to Ocean, I have the

security I wanted for my family. We now have our forever home.

Christmas opening times...

Our offices will close for Christmas at 5pm on Thursday 23rd December 2021 and

will reopen at 8:30am on Tuesday 4th January 2022. Out of hours emergency

contact number: 01726 874450.

Read our top tips

for dealing with

condensation, damp

and mould

. . . see page 11



As we approach

Christmas and move

into winter, it is a

reminder that yet

another year has

passed by. It's hard not

to reflect over what

has taken place during

the year, and it is also

time to start thinking

forward to the year

that lies ahead.

We have all shared the most extraordinary time

over the past 18 months. Things that we once

regarded as “normal” – like socialising with family

and friends - have been forbidden or restricted

and we have had to rethink how we live our lives

to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

Of course, many of us have suffered loss,

bereavement or other trauma during the year,

which was made even more difficult because

of Covid.

As Chair of Ocean Housing, I am humbled by the

extraordinary efforts that the staff team have

gone to in order to maintain services as near to

Christmas wishes from Andie

normal as possible. I am also so impressed with

the commitment made by so many of our tenants

to work with us to improve services for all.

Christmas is a difficult time for many of us and it

can be a very lonely time for people on their own

too. So we all need to reach outside of ourselves,

if only momentarily, to engage with others

who may be struggling. It can be as simple as

checking on your next door neighbour, spending

ten minutes chatting to someone on their own or

sharing a mince pie with a friend.

What will you be doing over the festive period?

I will be having Christmas at home for the first

time in more than 20 years. As I love the outdoors,

I will spend my day outside – on the beach or

walking the coast path – stopping to chat with

anyone doing the same thing – before returning

home at nightfall to cuddle up by the fire with

a glass of something and a veggie Christmas


Whatever Christmas means to you and however

and wherever you decide to spend the festive

season, I send you my very best wishes.

Andie Smith Chair of Ocean Housing.

Repairs service update

Ocean is proud of the high quality service our tenants should expect

when a member of the team visits your home to carry out a repair. Over

the past 18 months it has been extremely challenging for our repairs team

in particular. We have had three Covid-19 lockdowns, resulting in us only

being able to provide an emergency repairs service and putting on hold

the day-to-day routine repairs. This caused a large backlog of jobs that we

have been working hard to complete. Our primary objective throughout

has been and continues to be to protect tenants and staff.

In addition, there have been the challenges out of our direct control that

have impacted our service; Brexit, material shortages due to factories and

suppliers closing or restricting production due to Covid-19. Our staff levels

have also been affected due to self-isolating and the increased difficulty in


Despite this, since April 2020 we have completed 3,498 emergency repairs,

5,013 urgent repairs and 10,054 routine repairs as we know that every

repair matters to our tenants, especially when it is in your homes.

We are extremely

proud of the dedication

and commitment of our

workforce. We continue to

try and meet the

expectations of our tenants

and customers and we thank

you for your continued

patience and understanding.


Winter 2021 | Issue 69

Cornwall's housing crisis

Having tenants involved in shaping our services and

building a positive future is so important to us.

That is why we have a dedicated group of tenants,

who form the Together with Ocean group (TWO).

This group of tenants from across Cornwall commit

to monthly meetings via zoom and are a vital link

between residents, board members and Ocean's

executive group.

TWO requested Councillor Oliver Monk to attend

one of their meetings, who is the Portfolio Holder for

Housing and Planning. Councillor Monk says, “We are

working tirelessly addressing the housing pressures in

Cornwall. Working closely with partners such as Ocean

is key to making sure that we provide as many social

and affordable homes to local people who need them.

It was great to hear from the tenants and we look

forward to strengthening our relationship with

Ocean further.”

The latest update on the Council’s work to address

housing pressures can be found at www.cornwall.gov.


Together with Ocean Chair, Paul said, “It was a pleasure

to welcome Councillor Monk and learn about his

role and aims for housing in Cornwall. The group

were pleased to have the opportunity for an open

discussion on the current housing issues and look

forward to continuing the important conversations at

future TWO meetings.”

If you would like to

get involved and

make a difference,

please contact

one of the Tenant

Partnership team

to discuss the

best options

for you at



or 01726 874450.

