Tenants and Residents put their best foot forward and raise £2000 in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society

4th December 2019

Tenants and Residents of Eden Housing Association’s Assisted Living Scheme at Heysham Gardens and Meadow stepped out in style on their recent Memory Walk to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

A total of 45 residents took part on the 2k route which equated to 8 laps of the building. Support was provided by Creative Support the onsite care team, Eden Housing Association staff, St John’s Ambulance and Amy’s day care.

The oldest resident taking part was Marjorie Rutter at 95 years young. The first two walkers back, completing the route in 50 minutes, were Joe Scott and Jean Houston – 94 and 90 years young respectively.

Chair of the Tenants’ and Residents’ Association John Barrett commented “The atmosphere on the day was fantastic with everyone supporting and encouraging each other to complete the 8 laps of the building. Many residents have commented that the Memory Walk has been their favourite event held at Heysham, and we would like to make it an annual event.”

A staggering £2092 was raised through sponsorship and donations, and a cheque was presented to the Alzheimer’s Society to help support those living with dementia locally.

Sue Swire, Community Fundraiser Cumbria & Lancashire at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to the staff, residents and their families for their wonderful support.  As a charity, we rely on the generosity of others to help us support people to live well with dementia today and fund research to find a cure for tomorrow’.

John Clasper, Chief Executive of Eden Housing Association, said “It was a privilege to be invited to participate in this event. In accompanying a number of residents around the walk it was clear just how much enjoyment everyone was experiencing. This was great on so many different levels, and just an absolute pleasure to be part of.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kath O’Beirne presents a cheque for £2092 to resident and Alzheimer’s Society Volunteer Kay Herries. Looking on (left to right) are Marjorie Rutter, Jean Houston, Kath O’Beirne, Joe Scott, Kay Herries, Rachael Thomson (Eden Housing Association), John Barrett (Chair of TRA) and Julie Cooper Senior Carer with Creative Support.

 

 

 

 

 

Cold weather protection to your home

4th November 2019

Cold weather protection to your home

If you are considering going away this winter (even for a short period), please consider the following options to protect your home from frost & water damage:

  • Leave your heating on low/timed or frost guard facility (if available)
  • Turn off your cold water supply at the stop tap
  • Consider lagging any exposed external pipes (outside taps)
  • Consider turning off water supply to wash houses and external toilets
  • Please consider lagging external taps. Please report any vulnerable exposed water pipes or condensate pipes to our repairs team as below.
  • If you have a friend or neighbour who could keep an eye on your property and report any problems to Eden Housing Association on 01768 861400, freephone 0800 3581 401 or email repairs@edenha.org.uk.

Solid Fuel User? Attached is a Safety Guide – following these simple guidelines will ensure safe and efficient operation of your solid fuel appliance https://www.edenha.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Safety-Guide-for-Solid-Fuel-Users.pdf

Damp & Condensation? Cumbria Housing Partners has provided three videos to help you if you are suffering from damp and condensation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyZPrvhDJ8E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYg9QJmde9M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_bIU4iAMsU

 

Cold snap causes boilers to stop working

4th November 2019

The first proper cold snap this winter has seen a large number of calls coming in from tenants who have lost their heating and hot water as a result of the condensate pipe from their boiler freezing up.

If caught early enough, this issue is often quick and simple for someone to solve for themselves without having to wait for a heating engineer to attend.

If you get your heating and hot water from a gas or oil combi boiler, it will most likely have a condensate pipe – this will usually be white plastic and will run away from the boiler to a drain – often going to an outside wall and looking like an overflow pipe.

In cold weather the small amount of water that runs from this pipe can freeze up, eventually causing the boiler to shut down and stop working. By defrosting the pipe and removing the frozen blockage, you can get your boiler working again.

How to defrost a frozen condensate boiler pipe

  • Use hot water – not boiling – heated by a kettle or a microwave and pour over the end of the pipe where it is frozen using a suitable container like a watering can and/or
  • Hold a hot water bottle or heat wrap around the condensate pipe.
  • Give the pipe a gentle tap with a wooden spoon or similar to dislodge the frozen water.
  • If the first kettle has no effect, repeat the process a number of times until things start to move.
  • Once the pipe has thawed you should re-set your boiler by holding in the re-set button for 10 seconds and wait for the boiler to re-fire.

Warning

  • Never attempt to thaw a condensate pipe above waist level, or disconnect the condensate pipe in order to do so.
  • Never attempt to access the condensate pipe or any other pipe work within the boiler.
  • Beware of ice on the ground that will form from the water you have poured.

