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News Archive

Elim news archive

 

Welcome to the Elim News Archive. This page displays all past news articles in chronological order that have appeared on the Elim Housing Association home page. 

You can navigate to older articles by either scrolling down this page or by making use of the archive function on the right hand side. 

 

 

Elim news archive

March Resident Forum Meeting

 

Will you be coming along to the March resident forum meeting?

The meeting which starts at 2.30pm and will be held at Elim's Head Office on Thursday 30th March is open to all current Elim residents.

Tina Bird, Asset and Investment Manager, will be talking about Elim's Asset Management strategy asking what's important to you about the design & quality of new homes, how we can achieve value for money in maintenance and what you think are the most important factors when asse...ssing a property and how we should use it.

Also coming along will be Hayley Young from our maintenance team to talk about Fire Risk Assessments and Fire Alarm systems.

If you need more information about this meeting or the forum in general, including what travel costs we can cover, please speak to your Housing Officer.

We hope to see you there!

Read March Resident Forum Meeting…

Average house price in South West now £256,054

 

 

According to the National Housing Federation Home Truths report, the South West faces a combination of high house prices and low wages resulting in an acute housing crisis.

Only those earning upwards of £58,527 a year can now afford the average mortgage in the South West. With salaries now averaging £24,934, the typical worker would need a staggering £33,593 pay rise (135%) to get a mortgage for an average home in the region.

The report, which provides local data on the housing market in the South West, shows that the average house price is £256,054, compared to the national average of £282,011. This represents more than ten times the average salary. In some areas it is much higher – house prices in the Cotswolds are almost 50% higher than the regional average.

The cost of renting privately has added pressure on people’s income. With average monthly rents now standing at £731, private renters have to fork out 35% of their pay on rent.

The report reveals one of the sources of all this misery: nearly 25,000 too few new homes have been built over the last five years in the region. Last year alone, fewer than 19,000 homes were built, which is far below what is required to accommodate the 21,000 new households that are formed each year.

As a sector, housing associations are working to end the region’s crisis, completing over 3,000 new homes, and having started to build over 3,000 more in 2015/16. They built more than 40,000 homes across the country in 2015/16, 29% of all new homes in England. Housing associations have ambitions to work with Government to build thousands more new homes across the country.

Elim’s purpose is to address housing need and deliver places for people to call home.  We have set out to achieve this vision by providing homes for families and single people at different stages of their lives, and it is our aim for Elim to own, lease or manage 1000 homes by 2022.

Jenny Allen, External Affairs Manager for the National Housing Federation in the South West, said:

“As one of Britain’s most expensive regions, the South West has experienced first-hand the brunt of the housing crisis. The spike in house prices has had a devastating impact on rural communities, especially with young families being priced out. This is having a knock-on effect on local amenities, including shops and schools, and is detrimental to everyone.

“As this year’s Home Truths report shows, the number of homes built is far below what the region needs to keep up with demand. Housing associations are a vital part of the solution to the housing crisis. The sector is buoyed by the additional funding and flexibility secured in the Autumn Statement and is ambitious about delivering even more houses.”

The Home Truths report for the South West can be found on the National Housing Federation website - www.housing.org.uk

Read Average house price in South West now £256,054…

Elim Housing Group 2016 Impact Report

 

The past year has been a significant one for all of us at Elim, and we are pleased to share our achievements in the Elim Housing Group 2016 Impact Report.

The report provides an overview of our achievements, and the homes and services we delivered in 2016.  We believe it is a direct reflection of the hard work and success of our whole staff team in making a positive difference to people’s lives.  As Chair of the Board Steve Blake says:

“Elim is regularly described as ‘punching above its weight’ and that’s because we have an incredibly talented team, both staff and board. We provide a very varied range of services and we do things really well.”

Over the year ahead, we will continue to actively grow the business developing new housing for a range of client groups and increasing the positive impact that we have on individuals and communities through effective partnerships. 

Elim Housing Group 2016 Impact Report[pdf] 710KB

If you would like to know more about our work or are interested in working with us please contact Rachel Pinchin, Head of Commercial & Business Development.