Become a VIP and win £50

The nights are getting longer, it’s colder and the typical British weather is closing in! It’s

easy to focus on some of the negatives at this time of year but we asked our Virtual

Internet Panel (VIP), what they liked most about their community. The results were really

heartwarming and we wanted to share some of these with you.

The village shop, parks and walks nearby.

It's a small cul-de-sac which has a nice

feel to it.

We help each other out if we can.

Lovely home in a beautiful, tranquil village.

A sense of togetherness, camaraderie

and mutual concern for the residents

well being.

We know this isn’t the same for everyone, but it’s good to hear that our love of community

resonates through some of your messages. Remember, it's easy to join the Virtual Internet Panel

and give your feedback, both positive and negative.

If you are our lucky 500th member, you will win £50 in shopping vouchers!

Visit www.oceanhousingvip.co.uk/oa/6a612e to register.




The role of a Customer Service

advisor at Ocean is a busy one to

say the least. However, it’s incredibly

rewarding, as our very own Aled


Aled has worked full-time as a

Customer Service advisor for over

two years and is one of the many

people in the team that you might

end up speaking to whenever you

call. You may also have contact with

him by email, Livechat, send a text

or message via our Facebook page.

Aled explains, “When the phone

rings, we never quite know whether

we’ll be having a conversation about a repair that

needs raising, helping somebody with questions about

their rent and payments, giving advice about moving

and our lettings process, or speaking about anti-social

behaviour. Since the range of queries we get is so

large, everyone in our team is always talking to one

We could not be happier to share the exciting

news that ten out of the overall 60 properties at

the redevelopment in Polgrean, St Blazey have

now been occupied, including the relocation of

the hairdressers, Jacqui’s and the fish and chip

shop, The Jolly Roger. Within this first phase is our

new community space. We are looking forward

to working alongside Cornwall Neighbourhood

for Change (CN4C) to set up a community hub for

both current and new residents of the surrounding

area. CN4C are a charity that have been supporting

communities, groups and individuals in Cornwall

since 2001. Plans are already in place to deliver some

of CN4C’s existing services from this space such as

offering advice, guidance and support, access to

learning opportunities as well as social activities.

Sharon, from CN4C says, “We want the space to be

accessible and flexible enough to host a variety of activities that will appeal to a wide range of people, allowing

everyone to feel welcome and be able to take an active part in the development of their local community. We

would also like to hear from local residents to let us know what groups and activities they would like to see the

hub used for.”

If you live in the area and would like more information on being involved, please email

tenantpartnership@oceanhousing.com or 01726 874450.


A day in the life of Customer Services advisor, meet Aled

New community hub for 2022!

another to make sure we’re all up to

speed. It makes for a very tight-knit

group, and it’s one of my favourite

things about the role.”

Aled adds, “There is no better

feeling than when you have helped

a customer and resolved their issue,

going home at the end of the day

and feeling that you have made a

difference to them. The customer

may not always remember you,

but they will always remember the

experience they took away!”

I’m sure you will agree, our

Customer Service advisors are a very important part of

the Ocean team. Is there any department or role you

would like to know more about? If so, please contact

the Tenant Partnership team at

tenantpartnership@oceanhousing.com and we will

look to include in future issues of the magazine.

Winter 2021 | Issue 69

Community celebrations in St Dennis!

Back in August we celebrated our first face-to-face

community event since the start of the COVID-19

pandemic. The St Dennis Community Action Day

was a huge success and an opportunity for tenants

to meet the staff at Ocean and resolve any issues,

speak to other agencies, enjoy a coffee and chat

with neighbours as well as disposing of unwanted

items in the skips provided.

Abigail, Tenant Partnership Co-ordinator, said:

“It was great to be back in the community,

accompanied by many local agencies, showing

support to our tenants. It’s so important for our

team to gain a better understanding of the issues

faced by residents in the area, as well as giving

them the chance to access free advice and useful

tips for running their home.”

Tenants were able to discuss heating issues, raise

repairs, and chat with the Tri-Service, Fire Service,

Citizens Advice Bureau, and Cornwall Council. They

were also given new recycling equipment.

Laura, resident of St Dennis, added: “It was a lovely

day, my daughter enjoyed the magician, yummy

sweet treats and she was thrilled to be able to sit in

the fire engine. I was able to speak with the Citizens

Advice Bureau advisor who gave me much needed

advice with my energy bills, which is a huge relief

for me before the winter months.”