If in any doubt, phone our Customer Service team on 01768 861400 / 0800 358 1401

The following short video from Worcester Bosch demonstrates how to safely thaw the pipe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iFyHf4in8k&noredirect=1

EHA Proposed Rent Increase April 2020

30th October 2019

Consultation October 2019

Introduction

At their next meeting, our Board need to make a decision about what increase to apply to rents next year.  We are recommending a 2.7% increase, equivalent to the Government’s expectation for housing associations. We think this is the minimum required to keep the business running and meet tenants’ priorities.  Our Board are keen to hear what tenants think so they have a clearer picture before considering our recommendation.

This month, we are getting in touch with our tenants in lots of different ways to ask the question – what do you think about a rent increase in April 2020?

How rents are calculated

Before you answer that question, we would like to try and explain a little more about how rents are calculated and what has been happening with rents in the last few years.

As a housing association we can’t just choose to charge what we like. The formula for calculating rents is set by the Government, and they tell us what we can charge (Links to Government Documents: Rent Standard: https://tinyurl.com/y54x3awv Rent Standard Guidance: https://tinyurl.com/ybp24bxu MHCLG Policy Statement: https://tinyurl.com/y56sumrv)

Most commonly, rents have increased every year with increases in charges usually being calculated using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Retail Price Index (RPI) which are common measures of inflation in the UK.

In 2013 the Government announced that in each of the following ten years, we could increase rents by CPI plus 1%. Then in 2015, for the first time ever, the Government made a surprise announcement that we must apply a 1% decrease in each of the following four years instead.

As an example, the table below shows the impact of these calculation changes, starting with rent of £100 per week in 2013, and assuming CPI of 2%:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The impact of rent changes since 2016

The Government sets standards for how we provide services to our tenants. One of many tests they use to make sure we are doing things responsibly is to check every year that we will have the resources to do everything properly for the next 30 years. We have to have a financial plan that will pay for everything we need for the next 30 years – so all the repairs, all the improvements like new roofs and kitchens etc, and that we have money to build new homes for tenants too.

The rent decrease since April 2016 has given us £2.6million less to spend in the last four years, and over the 30 years it has taken £28million out of the pot we expected to have.

Because of these reductions in the money we have available, we have had to cut our staff bill (we lost 18% of our staff in 2016) and we have had to slow down the pace that we usually make improvements to your homes.

The awful Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 has rightly made sure that there is lots of focus on making sure properties are safe – and that has brought new costs too for things like new fire doors etc. We still have to buy goods and specialist services to provide services to you. The price of materials, equipment and contractors charges have continued to increase with inflation even though we have less money available. Like all housing associations, we have had to make less money stretch further than we have had to before.

It has been challenging at times to provide the same quality of service that we used to provide. Before the rent decrease, we used to put new kitchens and bathrooms in sooner than the Decent Homes Standard set by the Government. Since the rent cut, we are making these improvements in the longer timescales the Government set out.

We know these changes have sometimes led to increased dissatisfaction, but we also know that despite that, most of the tenants that we ask agree that they would still recommend us to their family or friends. We also know that our tenants value the ‘home for life’ we provide rather than a short six month tenancy, and that our rents are considerably lower than average rents in the private sector around us.

What will happen in April 2020?

The Government have told us that we can start to increase rents again from April next year. We can increase rents by the rate of CPI in September 2019, plus 1%. September CPI rate was 1.7%, meaning that our proposed rent increase from April will be 2.7%.

This table shows what that means for a range of example rents:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This rent increase will provide more money to allow us to deliver more services and more improvements again – though we won’t be able to catch up on everything in the first year.

Our Board are keen to hear what you think about the proposed 2.7% rent increase. Please do get in touch before 11 November by emailing RentConsultation@edenha.org.uk or giving us a call on 01768 861400.

(Note all tenants will receive your personalised rent increase letter by early March 2020)

 

New rented homes nominated for two awards

21st October 2019

Press Release

9 October 2019

Eden Housing Association’s new affordable rented homes at Spring Close in Threlkeld has been nominated for two national awards.

The development, which was only officially opened in July, has been shortlisted by the Chartered Institute of Housing for their Northern Best Housing Development Award and Inside Housing for their national Best Affordable Housing Development Award. These awards recognise developments that provide desirable and sustainable places to live, improving the lives of people within the community, and are an opportunity to celebrate the very best residential development across the UK, that demonstrate creative approaches and excellence from concept to delivery.

The scheme at Threlkeld provides 7 houses for affordable rent and local occupancy at the base of the iconic Blencathra Mountain. The scheme stands out due to its high energy efficiency levels, which includes air-source heat pumps to provide heating and hot water. These measures aim to reduce the running costs for tenants and improve the environmental sustainability. Each property has stunning views of the Lake District fells, taking in Blencathra from the front rooms and St Johns-in-the-Vale from the rear.

