Author Archives: Adele Woof

Mitre Housing Association recruitment of Chair and Board Members

9th May 2024

Eden Housing Association acts as Managing Agent for Mitre Housing Association, who focuses on small scale developments of affordable rented housing in rural areas in Cumbria. Mitre was established by the Diocese of Carlisle as a practical response to the shortage that impacts on so many individuals and communities.

Mitre is an independent registered housing association, with currently around 150 units under management, an active development programme and the resources to do more. It employs Eden Housing Association as its Managing Agents.

Mitre’s Chair has reached the end of his term of office. They are therefore now seeking a new Chair who will help them to fulfil their aspirations and to drive forward its ambitious strategic plans.

Mitre is looking for someone who shares its values and aspirations and who can bring strategic leadership, helping them sustain high standards as a landlord, in its development and overall governance.

Mitre Housing Association welcomes applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, whose skills and interests can add to those of the Board Members and help them maximise their potential.

As part of the regular cycle of renewal, Mitre is also recruiting other new Board Members. They need to be comfortable with Mitre’s Christian values and bring relevant skills and experience, whether gained in housing or transferrable from other sectors. Experience in risk management or in housing development will be particularly welcome.

All Mitre Board roles are unpaid, but all reasonable expenses will be paid.

Further information on Mitre can be found on their website – www.mitre.org.uk, or click here for the Recruitment Pack and Tenant Board Member Application Form.  Alternatively you can contact [email protected]  or 01768 861402.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 28 May. Interviews for the Chair will be held on 6 or 7 June, and for other Board Members later in June.

 

#NAW – National Apprentice Week – Come and be our Apprentice

9th February 2024

Are you interested in a Business Administration Apprenticeship?

We are currently looking to recruit a new General Housing Business Apprentice, working within our Customer Service Team.

After 18 months in the post you will have achieved a NVQ Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship.  You will also have hands on experience in a sector where the skills you develop will be relevant in any work environment.

If you have the following qualities, we would love to hear from you:

  • Able to develop good relationships with people
  • Good team player
  • A positive attitude
  • Good communication skills
  • Organised and punctual

Please also note we require the successful candidate to have attained 5 GCSE’s (including English and Maths) to enrol on to the apprenticeship.

If you are interested and would like to find out more please get in touch with the HR team at Eden Housing Association on 01768 861424/79 or email [email protected]

Click here to see what our previous Apprentices have to say about working at EHA, and how it started them on a great career path …

Service Update 29 January 2024

29th January 2024

Service Update 29 January

Thank you for your patience last week, and for being understanding when our colleagues had to explain that things may take a little longer than usual.

Over the course of the week we took double the number of calls we usually take, and the number of urgent repairs reported was also much higher than usual – mainly due to damage caused by the stormy weather.

We hope things will be quieter this week, but it will take a little while for our technical colleagues and contractors to catch up on all the work reported. We’re working hard to get caught up as quickly as possible and thank you for your ongoing patience.

Very few people ring off without getting to speak to us, and our wait times are usually less than two minutes. If you need to report an emergency repair, you should always ring us in the first instance, but most other things like account queries or non-emergency repairs can be dealt with using our online MyAccount service.

When it comes to emergency repairs, we have 24 hour cover in place outside our usual office hours. Whilst you still ring the usual number, your call actually transfers to a specialist emergency call centre. We know the wait time out of office hours can be much longer than our usual service, but please stay on hold – the out of hours service knows you are there waiting and they will answer your call as quickly as they can.

Service Update Monday 22 January 2024 – 16:45

22nd January 2024

Thank you for your patience today.  We have taken almost double the number of calls we would usually take due to storm damage caused last night.  The forecast is for stormy weather to continue through into Tuesday 23rd and we expect to remain very busy.

We also still have some colleagues who are unable to get to work due to flooding and road closures following storm damage, and who are unable to work from home as they have no electricity.

If your call is not an emergency, please consider contacting us later in the week or use our online MyAccount service.

We’ll provide a service update again later on Tuesday 23rd.