Local councillor Dick Cole also attended the event.

He told us: “I was really impressed with Ocean

Housing. It was a great example of how agencies

working together can be successful and shows how

a housing association should interact with their

tenants to pull the community together.”

It was great to meet so many tenants and we are

looking forward to visiting other Ocean areas

in 2022.


Fond farewell to Arthur and a warm welcome to Ross

This October, we said a very fond farewell

to our dedicated Environmental

Co-ordinator, Arthur. There is not much

Arthur does not know about grounds

maintenance and the areas we manage

across Cornwall, this being a result of

spending over 40 years in the industry.

Arthur says, "I have great memories of my

time at Ocean and I have met lots of lovely

people along the way."

We are delighted to welcome Ross, who

is taking on the role. Ross said, "You might

recognise me as I have been part of the

Ocean team for over three years. I'm

excited to be in this role and the positive outlook I can bring. I hope to gain as much knowledge and

experience along the way while working closely with the residents.

Hoping you will all join us in wishing both Arthur and Ross well in their new ventures.



How are we p



94 %

90 %

of tenant monitors

satisfied with

communal cleaning


At the end of September, 90% of our communal

cleaning monitors were satisfied with the service,

which is an improvement on 88% since March.

We are always looking for monitors who receive the

cleaning service in our blocks of flats so if you are interested

please contact our Tenant Partnership team by emailing


formal complaints completed

within policy target times

From April to September we have received 32 complaints compared with 34 from the

same period last year. Of these complaints, 27 were responded to within the policy

target with one ongoing and two needing further investigation.

Every complaint we receive is acknowledged and we ensure we learn lessons

in order to improve the service.

335 engaged tenants

We have 335 tenants engaged with us.

After launching our Virtual Internet Panel in November 2020 we

have since built an online community of over 270 residents.

We also have our tenants group, Together with Ocean (TWO) and we

are constantly recruiting for monitors on our estates.

New complaints policy

We know we don't always get things right and when that happens we want you to know that you can make

a complaint. That's why we have simplified the number of stages in our formal complaints process from

three to two, in line with good practice. We will still try and resolve your complaint as quickly as possible

but if you remain dissatisfied, you can now escalate your concerns to the independent

Housing Ombudsman faster than before.

If you want to find out more head to the complaints section of our website or take a look at the

Housing Ombudsman for more information on your rights at



Winter 2021 | Issue 69


50 %

of tenants satisfied

with the outcome

of their

anti-social behaviour case

Only 50% of tenants were satisfied with the outcome of their anti-social

behaviour case. To improve our approach to ASB and satisfaction levels in the future, our

Together with Ocean group have recently completed a scrutiny review and updated our ASB Policy

to ensure we are managing expectations.


% of tenants satisfied

with letting process

From April to October only 96% of tenants reported they were

happy with the lettings process against our target of 98%.

We set ourselves a very high target which we are only 2% away from achieving.

The one person who was dissatisfied, felt that the process had been too rushed.

We are working with the new tenant to see if we can improve the customer experience while

still letting homes efficiently.

87 %



on time

From April to October

we have completed

7,222 repairs.

Due to the pandemic, which has affected

our repairs service, only 87% of residents

are reporting that their repairs are

completed on time. This is something

we are working to improve and reach our

target of 95%.

Keeping us up to date with your details

In order to provide you with the best and most

appropriate service, we need your help to keep

your details up-to-date. It is important to let us

know about any changes in your household or if

your contact details have changed. If we need to

get in touch, it is important we have your up-todate

telephone and mobile numbers, as well as

your email address.

You can do this by

• Visiting www.oceanhousing.com and using our

LiveChat function

• Sending an email to help@oceanhousing.com

• Signing up to our Virtual Internet Panel and sending a

message to one of our Tenant Partnership team

• Calling 01726 874450




Winter worries, we can help you

If you are having problems with paying your

rent, have fallen behind and now have arrears or

other debts, these might have increased due to

the challenges of the pandemic. Just as you can

take action to improve your physical health, you

can also take some simple steps to feel more in

control of your financial wellbeing too.

We can help you!