 

Read Elim Housing Group 2016 Impact Report…

From tenant to home owner

 

As part of the development of a site in Gloucester in 2012 we offered three homes on a Rent to Buy basis.  The homes were let at 80% of market rent levels to residents who were likely to be able to obtain a mortgage in future but had not been able to save a deposit due to high housing costs.  The lower rent charge was designed to help residents save a deposit to purchase the property over their 5-year tenancy.

We are really pleased that the first of the families has now been able to purchase their home and take their first steps on the property ladder.

The family of three had the option of buying a share in the property through shared ownership but in this case they were able to buy their home outright, with the help of a standard mortgage.   

Although no new Rent to Buy properties are being built, the income generated from the sale will be used to provide more opportunities for home ownership through similar schemes.

As well as being great news for the family themselves, we at Elim are very pleased that our commitment to offering a range of options for people at different life stages really is encouraging independence and helping people to realise their home ownership aspirations.

Read From tenant to home owner…

Forecastle redevelopment receives planning permission

 

The Forecastle is our supported housing project in South Gloucestershire currently offering accommodation and support for up to 17 homeless single adults with medium support needs.

We have recently obtained planning permission to redevelop the project so that we can provide 18 self-contained units, each with its own en-suite and kitchenette, and continue to provide the only supported housing for homeless adults in South Gloucestershire.

The project currently consists of a main house and single storey annexe.  The house includes two staff offices and communal spaces as well as six bedrooms with shared facilities. The remaining accommodation can be found in the annexe where residents have their own bedroom and share kitchen and bathroom facilities.

We made the decision to demolish the existing annexe as it no longer meets our needs or those of our residents and is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain due to its age.  We will be replacing it with a new 2-storey block which is connected to the main house by a single storey building containing offices and communal facilities such as a training kitchen.  We will also be refurbishing the main house, converting the current gatehouse building into a community wellbeing hub and improving car parking on site.

We will be carrying out the work in two phases.  Work on the house will start in March and is expected to be complete July when we will then begin work on creating the new building, starting with demolishing the old annexe.  This phased approach, and the use of a additional property, means that we can continue to provide support and accommodation to those in need during the work.

A competitive tender has been carried out with the final decision on which contractor will be carrying out the works due in late February.

Funds for the project have come from the Homes and Communities Agency in conjunction with the NHS, South Gloucestershire Council as well as from Elim Housing.  The project is due to be completed by March 2018.

 

Read Forecastle redevelopment receives planning permission…

Low cost computing in Bristol

 

If you are not connected we want to help you get your first computer. Bristol Computer Reuse is a citywide project who work with stocks of computers that are no longer required by the council and other local businesses. They refurbish the machines and make sure they are ready to be used by new owners. The scheme is supported by Bristol City Council and through it you can apply for a computer from as little as £50.

You can apply for a low-cost PC or laptop if you meet any one of the following criteria:

  • You are on a low income

  • You are over 65

  • You have a disability

  • You have a child that receives school meals

  • You have a child that needs access to a computer for educational purposes

  • You are in receipt of means tested benefits

  • You are a full-time carer

You will receive a computer or laptop ready to go (you will just need to plug it in!), a six-month hardware warranty and telephone support.

Interested? You simply need to fill in an on-line form  at  www.bristolcomputerreuse.org or fill in one of the Bristol Computer Reuse forms available from your Housing Officer. 

For more information you can contact Nathon or Andrew at Bristol Computer Reuse on 0117 3706 375 or look on www.bristolcomputerreuse.org

Read Low cost computing in Bristol…

Freshening up Ron Jones House

 

We have been working with the Community Payback Scheme at Ron Jones House, one of our supported housing project in Bristol.

The team of up to eight individuals, supervised by the Probation Service, have been helping us to improve the appearance of communal areas in the project which were looking a little tired.

They started work in mid-January and they will be visiting the project weekly for a couple of months to improve different areas of the building.

The work undertaken so far is already making a difference.  The team have freshened up the laundry with a new coat of paint and have started doing the same to the games room.  They have also powerwashed graffiti from a wall outside and the flagstones improving the appearance of the outside of the building too.  The plan is that they will move on to painting communal corridors and even our office space.