Boost for affordable homes in Rural Cumbria

12th January 2024

Eden Housing Association (EHA) is working with ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) to deliver a new Rural Housing Enabling Service in Cumbria.  The service is being developed throughout England by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), of which ACT is the Cumbria member of the ACRE network.

ACRE has secured funding from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) for a service to boost affordable homes to ensure that small, rural communities don’t continue to miss out on the development of the affordable homes they need.

The Cumbrian Rural Housing Enabler Service will help ‘unlock’ small development sites, some of which may not be on the local list of allocated sites for housing development, or maybe ‘windfall’ sites. The aim is to help communities of up to 3000 people see affordable housing development at appropriate scale, coming to fruition. In most cases, the need will be for fewer than 10 homes.

‘We know that these small developments of affordable houses can make the difference between a resident village population that can support local services and one where the shop and the school and pub become unsustainable over time,’ says ACT’s Fran Richardson. ‘We also know that economies of scale make it far more likely for developments to be pursued on the outskirts of our larger towns. This continues to make it harder for people on low or average wages to stay in our smaller rural settlements.’

EHA will work with ACT over the next 15 months to develop the service and to demonstrate the difference this additional support can make and help secure future investment in affordable Cumbria housing.  EHA recognises work with communities can often get overlooked by developers, especially in more rural locations. “We’re delighted to partner with ACT and help establish the new Rural Housing Enabler Service in Cumbria. It’s fantastic to help bring together like-minded organisations supporting an increase of community led affordable homes in the more rural areas of Cumbria.” says EHA Chief Executive, Chris Fawcett.

High levels of holiday accommodation and second home ownership in some areas have exacerbated problems caused by the low supply of affordable homes. Affordability is crucial in communities with high levels of low wage employees, particularly among our young people.

This important new service will support communities in local planning authorities across Cumbria – Cumberland, Westmorland and Furness, the Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It will help to reduce the shortfall against targets for affordable homes developed in Cumbria by meeting the needs of smaller, rural communities.

For further information please contact [email protected]

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – Festive Opening Hours

14th December 2023

Festive Opening Hours 

If you are due to go away for a few days over the festive period or through the winter, please make sure that you leave your heating on low to help prevent freezing and bursts if we encounter a cold snap or turn your water off at the stop tap and leave your bath taps open.  This will help prevent damage from bursts.

We understand concerns about energy costs, but it’s important to prevent your home from freezing – even when you’re not there.  If you are worried about paying bills, please contact our customer advisors or housing team who can help make sure you’ve got the support you are entitled to.

Click the image below for opening hours over the festive period.

Grounds Maintenance Contract

1st November 2023

EHA is responsible for maintaining the communal areas of its estates within Cumbria.

We are tendering out the Grounds Maintenance contract for the communal area programme starting April 2024. The tender is split up into Lots to encourage small and medium sized enterprises.

To register your interest and put in a tender please visit:

Eden Housing Association’s Regulator awards the landlord the highest rating for Governance!

4th May 2023

The Board of Eden Housing Association (EHA) is pleased to announce that following an In-Depth Assessment (IDA) from the Regulator of  Social Housing it has received their highest rating for governance – G1!

Beth Furneaux, Chair, said ”I would like to thank the Board, the Executive Team and Geraldine Kay who acted as our Interim Chief Executive during 2022 along with all our staff, for their hard work and support. This has given us a strong platform for our new Executive Team , led by Chris Fawcett, to move forward.”

Given the economic challenges facing social housing providers at the present time, the Regulator has regraded the majority of the sector to a compliant V2 rating for their financial viability. Beth confirmed that “The Association remains financially strong and we expected that, given the number of regrades to V2 for many housing associations, we would be awarded G1/V2.”

The full report from the Regulator of Social Housing following the IDA is available on

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-judgement-eden-housing-association-limited/current-regulatory-judgement-eden-housing-association-limited-29-march-2023

The Succeeding Together Strategy of 2021-2024 will complete next year and the EHA team look forward to a bright future, delivering for tenants.

