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Today's News: Tuesday, April 23

  



News
SNP urged to increase council tax to fight cuts
Plans for 16,000 affordable homes in Edinburgh
Care provider launches new complaints procedure
Plans lodged for 400 homes in Auchterarder
More bungalows and custom built homes the best way to bridge the housing divide
Tenants owe Dundee City Council £1.5m in rent
A Tribute to Yvonne McShea
ACHA tenant evicted in Rothesay for illegal drug production
Just A Minute with Lesley Gibbs, Probyn Gibbs Associates
Jobs
Corporate Services Admin Assistant – Parkhead Housing Association
Assistant Technical Services Manager - Ochil View Housing Association
Property Services Manager / Officer - Waverley Housing
Assistant Housing Manager - Weslo Housing Management
Senior Housing Officer - Weslo Housing Management
Events
Lifting the lid on the affordable housing supply programme
Green Deal for Scotland
Training at SHARE – Find your way through the Quality Jungle
TIS Annual Conference 2013
CIH Scotland training courses

News

SNP urged to increase council tax to fight cuts


Academics have called for wealthy Scots living in bigger homes to pay more council tax, in an attempt to ease the impact of the planned bedroom tax on thousands of vulnerable households.
 
The group, which provides expertise in housing and social work, told the Scottish Government that the system needs a shake-up to resolve inequalities that currently mean the resident of a £212,000 property pays the same local authority charges as someone who lives in a £1 million mansion.
 
Dr Sarah Glynn, of the Centre for Housing Research at St Andrews University, and 16 other academics wrote to Housing Minister Margaret Burgess saying it would be a better way of tackling the UK Government's controversial bedroom tax.
 
They claimed the policy will have far-reaching financial and social consequences, saying it could leave 100,000 families in Scotland £40 to £80 worse off a month in benefits if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home.
 
Their letter, published in today's Herald, warns: "We realise this is asking for more government expenditure, as it would be wrong to take the money from other public services.
 
"We suggest that it be paid for by a modest increase in the top rates of council tax, and that the Scottish Government work with local authorities to deliver this."
 
All homes worth more than £212,000 share the same top band for council tax, a figure which has remained unchanged since the original valuations in 1991.
 
Eight council tax bands start at properties worth up to £27,000 and progress to a top band of properties valued at more than £212,000.
 
The SNP has pitched its electoral proposals on freezing the tax, while dropping promised plans for a local income tax.
 
The result is a council tax system skewed in favour of those in more valuable properties at a time when benefit changes are hurting others at the bottom.
 
The academics – who include Dr Gerry Mooney, senior lecturer in social policy, at the Open University, Dr Tom Slater, senior lecturer in human geography at Edinburgh and Dr John Bone, head of sociology at Aberdeen – added: "We believe it is a much more humane – and also economically responsible – choice to spend this money now and avert much unnecessary suffering than to wait and spend much more next year to try to repair the social and economic damage that this suffering will cause."
 
They said the bedroom tax would break up established communities, making it difficult for families to put down roots.
 
It would, they say, also prevent estranged parents from helping to bring up their children and restrict the amount of help that can be given by grandparents. They argue it will mean the needs of disabled people will be reflected in demands on other budgets.
 
But the academics admit they do not have the expertise to place a figure on how much the council tax should rise for high end homes.
 
Shelter Scotland director, Graeme Brown, said: "This response further illustrates the depth of anxiety felt across the housing sector about the drastic impact the bedroom tax is set to have on some of Scotland's most vulnerable people.
 
"We share their concerns and urge the Scottish Government to look at all innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax – sooner rather than later – so that the more than 100,000 households in Scotland affected do not have to live in fear of the consequences."
 
SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, deputy convener of the Welfare Reform Committee, said: "The SNP have made a firm commitment to scrap the bedroom tax in an independent Scotland.
 
"Labour is terrified of saying anything substantial on welfare because they know that the only way Scotland can get the welfare system that people here want is with the powers of an independent Scotland."
 
A Scottish Government spokesman said it was attempting to mitigate the worst effects of the bedroom tax, but added: "Raising council tax would simply mean robbing Peter to pay Paul.
 
"This Government has fully funded the council tax freeze for the last six years and is committed to continuing the freeze for the lifetime of this parliament. In the current economic downturn, it has provided hard-pressed households across Scotland with much needed relief."
 
In England, Labour has pledged to introduce a tax on high-value homes, known as the "mansion tax", with the money raised to be spent on cutting income tax for lowest paid workers.
 
ggsrv-cold.st-andrews.ac.uk/chr

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Plans for 16,000 affordable homes in Edinburgh


Ambitious plans to develop up to 16,000 affordable homes in Edinburgh in the next decade will be debated at City Chambers this week.
 