We do pay probation for the work but at just £50 a day it is excellent value and much less than we would pay a contractor for the same work.  We were also really grateful to be able to purchase the paint at cost price helping to keep the costs of the project as low as possible whilst making a big impact to the project.

As the payback scheme team finish working in each area of the building we plan to make further improvements.  For example we are planning to install smoking bins outside to help keep it clean and tidy, and will work to make things feel more homely for example by displaying some inspirational quotes.  This is part of our ongoing commitment to improving the environment our residents live in so that they take pride in where they live.

We are also hopeful that we will be able to work with the scheme at other projects in future and would be excited to hear from any other potential partners who may be able to help us in similar ways.

 

Read Freshening up Ron Jones House…

More homes for sale in Gloucester

Kingsway Plots 40 & 41 outside front

 

Our 40 home development on Bromley Road and Hixon Walk includes a mix of homes for social rent, shared ownership and low cost home ownership. This is part of the Linden Homes Regents Place development on Goose Bay Drive. 

The first phase of properties were completed in December 16 and early January with a number of residents moving in just in time for Christmas.  Just 3 one bed flats remain available on a 40% share (£47,000).

We are now also accepting offers for homes in the second phase of the development which includes two houses for sale through shared ownership and three on low cost home ownership.  The first of these 2 bed homes will be completed in April 2017.

Shared ownership allows you to purchase a share in a property and rent the rest.  It is an affordable alternative to renting or buying on the open market and you only need to raise a deposit for the share you are buying. Our scheme at Kingsway will allow you to buy between 40% and 75% of a property. If your circumstances change in future you have the option to buy more shares in the property.

Low cost home ownership or discounted market sale is an opportunity for you to buy a home at less than the market value, at our scheme this is 75% of the market rate as determined by our RICS valuer.  You will only need to pay for your mortgage; there is no rent to pay and you will own the property outright.  When you sell the property, you will have to sell it for 75% of its value at the time.

Both Shared Ownership and Low cost home ownership are designed to help those who are not able to purchase a home outright to get on the property ladder.  There are no upper age limits for applicants for either scheme but you will need to demonstrate that you are unable to buy a home suitable to your needs on the open market, that you can afford to purchase a home this way and that you have a local connection to the area.  To be considered for a shared ownership home you must also be registered with Help to Buy South.

            1 bed shared ownership flats start at £47,000 for a 40% share - Find out more now!

            2 bed shared ownership houses start at £68,000 for a 40% share - Find out more now!

            2 bed low cost home ownership properties start at £127,500 - Find out more now!

We are pleased to advise that we have appointed Two Rivers Housing supported by their subsidiary Twocan Estate agents to manage the marketing and sales processes for us.  This will help to ensure that all buyers get the best service possible.      

This means any queries you have should be directed to them on 0800 2942860 or email info@twocan.estate   But don’t worry if you forget and contact us directly, we’ll make sure your query gets forwarded on if we can’t help.

 

Read More homes for sale in Gloucester…

Window cleaning survey

We are asking residents who pay for a window cleaning service through their service charge to complete and return a short survey to help us understand what you think of the current service and what, if anything, you would like to be different.

 

This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that residents receive good quality services which are value for money.

 

The survey was sent out to relevant residents with their rent statement in January and should be returned, using the postage paid envelope enclosed, before 6th February.

We will review all of the information received to inform what we need to do next.  Based on the informal feedback we have received recently, we are expecting that this will be looking at alternative ways to provide this service and then presenting you with the options available for your comments which will inform the decision on how best to provide this service going forwards.

If you have any questions please contact your Housing Officer.

 

 

Read Window cleaning survey…

New Resident Engagement Strategy

We have developed a new group strategy which sets our approach to resident engagement.  Aligned to our 2017-2022 Business Plan, the strategy is designed to allowfor meaningful engagement in a rapidly changing sector.   We are committing to a number of opportunities which will not only help residents understand the changes in social and private rented housing but also allow residents to influence service delivery and to develop skills, knowledge and confidence.

If you would like to know anymore about the strategy or the engagement opportunities we offer please Contact us

Resident Engagement Strategy 2017 [pdf] 350KB 

 

 

Read New Resident Engagement Strategy…
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