Chris Fawcett, Chief Executive, said “I’m enjoying the role as EHA’s Chief Executive since starting in February. Given my experience working in the sector, I’ve been able to hit the ground running and we’ve completed the recruitment to the Executive Team. It’s a strong team at EHA and we’re all committed to delivering for tenants and the local community. We’ll continue to focus on being a good landlord, by maintaining the existing homes to a good standard and delivering much needed new homes.”

EHA celebrates 25 years by walking 25 miles for Hospice at Home

4th April 2023

EHA has raised over £2500 for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, by walking 25 miles to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Celebrating its 25th birthday last year, EHA decided to mark the occasion by raising  much needed funds for their corporate business partner, Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, who were also celebrating their 25th birthday.

A team of 12 walkers left Dalemain at 7am on a chilly, misty morning, to walk the Ullswater Way, incorporating the Dalemain loop, and succeeded in walking 25 miles in one day – a mile for each year of EHA.  Initially pledging to raise £1000, this was exceeded by the generosity of family, friends, colleagues and tenants, and just over £2500 was finally raised.

Beth Furneaux, Chair of Eden Housing Association commented “We’re delighted with the fundraising efforts of our staff, who not only walked 25 miles but raised money throughout the year through raffles, cake sales and bring and share lunches.  The Association’s chosen charity, Hospice at Home, works tirelessly to ensure  those in need can receive the care and support to remain in their own homes.  Their values align with those of EHA, where we also provide support to our tenants, to remain in their homes and supported living accommodation for as long as they wish.  For both EHA and Hospice at Home to celebrate their 25th birthdays together is testament to the valuable service both provide to the community.”

Kylie Palmer, Hospice at Home said “This has been a momentous year for us both as we mark our 25th Anniversaries. Founded in 1997 in the Eden Valley, Hospice at Home has been providing care and support to thousands of families living with life limiting illnesses. Although our clinical service area and patient support services have grown over the years, the invaluable support we have always received from Penrith and the Eden Valley remains.  We are extremely grateful to Eden Housing Association for their continued support and partnership. Their kindness and determination throughout their fundraising mission will help to ensure the care and support we provide in our local communities is always available when needed. Although all our services are provided free of charge to the patient and their family, each provision of care has to be paid for. The Charity needs to raise over £19,000 each week, the NHS provide some of these funds (20%) with the remainder being raised through our amazing volunteers and supporters. Our Business Partners play a vital role in helping us raise awareness as well as the vital funds needed. We welcome Business Partners from all industries, sectors and size! If you would like to learn more about Hospice at Home and partnering with us please get in touch”.

 

EHA Launches Charitable Fund

13th February 2023

Community groups supporting people across Eden will benefit from a new grant making fund.

The new Eden Rural Community Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, was set up by Eden Housing Association after the sale of its Eden Community Alarms (ECA) office in Penrith.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to voluntary organisations and community groups that help improve the lives of vulnerable people.

Projects supported could include exercise classes for older people, befriending service to reduce isolation of carers, materials and equipment to run activities with disabled young adults, improvement of community facilities to increase accessibility and one-off grants for capital equipment will be considered.

Priority will be given to projects supporting older people, particularly those who are vulnerable and isolated, adults with physical disabilities, mental health needs and/or learning disabilities, carers and community and volunteer-led initiatives to deliver or improve access to services in rural areas.

Cumbria Community Foundation has been building philanthropic support for communities and grassroots groups for 22 years. In that time, working with individual donors and businesses, it has invested almost £60 million into local communities.

Beth Furneaux, Chair of Eden Housing Association, said “We’re pleased that the fund created by the sale of the former Eden Community Alarm offices in Penrith means that we’re able to continue providing support to the people of Eden. Though Eden Community Alarms closed some time ago, it feels like this is a positive way to ensure the legacy for supporting people in our rural communities lives on.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants & Programmes Officer at the Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that Eden Housing Association has set up a fund and we look forward to working with them and helping them to support to support local people. This new partnership is a great example of how we can work with organisations to support local community groups and initiatives that make a big difference to the lives of those in genuine need.”

The fund is now open for applications. To apply or to find out more, visit www.cumbriafoundation.org/fund/eden-rural-community-fund or contact Ellen Clements, [email protected] or on 01900 825760 to check eligibility.