Housebuilding levels in the city could reach a 40-year high if the masterplan outlining the council's strategy to boost development levels in the Scottish capital is approved.
 
Ricky Henderson, the city's housing convener, (pictured) said that the plans could "kick-start the largest programme of housing building seen in the Capital since Wester Hailes was built in the 1970s".
 
It is estimated that around £2bn of investment would be needed to meet the 16,000 homes target.
 
The suburbs earmarked for potential housebuilding reportedly include Craigmillar and north Edinburgh.
 
Councillor Cammy Day said: "Council money will be used towards the building of the 4,000 affordable homes and also to encourage developers to take part in the construction of the rest of the new properties."
 
Cllr Henderson added: "This isn't a single project that will stand and fall by a single element. It will be broken up into little chunks and we will approve each one as we go. If any site runs into difficulties that is not going to impede progress with the rest of the schemes."
 
www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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Care provider launches new complaints procedure


Bield has reformed its complaints procedure to make it more easily understandable and more accessible to the public.
 
The provider of housing, care and community services for older people made the move as it strives to continue improving customer satisfaction.
 
Reflecting the model Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) developed by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman the procedure also gives the option for customers to make a complaint to other bodies such as the Care Inspectorate.
 
Under the changes the complaints handling procedure has been reduced to two stages instead of the previous three, but will continue to follow specific time-scales for responding to complaints.
 
Bield currently has 16 housing developments in Edinburgh including sheltered housing, very sheltered housing, amenity housing, private retirement whilst day care services are also provided.
 
Brian Logan, chief executive at Bield, said: “While we have introduced a new procedure, our commitment to providing a first class service still remains firmly in place.
 
“The procedure reflects our commitment to valuing complaints. We know that on occasion we get things wrong and when this happens we want to put it right. We want to learn from our mistakes so we can do things better.
 
“Issues that arise can be about something we’ve done, or not done, or it could be about the standard of service provided by us, or on our behalf.
 
“Complaints give us valuable information that we can use to improve customer satisfaction. They provide a first-hand account of our customer’s views and experience, and can highlight problems we may otherwise miss. The new procedure will help us do our job better, improve relationships with our customers. It will help us keep the customer at the heart of the process, while enabling us to better understand how to improve our services by learning from complaints.”
 
As well as the new procedures, Bield has introduced a new recording system for staff which promotes a more efficient method of monitoring complaints and will provide better reports that will help identify the cause of any raised incidents.
 
Brian added: “For staff, complaints provide a first-hand account of our customer’s views and experience, and can highlight problems we may otherwise miss. All of these changes have been designed solely with our customers in mind and implemented to improve the services they receive. We are continuously evolving and exploring ways we can meet and go beyond their expectations.
 
“We hope that this procedure will enable us to address a customer’s dissatisfaction and try ‘get it right first time’ and even help to prevent the same problems that led to the complaint from happening again.”
 
www.bield.co.uk

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Plans lodged for 400 homes in Auchterarder


Two major housing plans that will see more than 400 homes built in Auchterarder have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council.
 
A proposal for Stewart Milne Homes would see 261 houses, including 40 affordable houses built on a 12-hectare site at Kirkton, while a separate plan for 147 houses and associated engineering operations has been submitted for land at Castlemains Farm, near the Community School of Auchterarder, according to The Courier.
 
The Auchterarder Expansion Development Framework was approved by the council’s enterprise and infrastructure committee as supplementary planning guidance, following public consultation in April and May 2006.
 
This framework was prepared by a consortium of developers including Muir Homes, Stewart Milne and a community steering group.
 
Nick Brian, Perth and Kinross Council’s development quality manager, has prepared a report on both plans, and described the development of the land at Kirkton, Auchterarder, as constituting a “significant element” of the housing land supply in the Strathearn Housing Market Area.
 
In his report, Mr Brian said the development site in Kirkton, Auchterarder, would be accessed by new roundabouts off Hunter Street and The Feus.
 
“A mixture of two-storey house types is proposed which are accessed off a main spinal road and arranged around landscaped squares and areas of open space,” he said.
 
“The affordable housing will be provided to the west of the site. A new footpath and cycleway is proposed adjacent to the new road.”
 
Mr Brian’s report states that “initial concerns” from existing residents along The Feus has been resolved through amendment to the layout to avoid overlooking and “overshadowing” along the south-west boundary of the site.
 
“Play area provision and open space within the site along with easy pedestrian access to the town’s recreational facilities and the wider countryside allows sufficient access in terms of recreational amenity,” he adds.
 