If you are struggling with your energy bills you

can contact Community Energy Plus on 0800

954 1956. Alternatively, we can make a referral to

them on your behalf. They can help provide you

with independent energy advice tailored to your

individual needs. This includes

Our local foodbanks are a great source of help to

many of our customers. Transformation Cornwall

have a list of all the local foodbanks throughout

Cornwall that is updated weekly on their website

www.transformation-cornwall.org.uk including

details of opening times. We can discuss the

situation and arrange to issue a foodbank voucher

code if appropriate; you can then visit the relevant

foodbank centre to exchange the voucher code for

a food parcel.

• Advice on saving energy and money

• Emergency electricity and gas key-meter


• Providing practical advice on understanding

and reducing your energy bills and

combatting condensation and damp

• Access to heating and insulation grants

Louise, Financial Inclusion Advisor (left)

pictured with Hayley, Customer Accounts Advisor (right)

Changes with Universal Credit, the Department of

Working Pensions has now changed its processes.

They can automatically identify claimants who

receive a second monthly salary payment in one

benefit assessment period. They will now be able

to move this payment to the following assessment

period. This will ensure customer's benefits do not

fluctuate from one month to the next, due to the

system thinking a claimant has received increased

wages in one month.

If any of the above sounds familiar, you should

know you are not alone and there is help

available to you. If you would like to talk to one

of our Financial Inclusion advisors,

please email fia@oceanhousing.com

or 01726 874450.


Winter 2021 | Issue 69

You will no doubt have noticed that the Summer

edition of Street Talk landed on your doormat with a

thud in August as it included a copy of our updated

Service Standard Commitments. We hope that you

find the standards easy to read and follow, now that

they are aligned to the National Housing Federation's

(NHF) Together With Tenants Charter.

Our commitment to you!

The commitments are our promise to you about

the level of service you can expect from us as your

landlord. For the first time the standards now give you

the opportunity to have you say in how you think we

are performing by completing a survey on our Virtual

Internet Panel; 79 of you have completed the survey

so far and you can see a summary of the results below.

s e r v i c e s t a n d a r d c o m m i t m e n t s - 2 0 2 1

What you can expect from the services Ocean deliver



Voice and influence



When things go wrong

• 66% feel Ocean treats residents with respect

• 82% feel that they receive clear, accessible and

timely information

• 73% feel that Ocean seeks your views before

making decisions

• 75% are satisfied with their neighbourhood as

a place to live

From the feedback we have received so far, it is clear that we

have work to do in some key areas but we need more of you to

complete the survey so that we have a better understanding

of the views of all. The survey takes a maximum of five minutes

to complete and you can access it here


We will report back to you again in later editions of

StreetTalk and remember if you want to get involved with

Ocean directly speak to the team by contacting us at

tenantpartnership@oceanhousing.com and join up as a

member of the Tenant Partnership and have your say!

You said, we did!

We are always working to

improve our services and to do

this we need your feedback. You

may have been contacted by

IFF research on 020 7098 3949,

who we have asked to carry

out a number of surveys on our

behalf and feedback how we are


We use your feedback to identify

areas we are doing well or where

improvement is needed. Our

Tenant Partnership team follow

up any negative comments we

receive and do what we can to

ensure the tenant is happy.

You said....

Recently I had to cancel my

appointment twice as I had to

isolate from track and trace

and the second time because

we all had Coronavirus. We got

a letter threatening us with

legal action. They jumped the

gun quickly. Even though I had

a valid reason.

We did....

Our Together with

Ocean (TWO) group

are currently reviewing

ways we can improve

the process and our


with tenants.

If you would like to give your feedback on any services you have received please

contact the Tenant Partnership team on tenantpartnership@oceanhousing.com




Domestic abuse

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home

and anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviour in any

relationship that is used to gain or maintain power.

It is often caused by a partner or ex-partner, but can

also be a family member or carer. Domestic abuse

can include

• Controlling and coercive behaviour

• Psychological

• Emotional

• Financial abuse

• Violent or threatening behaviour

• Sexual abuse

• Threats and harassment

• Stalking

• Online or digital abuse.

You are being abused if you feel you have to alter

your behaviour because you’re frightened of how

someone will react or treat you. Domestic abuse

can affect anyone, men, women and those who

identify as non-binary and it can occur in any

relationship, heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual,

young or old.