Not only was the build focused on fitting in with the local architecture, scenery and the needs of the local community, it also focused on using local consultants, trades and suppliers. The ‘local’ theme was evident within the Project Team with building works being undertaken by Cumbrian firm Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd, design by Architects Day Cummins, Client Representation from Donleys and Structural Engineer Tweddell and Slater.

John Clasper, Chief Executive of Eden Housing Association, said “I am delighted that our project has been recognised on the national stage. Development projects can take a long time to come into fruition and a lot of people have been involved in making this happen. We are thankful for help from the Lake District National Park, Eden District Council and Homes England and see the nomination as a acknowledgement of the quality of the completed development. It’s great that these rented homes have been taken up by households who were living and working locally and has helped to address their housing needs”.

The winners of the Awards will be announced in ceremonies being held at London and Durham in November.

Eden Housing Association is currently on site with its next affordable rented development at William Street in Penrith, a scheme consisting of houses and flats which are scheduled to be completed in early 2020.

Aerial shot of Spring Close, Threlkeld

Happy 25th Birthday to Scaws Tenants’ & Residents’ Association

14th October 2019

Press Release

 12 October 2019

 Happy 25th Birthday to Scaws Tenants’ and Residents’ Association

Scaws Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (TRA) which first formed on 18 October 1994 will turn 25 years old this month.

Founder member and Publicity Officer Sylvia Sloan recalls some of the group’s many achievements over the last 25 years – “The TRA is part of the local community and over the last 25 years we have been able to make a difference in the Scaws area by providing equipment to Beaconside School, improving the aesthetics of the area by installing benches, bins and planting blubs, and in 2016 we helped raise around £55,000 for a multi-use games area (MUGA) adjacent to Beaconside School which the children of the area enjoy”.

This week saw an event held at Beaconside Primary School to celebrate the 25th Birthday and included afternoon tea, singing from the School choir, an Awards ceremony and art competition.  Every year a Year 6 pupil is awarded the Community Award ‘Learning to Live, Learning to Shine’ and will have their name added to the shield provided by the TRA. This year’s winner was announced as Trent Louis.  The TRA had also donated prizes for the art competition where pupils had been asked to design a celebratory poster.

On behalf of Eden Housing Association who has supported the TRA over that time, Karan Crosthwaite said the event organised by Beaconside School and Scaws TRA was “A fitting celebration, Beaconside Primary School is at the heart of the community. The school has provided a venue for the meetings all these years, as well as hosting today’s celebrations including providing the delicious afternoon tea. Likewise, over the years, the TRA has supported the school including providing the shield and prizes for today’s Award and art competition.’

If you live in the Scaws area and are interested in joining the TRA, the Group hold meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 6.45pm at Beaconside Primary School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trent Louis, receiving his award from representatives of Scaws TRA, Eden Housing Association, Eden District Council, Penrith Town Council and the Police

 

 

 

EHA Employees Run and Dive for Hospice at Home

20th September 2019

Press Release

 20 September 2019

 Eden Housing Association Employees Run and Dive for Hospice at Home

Three employees from Eden Housing Association have tested their stamina and fear by competing in a half marathon and a daring Skydive to raise funds for local charity Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

Max Stoddart and Brad Renwick successfully completed the 13.1 mile half marathon Great North Run, whilst Karen Teasdale faced her fears to jump out of a plane at 120mph and plummeted down 15,000 feet.

Karen was first to face her fear on Saturday at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Lancashire. Karen said “The weather was superb and the flight provided magnificent views. The experience was scary but exhilarating! Thank you to family, friends and work colleagues who sponsored me for such a great cause.”

Max and Brad undertook their challenge on Sunday, starting off from Newcastle City Centre and running 13.1 miles to finish at South Shields. Both Max and Brad are strong runners, both having completed the GNR just two years ago with a team from EHA, and were determined to achieve personal best. Brad was first home in 01:33:10 with Max finishing at 01:38:24.

Eden Housing Association has undertaken challenges in the past for Charity Partner Hospice at Home such as Total Warrior and the Coast to Coast cycle ride. This year has seen funding raised by dress down days, bake offs and raffles. Together, Karen, Max and Brad have raised more than £1,700 for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

Sheila Thompson, Volunteer for Hospice at Home, received the cheques on behalf of Hospice at Home. The charity said “Hospice at Home cannot thank our Business Partners Eden Housing Association and all the Staff for their continued support. They have, over the years, taken up many challenge events and raised a fantastic amount of money for local patients, their families and carers. Karen took the brave decision to Skydive for Hospice at Home this year and raised the awesome amount of £420, whilst Max and Brad did fantastically in the Great North Run raising an amazing £1,341.61. We truly do appreciate the support of Karen, Max, Brad and Eden Housing Association!’’