“Overall, the proposal provides a satisfactory level of residential amenity to the occupants of the development and will not prejudice the residential amenity enjoyed by existing adjoining residents.
 
“In phase one at Kirkton, 40 affordable units will be provided to the west of the site and include a mixture of house types.
 
“In the field to the north of the development site, aerial photographic survey has recorded the crop marks of two large linear features running north-south and interpreted as track ways or hollow-ways.
 
“They may have been historic routes to the St Mackessog’s Church, the medieval church founded in the 12th century and the predecessor of Auchterarder Parish Church. It is anticipated that these linear features may extend into the development site.”
 
Mr Brian also states that beyond the development site, to the east of Aberuthven and to the north-west of Auchterarder, “significant prehistoric sites” have been recorded at Belhie and at Easthill in similar landscape settings.
 
He recommends approval of this plan, as he does with the other plan for 147 houses at Castlemains Farm, Auchterarder.
 
This proposal, if passed, would include 16 affordable houses, associated infrastructure, open space and a full-size football pitch at Castlemains, which is situated on the northern edge of Auchterarder.
 
The housing would consist of a mixture of two-bedroom apartments, semi-detached bungalows and terraced villas, as well as five-bedroom detached villas in single and two-storey design.
 
www.pkc.gov.uk

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More bungalows and custom built homes the best way to bridge the housing divide


Two leading think tanks have clashed on the best way to house Britain’s ageing population.
 
The clash follows the publication of two papers marking the launch of The Hanover@50 Debate, part of the specialist housing provider’s 50th anniversary.
 
Policy Exchange and the Fabian Society agree that the concentration of home ownership amongst older people risks stoking inter-generational unfairness. However, while the Fabians believe that the introduction of a property tax will lead to lower house prices, Policy Exchange says reform of the planning system to encourage developers to build more homes, including bungalows and self build homes attractive to older people looking to downsize, is the fairer way of reducing the generational divide.
 
The Fabian Society paper found that high property prices are in the interests of neither young nor old, because pensioners do not unlock their housing wealth during their own lifetime. It says the gap in ‘middle’ incomes between retired people and those of working age has narrowed dramatically over recent decades, calling into question the protection from the pain of deficit reduction enjoyed by many older people.
 
The paper argues that while many older people endure housing problems, ill health and isolation, their incomes are growing faster than those of people in working life. It therefore calls for a ‘presumption of equality’ across all age groups taking in eligibility for certain public services and a comprehensive review of taxation and social security spending.
 
Policy Exchange calls on policymakers to reform the planning system to encourage the construction of new good quality homes that will not antagonise local people. Current rules make it almost impossible for developers to build houses with extra floors which has led to a situation where only 2% of UK housing stock consists of bungalows. In 2009, only 300 bungalows were built. The paper says that building more bungalows will allow older people to downsize, freeing up family sized homes for younger families.
 
Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabian Society, said: "Many of the measures put into place to reduce pensioner poverty and improve the incomes of pensioners have worked. In fact, they've worked so well that the earnings of pensioners ‘in the middle’ are fast approaching those of working people.
 
“At a time when almost every public spending decision is involving significant pain for a vulnerable group in society, the government must now consider whether they can really afford to keep protecting older people from the pain of deficit reduction.
 
“We need a new ‘grand bargain’ in British politics that will see comparatively well off older people contributing more and receiving less to help stymie burgeoning inter-generational inequalities.”
 
Alex Morton, head of housing and planning at Policy Exchange, said: “What is needed is a grand bargain between the generations not a tax on the elderly. More homes, tailored to the needs of older homeowners, will help free up family sized properties for the younger generation.
 
“It’s unsurprising that many of our talented men and women are making new lives for themselves outside the UK. We must reform the planning system to get Britain building more homes. This has to include more bungalows which will allow older people to downsize to a property that suits their specific needs.”
 
Hanover chief executive, Bruce Moore, added: “We want to promote a debate on the future of retirement housing and wider issues around care and support for older people in our ageing society. We need to look afresh at housing and support services for older people but, as these papers make clear, that discussion needs to take place in the context of the wider community and society.”
 
www.policyexchange.org.uk
www.fabians.org.uk
www.hanover.org.uk

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Tenants owe Dundee City Council £1.5m in rent


Council tenants in Dundee owe the local authority almost £1.5m, according to new rent arrears figures.
 
The figure revealed last week at the scrutiny committee is almost 10% of the cash the council is expected to collect.
 
The national performance indicator was taken between April and December 2012. The council failed to collect 9.9% of rent in that period, compared to 8.6% in the same period in 2011.
 
Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors criticised the SNP administration but housing convener John Alexander said the statistics “do not present the complete picture”.
 
The councillor pointed to unpublished figures for the 12 months to March 2013, showing that arrears fell from £1.46m to £1.42m, a reduction of 0.1%.
 
Councillor Kevin Keenan, who chairs the scrutiny committee which looked at the statistics, said: “The SNP delivered a 5% increase in rents, again way above inflation, refusing to accept the Labour amendment that would have delivered a lesser increase and employment opportunities for housing officers.
 
“I don’t expect that the SNP administration will revisit the Labour group’s proposals in its entirety; however they should consider the department’s need in dealing with the growing problem of rent arrears.
 
“It may have been useful to have accepted the Labour group’s proposals and had these council officers knocking doors and collecting rent.”
 
Mr Keenan said he was told the council is taking legal action against some tenants and, in a few cases, seeking eviction. The leader of Dundee’s Labour councillors is worried that changes to housing benefit could add to the problem.
 
The UK Government is reducing payments to people who are deemed to have spare rooms, a policy critics call the ‘bedroom tax’.
 
Mr Keenan said: “Welfare reform will continue to exacerbate the situation as household budgets are squeezed. The bedroom tax will bring a further squeeze on the household budgets.
 
“The SNP in Dundee say they have a ‘no eviction policy’ in relation to the bedroom tax but I would remind people to read the small print.
 
“The SNP should revisit their policy as it is likely to continue to burden those who pay their rent diligently as rent would likely continue to increase to cover non-collection.
 
“The administration cannot continue to burden those rent payers who pay at the expense of those who either can’t or won’t.”
 
Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser MacPherson, who sits on the scrutiny committee, said the figures are concerning, but are “the square root of nothing to do with welfare reform”.
 
“It is about the council’s performance on the SNP’s watch,” he added. “There is a real need for efficient action to ensure that the city council’s rent collection performance improves. I am not sure the SNP administration is really up to that task.”
 
Councillor John Alexander, convener of Dundee City Council’s housing committee, said there are “robust procedures” for collecting arrears.
 
“If our tenants have difficulties paying their rent, we strongly advise them to seek advice as soon as possible from the rent recovery centre.”
 
He added: “The figures that were reported to the scrutiny committee do not present the complete picture and if the full financial years of 2011/12 and 2012/13 are compared, what we see is an improvement in collecting rent arrears of 0.1%.”
 
www.dundeecity.gov.uk

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A Tribute to Yvonne McShea


It is with great sadness and a deep sense of regret that Thenue Housing has announced the death of its former Chair Yvonne McShea.
 
Yvonne (pictured) died in Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary on Wednesday after losing her struggle with illness which she had borne with great courage and determination. Paying tribute to Yvonne, the Association said it had lost a champion of the housing association movement and said her “selfless” contribution to its work was impossible to calculate.
 
George Alexander, Yvonne’s successor as Chair, said: “Yvonne displayed all the attributes that have come to define those who selflessly give to the housing association movement. Hard work, dedication and a desire to deliver the very best housing possible were the things Yvonne cared about deeply.
 
“She also understood all too clearly that our role was not simply to collect the rent but to support our tenants and contribute to the regeneration of the communities we serve. Nothing gave Yvonne greater satisfaction than to see the transformational effect new housing and vibrant communities made to people’s lives.”
 
Yvonne served for 14 years with Thenue from 1998 and stepped down last year after five years as Chair. During Yvonne’s time as Chair, Thenue underwent significant change, reorganisation and modernisation. Earlier this month, Yvonne was presented with a Waterford Crystal bowl to mark her long service as a token of Thenue’s gratitude.

Such was Yvonne’s commitment to housing, she became the first member of any housing association committee in Scotland to attain the “Governance of Scottish Housing Associations” qualification.

Charlie Turner, chief executive of Thenue Housing, said: “We send our heartfelt condolences to Yvonne’s family at this sad and difficult time. Thenue Housing owes a significant debt of gratitude to Yvonne who contributed greatly to our Association over 14 years. We will miss Yvonne immensely but are very thankful for her dedication and hard work - particularly in her five years as Chair. Yvonne leaves behind an organisation deeply engaged in the regeneration of communities and which continues to build homes for people who need them. These were Yvonne’s priorities and a fitting tribute to her life and work.”

Yvonne who lived in Castlemilk is survived by her husband Charlie, two children - Charlene and Darren - and two grand children and also by her father Malcome who lives in Wick.

Yvonne's funeral will be held at 2.00pm on Wednesday 24th April 2013 at Linn Crematorium, Lainshaw Drive.