If you are worried for yourself or for someone

you know you can get confidential help and

advice for women and children from

www.refuge.org.uk or speak to them on

0808 2000 247 or the Men’s Advice line on

0808 801 0327.


A warm welcome to Kelly - Neighbourhood Services officer

Meet Kelly, the new Neighbourhood Services officer covering our

West Cornwall homes including St Agnes, Pool, St Columb Major and

Camborne. Kelly told us, “I have been employed in the housing sector

for almost 20 years, working with other housing associations and as

a support worker for the homeless. I am passionate about helping

and supporting our residents from all different walks of life and look

forward to what this new role brings. I work within a great team, who

have made me feel so very welcome.”

Kelly is here to help you with any of the following:

• Carrying out a visit when you move into your new home, to

ensure you have settled in and are receiving the right support

• Provide guidance to help you manage your tenancy, look after

your home and keep your garden well-maintained

• Keep your neighbourhood and communal areas safe and in

good order

• Partnership working with Police, local authorities and other


• Putting you in contact with support and community hubs in

your local area.


Winter 2021 | Issue 69

Helping with damp, mould and condensation

We understand how hard it can be to maintain a

temperature in your property due to the increasing

heating costs especially at this time of year. Warm

walls and an even temperature reduce the likelihood

of condensation and damp. Condensation occurs

where warm air meets with a cold surface or cold air

and produces tiny drops of water particularly in the

corners of rooms, behind furniture or around windows.

Over time, this can lead to mould growth to walls or

furniture. We’ve listed some useful tips below to keep

your home free of condensation and mould

this winter:

Top tips for reducing moisture in the home

• If fitted, use an extractor fan when cooking or

bathing and for at least 30 minutes afterwards

• Keep a window or trickle vents slightly open when


• Shut the bathroom door when bathing or


• Dry clothes outside where possible, or if not, in the

bathroom with the door closed and windows open

• Avoid putting too much in your air cupboards and

wardrobes as this stops the air circulating.

Follow this link or hover your

camera over the QR code

for helpful advice and top

tips on ways you can treat

condensation in your home

and avoid mould.


Doing our bit to reduce greenhouse gases

Homes contribute to around a fifth of the UK's carbon

emissions. Our target is to massively reduce our net

carbon footprint by 2050. Any remaining carbon will

need to be removed from the atmosphere through

ways, such as planting more trees.

Energy Efficiency Lead, Liam explained, “At Ocean,

we monitor our Green House Gas emissions and are

constantly looking at ways to reduce them. We have

committed to improving the energy efficiency of

our lowest performing housing stock, ensuring our

properties have an energy performance rating (EPC)

of C by 2030, and net zero by 2050.”

“As a first step, we will be improving insulation

and draught proofing to reduce carbon

emissions and subsequently reduce energy

bills for tenants. Once completed, we

will then look to replace fossil

fuel systems such as gas boilers

with low or zero carbon electric

systems, such as modern electrical

heating or heat pumps.”

We are making a real difference with tenants

benefitting from warmer homes and lower fuel bills,

as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions. We will

be making a huge investment in our stock of over £10

million and maximising grant opportunities by 2030.

However, this is not a quick fix and in the mean time we

can offer advice on energy bills, your current heating

system and top tips on typical property issues.

Liam, Energy Efficiency lead




Become an Ocean VIP! We are celebrating our Virtual Internet Panel's first birthday.

To celebrate we are inviting you to take part in our festive quiz. For your chance to win a

£50 shopping voucher please follow this link www.oceanhousingvip.co.uk/oa/5c8610

or use your camera to scan this QR code, the closing date is Monday 31st January 2022

and is open to Ocean tenants and residents only.

Good Luck!

Please help us find the

Christmas differences in

these two pictures for

a chance to win a prize.

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 anyone

living in our properties. Only one entry per


Closing date is Monday 31st January 2022.

Good Luck!

You don’t need a stamp, just circle the differences

and cut out the picture and pop it in the envelope


Christmas Competition, Ocean Housing,

Stennack Road, St Austell, PL25 3SW.

How many differences did you spot?



Tel No:




Congratulations to our Summer Street Talk winners,

Rod, Natasha and Elaine.

Enjoy spending your vouchers!

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


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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