Anyone wishing to do so can still donate via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising-edit/Eden-Woof and https://www.justgiving.com/Karen-Teasdale3

New Affordable Rented Homes Opened in Threlkeld

3rd August 2019

Press Release

 30 July 2019

 New affordable rented homes opened in Threlkeld

Eden Housing Association’s new affordable rented homes at Spring Close in Threlkeld were officially opened this week.

The development, in the Lake District National Park Planning (LDNP) Authority area, consisting of 7 houses ranging from 1 bedroom to 3 bedrooms, are all occupied by households with a local connection.

The homes have been constructed to high energy efficiency levels, and with air-source heat pumps providing heating and hot water they are aimed at being economical to run.

Spring Close has been in the making since 2014 beginning with negotiations with the local landowner and then overcoming challenges presented by ground conditions and also an electricity supply diversion.

The ‘local’ theme has continued with building works and design being undertaken by Cumbrian firms, Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd and by Day Cummins (Architects) Ltd.

Funding of the £1m + project has been mostly covered by the Association with £219,000 grant being provided by the Homes and Communities Agency, now Homes England, and with the help of loan funding from Eden District Council.

At the opening ceremony, Beth Furneaux, Chair of Eden Housing Association with the help of new residents, unveiled a stone from the local Threlkeld Quarry bearing a plaque marking the occasion. Beth used the celebratory occasion to convey her thanks to everyone who had made the project happen and commented upon being pleased that the development had been well received by the new tenants.

John Clasper, Chief Executive of Eden Housing Association, said “I am delighted with the look and feel of the completed houses. It’s great that we have been able to help people with a local connection improve their housing situation. The new tenants I have spoken to are really pleased with the quality of the accommodation and are already well on the way to making them homes”.

Local MP for Penrith and the Border, Rory Stewart, was unable to make the opening because of engagements elsewhere, but having been kept informed of the new development said “It is really great to see these new affordable homes to rent opening in Threlkeld at the foot of Blencathra. With so many individuals and families unable to afford the cost of housing in the area in which they live, work and have grown up, an affordable housing scheme offers communities the chance to build something of real social value. I would like to pass on my congratulations to Eden Housing Association and thank all those involved for their hard work in making this possible.”

Eden Housing Association is currently on site with its next affordable rented development at William Street in Penrith, a scheme consisting of houses and flats which are scheduled to be completed in early 2020.

For more information on development contact John Clasper, Chief Executive on 01768 861400

 

Beth Furneaux (Chair) and John Clasper (Chief Executive) with the new tenants of Spring Close, Threlkeld

 

Spring Close, Threlkeld

Official opening of 7 new affordable rented homes at Spring Close, Threlkeld

Rural Housing Week – Construction works underway to provide new affordable homes in Penrith

1st July 2019

To mark National Rural Housing Week, the theme of which is ‘building for rural communities’, Eden Housing Association’s development at William Street in the market town of Penrith is underway.

Following the demolition last year of the garages at the site, construction work has now begun to create 4 two-bed houses and 3 one-bed flats and associated parking, all for affordable rent.

Initial work has included the installation of drainage and the diversion of gas, water and telecoms. The appointed contractor, Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd, expects to complete the new homes in early 2020.

John Clasper, Chief Executive of Eden Housing Association, said “This development will provide much needed affordable homes for rent in a great location and at the same time improve the aesthetics compared with the tired looking garage block previously on the land. The development has been challenging so far in terms of the ground works and utilities works required and will prove more costly than our average development. However, investing in our market town is the right thing to do and I’m certain the resulting new homes will be in high demand. We are grateful to the surrounding neighbours for their patience and understanding too whilst we develop this small site”.

The rural project has been funded by Eden Housing Association with the support of a grant from Homes England.

Margery Manfield-Cooke, Vice-Chair of Eden Housing Association visited the site to check on progress and said “A lot of people have invested a good deal of time and energy in making this project come together for which we are thankful. It’s good to see we now have a cleared site and that construction above ground level will be seen very soon”.

This Eden Housing Association development follows on from the recent completion of seven affordable homes for rent in Threlkeld, working with the same project team, architects Day Cummins Ltd and contractor Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd.

 

Chief Executive John Clasper and Vice Chair Margery Manfield-Cooke visiting the William Street site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us:Housing: 01768 861 400 Repairs: 0800 3581 401 or 01768 861434
All calls are recorded for training and resolution purposes

Opening Times

 

Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm
Wed 9.30am – 5pm
Closed Bank Holidays

Contact Us





Connect With Us

Eden Housing Association
Blain House, Bridge Lane, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 8QU
Telephone: 01768 861 400 Email:
All calls are recorded for training and resolution purposes

building homes and communities...

Website: www.thedesignworks.co.uk