Pleased be advised that ‘family flowers’ only are appropriate. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so to either Friends of the Beatson (www.justgiving.com/beatson) or The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice (www.ppwh.org.uk/donate/default.html)

www.thenuehousing.co.uk

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ACHA tenant evicted in Rothesay for illegal drug production


An Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) tenant has been evicted after being found guilty of illegal drug production.
 
ACHA raised a court action against a tenant for recovery of possession of her tenancy in Rothesay as a result of her conviction for cultivating cannabis plants.
 
Having heard evidence the Sheriff held that it was reasonable in the circumstances to grant an order to the Association to recover possession of the tenancy, notwithstanding the tenant’s original claims that the cannabis was for personal use.
 
Illegal drug use and drug dealing is a particular concern to local residents and tenants of the Association. The outcome of the court action is another success for the Association in enforcing its policy against antisocial behaviour and activity relating to illegal drugs with the aim of ensuring safe communities in the Argyll and Bute area.
 
Alastair MacGregor, ACHA’s chief executive, said: “The production of illegal drugs in an Association tenancy is obviously of concern to us. We are pleased that the Sherriff has granted us a decree and hopefully this sends the appropriate message out.”
 
The Association in reiterating its message about illegal drug use or drug dealing in your community asks local residents who have any information on these matters to please contact their local ACHA office or the Police.
 
www.acha.co.uk

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Just A Minute with Lesley Gibbs, Probyn Gibbs Associates


Name: Lesley Gibbs
 
Position: Partner in Probyn Gibbs Associates – architect working in housing (design guidance, access auditing, housing standards compliance and community engagement).
 
What have you learned in this industry? It’s always important to listen; residents know their area and housing needs better than anyone, and often have a new way of looking at age-old problems
 
Who has influenced you most? I’ve never had a mentor, but I’ve probably learned something from everyone I’ve worked with.
 
What do you like most about your job? I like the variety. One day I can be setting up a community engagement event, the next carrying out a housing standards audit, doing some CAD work to improve housing layouts, or talking with design teams about the accessibility and inclusivity of their schemes.
 
And least? Being self-employed, it’s the worry about where the next project is coming from.
 
What are you doing to prepare for the Welfare Reform changes of 2013? My work isn’t directly affected by the Welfare Reform bill, but I know that residents I meet in community engagement events will be anxious about the impact of changes on their lives, and RSLs will be looking to build more 1-bed homes or to convert larger properties into smaller ones.  The needs of disabled people will also be brought into sharp relief. 
 
What was your biggest success in 2012? Keeping busy with interesting projects all year, and finishing my tax return before the cut-off date!
 
And your goals for 2013? More of the same?
 
What piece of technology could you least do without? My laptop; it has all the tools to let me work the way my brain works best, and to organise myself, my work and leisure time as I need.
 
How are you making more use of the internet? These days I use it to keep up with the news sources I used to have subscriptions to and the programmes I’ve missed because of evening consultation meetings.
 
What's your favourite app for smartphone/ipad/ tablet? I’m keen to get a smartphone (or at least one that is smarter than my current one) soon, as I can see how Google maps on the move will obviate the need for printing out TfL routes, and save paper.
 
Where would you be right now if you had the day off? I really want to see the Bowie exhibition at the V&A
 
What was the last book you read (traditional or electronic)? Traditional always, unless the book is too heavy to carry: it was Hilary Mantel’s autobiography, “Giving up the Ghost”. She’s an extraordinary writer of huge range.  I can’t wait for the last in her Thomas Cromwell series.          
 
Favourite Quote or piece of advice: “It’s probably not about you” when I come across really angry, difficult or challenging people. Though, sometimes it is, of course!



To take part in Just A Minute click here

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Jobs

Corporate Services Admin Assistant – Parkhead Housing Association




Corporate Services Admin Assistant

(Part time – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, 17.5 hours per week)
1 year fixed term
EVH Grade 5: £21,167 – £24,229 ( pro rata )
 
Parkhead Housing Association is a Registered Social Landlord based in the East End of Glasgow. PHA has over 35 years experience working in the sector and has a proud history of providing good quality, affordable housing for people in housing need. We pride ourselves on being an energetic workforce who is committed to providing a first class service to the people of Parkhead.
 
Parkhead Housing Association is looking to recruit a Part Time Corporate Services Admin Assistant to join our dynamic team on a 1 year fixed term contract. Reporting to the Administration Officer, the successful applicant will be required to demonstrate excellent communication and administrative skills. The successful applicant must also have a good understanding of IT as once in position the candidate will need to become familiar with the Associations Housing Management and Document Management systems. Providing a front line service the candidate must be prepared to deal with the general public on a daily basis as well as being flexible, a keen learner, enthusiastic and willing to take on a number of fresh challenges and opportunities. This is an exciting opportunity for an individual to develop further in their career.
 
Please click here for an application pack. Alternatively you can contact Karen McIntyre on 0141 556 6226 or email at karen.mcintyre@parkheadha.org.uk. Closing date for applications is Friday 10th May 2013.
 
Parkhead Housing Association Limited aims to be an equal opportunities employer with an equality and diversity policy in place and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
 
All applicants are expected to complete the application form as CVs will not be accepted. 

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Assistant Technical Services Manager - Ochil View Housing Association

 

 
Ochil View Housing Association Ltd. is an ambitious social landlord committed to providing good quality affordable housing and high standards of customer service to over 1300 households in Clackmannanshire and West Fife.
 
Following organisational restructuring, we wish to recruit suitably qualified, skilled, and enthusiastic individuals for the following newly created post:
 
Assistant Technical Services Manager
£35,025 to £37,984 EVH Grade 8 (PA 28 – 31)
(plus essential car user allowance of £1,231 annually).
 
The Association’s properties include a diverse range of new build and rehabilitated property and include non-traditional stock acquired through large scale voluntary transfer. Our investment programme in 2013/14 is just under £2 million. This post is responsible for:
 
·         Operational leadership of the Association’s Technical Services team to ensure our contractors deliver to value, quality and timescales and within budget, reactive and planned maintenance programmes.
·         Managing the Association's reactive and planned maintenance programme ensuring that the Association's properties are maintained to the highest standard possible.
 
For a recruitment pack please contact:
 
Ochil View Housing Association Ltd., Ochil House, Marshill, Alloa, FK10 1AB. Tel. 01259 722899 or email: enquiries@ochilviewha.co.uk.
 
Particulars also available for download from Employers in Voluntary Housing web site: www.evh.org.uk (no CV’s or Recruitment Agency referrals)
 
The closing date for applications is Wednesday 1st May 2013
 
Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 15th May 2013
 
Ochil View is an Investor in People and is working towards Healthy Working Lives Gold Accreditation.  We are committed to equal opportunities.

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Property Services Manager / Officer - Waverley Housing

 

PROPERTY SERVICES MANAGER
 (£36,663 p.a.)
 
We are seeking a highly motivated and committed individual to plan and manage our property maintenance service and deliver our asset management strategy.  As a member of our Management Team, you will contribute to policy development and a performance culture which promotes continuous improvement.  The personal values integral to this post are an ability to adapt and embrace change, a passion to drive service improvement and the capability to develop relations and work collaboratively to achieve organisational success.

You will require to demonstrate proven technical expertise and have a comprehensive understanding of construction and procurement that has been enhanced through the successful completion of a technical qualification.

This rewarding post offers an attractive and competitive employment package, including a leased company car (on a contributory basis).

PROPERTY SERVICES OFFICER
(£27,496 p.a.)
 
We are seeking a suitably qualified and experienced individual to join our maintenance team.  Reporting to the Property Services Manager, you will have demonstrable technical expertise, knowledge of best practice in construction and procurement and you will be qualified to a minimum of HNC level or equivalent, in a technical related discipline.

You will contribute to the efficient and effective delivery of a reactive repairs service for all our properties, and ensure void properties are brought up to the company’s lettable standard.  We offer an attractive and competitive employment package, including provision of a company vehicle. 

These are full-time, permanent posts and will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure.

Closing date:  Monday 29 April 2013 at 12 noon
Interview Date(s): Thursday 2 May 2013 (Property Services Officer)
Friday 3 May 2013 (Property Services Manager)
 
For an application pack contact:

Waverley Housing, 27 North Bridge Street, Hawick TD9 9BD.  Tel: 01450 364200 or e-mail recruitment@waverley-housing.co.uk

www.waverley-housing.co.uk

Registered as a Scottish Charity SCO26231

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Assistant Housing Manager - Weslo Housing Management


Assistant Housing Manager
Weslo Housing Management
Bathgate, West Lothian
c. £30,000 - £41,000
Final Salary Pension and other Benefits
 
Weslo Housing Management is a registered social landlord with a reputation for high standards of customer care. The company’s objective is to provide quality affordable rented housing and we are committed to future service improvements.
 
As we move into one of the most challenging periods in the history of social housing provision, we are seeking an experienced and enthusiastic housing professional to work within our busy Housing Management department.
 
The Assistant Housing Manager will lead and manage the Estate Management team including the Senior Housing Officer and Owner Liaison Officer of our Bathgate office and the Estate Manager in the Boness office. You will support and deputise for the Housing Manager in delivering services.
 
You will be educated to Degree/Housing Diploma level and will be experienced in social housing with a proven track record in both staff and estate management.
 
A current driving licence is essential as is the ability to occasionally work in the evening or at weekends if required.
 
This is a full time position of 37 hours a week.
 
If you share our passion for providing an excellent housing service and you are dynamic, articulate with the relevant experience then we would like to hear from you.
 
For information on how to apply go to www.eglinton.co.uk
 
The closing date 12 noon Friday 3rd. May 2013.
 
Information about Weslo Housing Management is available at www.weslo-housing.org
 
Weslo is committed to equality of opportunity in employment practice and therefore we welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Senior Housing Officer - Weslo Housing Management


Senior Housing Officer
Weslo Housing Management
Bathgate, West Lothian
c. £30,000 - £37,000
Final Salary Pension and other Benefits
 
Weslo Housing Management is a registered social landlord with a reputation for high standards of customer care. The company’s objective is to provide quality affordable rented housing and we are committed to future service improvements.
 
As we move into one of the most challenging periods in the history of social housing provision, we are seeking an experienced and enthusiastic housing professional to work within our busy Housing Management department.
 
The Senior Housing Officer will supervise the Estate Management  team of Housing Officers and support staff in delivering; Arrears Management, Allocations, Voids, Estate Management and Welfare Reform. You will support and deputise for the Assistant Housing Manager in delivering services.
 
A Post Graduate Diploma in Housing is desirable. You will have a proven track record in estate management.
 
A current driving licence is essential as is the ability to occasionally work in the evening or at weekends if required.
 
This is a full time position of 37 hours a week.
 
If you share our passion for providing an excellent housing service and you are dynamic, articulate with the relevant experience then we would like to hear from you.
 
For information on how to apply go to www.eglinton.co.uk
 
The closing date 12 noon Friday 3rd. May 2013.
 
Information about Weslo Housing Management is available at www.weslo-housing.org
 
Weslo is committed to equality of opportunity in employment practice and therefore we welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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Events

Lifting the lid on the affordable housing supply programme


Wednesday 22 May, CIH Office, Edinburgh– Book now
 
Right now it’s the great unknown.
 
With late announcements of new money extending the discussions between the Scottish Government, councils and their RSL partners, little or no information is currently available on the 2012-2015 Affordable Housing Supply Programme. So what’s actually in the 32 Strategic Local Programmes, who’ll be providing what, and can the planned homes be both started and finished by March 2015? This event features different perspectives from councils, RSLs, and the Scottish Government, along with an independent assessment from Professor Kenneth Gibb.
 

Chair and speakers


The chair for the day will be Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, Port of Leith Housing Association.
Speakers will include:

·  Prof Kenneth Gibb, University of Glasgow
·  Pamela Humphries, Development Manager, North Lanarkshire Council
·  Susan Napier, Business development Director, Dunedin Canmore HA
·  Patrick Flynn, Investment Manager, Glasgow City Council
·  Bill Barron, Investment & Local Strategies Group, Scottish Government 
·  John Turnbull, Investment Director, Clyde Valley HA 
·  James Shirazi, Investment and Development Manager, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership
·  A National Housing Trust representative

Who should attend


This event is aimed primarily at:

·  Senior officers of housing associations and local housing authorities
·  Development, investment and finance staff in housing associations and local authorities
·  Local authority housing strategy staff
·  Private developers
·  Lenders
·  Others with an interest in affordable housing supply

Price
Prices start from £175.00 + VAT for CIH members.

Wednesday 22 May, CIH Office, Edinburgh – Book now

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Green Deal for Scotland




BRE AND GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY

GREEN DEAL FOR SCOTLAND
_______________________________________________

Event:                    Green Deal Information Seminar
Date:                      Thursday 16 May, 2013
Location:               Glasgow Caledonian University
Time:                      12:30 – 14:30
Cost:                       £30 per person, plus VAT
                                (Light refreshments will be provided)

Early booking is advised. To book please email ebecpd@gcu.ac.uk 
______________________________________________

Details:

This event is intended to inform interested parties on progress of Green Deal to date and how Scottish Energy Certifiers, Local Authorities, Housing Associations and other construction and property professionals can identify roles within Green Deal that they may engage in. There will also be relevant information for those interested in becoming Green Deal Advisors. This may be your starting point to receive a formal presentation on this topic and explore the opportunities that Green Deal can offer.

Event Programme

·         Registration and Introduction to event
·         Green Deal Introduction and Overview - progress to date
·         Green Deal Advisor Training
·         Green Deal Certification Framework
·         EPC and ACD schemes and routes towards Green Deal in Scotland
·         Question & Answer Session

Close

Intended audience
  • Construction professionals
  • Existing EPC Certifiers and others interested in becoming a Green Deal Assessor
  • Local Authority department leaders and decision makers
  • Financiers
  • Gas Engineers
  • Housing Association members
  • MCS scheme members (inc. Solar PV and other installation firms)
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Training at SHARE – Find your way through the Quality Jungle




FIND YOUR WAY THROUGH THE QUALITY JUNGLE
 
Thursday 23 May
9.30am – 4.30pm
Trainer: Sheila Fraser
 
Who’s it for and what’s it all about

This session is for senior staff who want to understand the difference between quality standards, frameworks and outcomes. In particular it will show you how the ‘Social Housing Charter’ maps with other quality frameworks and help you choose the right model and tools for your association.
 
The workshop will provide an overview of various quality models: EFQM, HAME, Customer Service Excellence, Investors in People, ISO, PQASSO, PSIF and The Scottish Social Housing Charter.
 
It will inform you what models and frameworks can do to improve organisations, how they can complement each other and how their different elements can dovetail into effective organisational development tools.
 
Sheila will provide a down to earth approach to quality frameworks and lead you through the quality jungle with excitement rather than fear.
 
By the end of the session participants will be able to
 
·         Explain the difference between quality standards, frameworks and performance improvement tools
·         Identify how the Standards and Frameworks link together
·         Demonstrate how The Scottish Social Housing Charter links with EFQM, HAME and PSIF.
·         Consider how self-assessment methods are used to support quality improvement and benchmark with other organisations.
·         Decide which quality system would be most useful for your association
·         Identify which quality tools can be used i.e. Balanced Score Card, SWOT/SOAR to support organisational improvement.
 
“Sheila ran a training session for our staff; to find ways of adding value and improving the quality of our service, a serious topic, but Sheila was creative an innovative in the training design and the day was fun.”  Jo Fielding, Training Manager, Bield Housing Association
 
Cost: Members £150, Non-members £250
Venue: SHARE, Kirkhaven Church, 120 Sydney Street, Glasgow, G31 1JF
To book a place on this course or for further information please call 0141 550 7595 or e-mail info@share.org.uk  

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TIS Annual Conference 2013


Don’t Miss Out on the TIS Annual Conference 2013 which will welcome back Brian Taylor, BBC Political Correspondent.
 
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow – 1st & 2nd June 2013
 
Do you want to be involved in the biggest tenants’ event in the calander? With only 2 weeks to go until the closing date for bookings, make sure your tenants’ organisations, and staff supporting these organisations don’t lose out on their chance to attend the 2013 TIS Annual Conference.
 
TIS are thrilled to welcome back Brain Taylor, BBC Political Correspondent who will open the conference on Saturday 1st June, by chairing a Question Time Panel session, also involving individuals representing local authorities, housing associations, tenants movement and local enterprise. Concluding with an uplifting and inspirational ‘show and tell’ plenary session which will highlight innovative activities, the conference promises to be a full and informative programme reflecting on key housing and welfare reform issues which impact local communities and initiatives that tenants, landlords and other agencies are working on to make a difference.
 
The Conference includes a range of policy and skills based workshops, including the topical subjects of tenant scrutiny, welfare reform, housing allocations, housing investment, community empowerment, funding opportunities for your group and effective tenants and residents organisations; as well as study visits to the New Gorbals regeneration area.
 
The Gala dinner on Saturday night is a great chance to mingle with tenants and housing staff from all over Scotland, with the highlight of the evening being the presentation of this year’s Frances Nelson MBE Award.  The awards will be presented to tenants’ organisations for their outstanding achivements in their local communities.
 
“Our conference provides a stage to discuss some of the key housing issues facing the social rented sector. It will illustrate real examples of pioneering work which tenants and landlords are developing to take housing forward,” Ilene Campbell, Director, TIS.
 
If you would like to be part of this stimulating event, booking could not be easier. For booking or further information, please either visit our website at www.tis.org.uk or telephone Leanne Blunsden on 0141 248 1242. The closing date for bookings is Monday 29th April 2013.

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CIH Scotland training courses


Equality impact assessment (EqIA) 
This popular morning session will get you looking at the EqIA process to ensure your organisations policies are effectively targeted.
14 May 2013, Glasgow - Book now

Equalities data gathering and monitoring
You will leave this great 1 ½ hour briefing understanding why you collect equality data, how it can be used and how to respond about disclosure and non-disclosure of information.
14 May 2013, Glasgow - Book now

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