Important information for Tenants
Rent increase for 20/21
Following a consultation, the Council have decided to increase council rents for 2020/21 by 2.7%. This rent increase followed a 1% reduction for the past four years. The increase will be spent on maintaining our current services.
Response to the consultation was mixed, with some agreeing with the proposal and others disagreeing. All tenants should have recieved a letter informing them of the rent change.
If you would like to find out more about the consultation results you can read the council papers here.
Our fire safety team continue to be proactive in ensuring that the fire safety systems are maintained, inspected and repaired. As a tenant, if you witness any damage to fire doors, obstruction to escape routes, faults on the fire alarm panels or any issues with regards to fire safety, you must report it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or discuss directly with your neighbourhood warden team who will ensure the message gets to us.
Changes to Flexible Tenancies
From 2 March 2020, we will no longer be issuing flexible tenancies, and secure tenancies will be used in their place. Any existing flexible tenancy will automatically become secure when the current fixed term ends, however we will look change these pre-existing flexible tenancies across at earlier date. We will update tenants further about this at a later date.
Improvements to online repairs reporting
The My Tenancy online repairs tool is currently being upgraded, this includes the option to cancel a repair on the online system and this is now available.
If you have any repairs, please report them online to free up the phones for emergencies.
Putting a stop to anti-social behaviour
We have successfully obtained five anti-social behaviour injunctions in recent months against Council tenants living in Penhill, Eldene, Railway Village, Walcot and Toothill.
These injunctions place legal restrictions on the tenant to stop disruptive behaviour and we will continue to monitor these tenants and other cases to make sure anti-social behaviour is dealt with.
The Tenant Academy
The Tenant Academy supports tenants to improve their life skills and where appropriate, to support them in finding employment. We also work with housing applicants who are currently unable to afford a tenancy to help them improve their financial circumstances.
We have a Tenant Academy Steering Group which is made up of tenants who meet every three months to review the work we are doing and discuss our future plans. It is really important to us that we get this input from tenants so we provide a good service.
We are currently looking for two new members to join our small friendly group. No experience or qualifications are needed. Benefits include tea, biscuits and the chance to shape the work of the tenant academy. The time commitment is around two hours, every three months.
If you are interested in being involved, please contact Lynn on 07899 965802
Tenant Scrutiny needs new volunteers to help shape your housing service
Are you looking for a new challenge? Would you like to help review how the housing service is delivered?
Did you know that we are a group of tenants that do this?
We need your help – why not join us!
To find out more please contact PWilkins@swindon.gov.uk
Debt and rent arrears support
If you have debt issues, are concerned about making payments, or know someone who is in financial trouble, please remeber there is support available. Check out the Citizens Advice website for more info.
Powering Up Penhill
Are you interested in saving money? Are you the go to friend for advice? Are you interested in FREE TRAINING?
Centre for Sustainable Energy have Community Energy Ambassadors who have launched Powering Up Penhill which provides free advice to local residents. We are now able to offer this training to more tenants across Swindon.
To find out more search for Powering Up Penhill on Facebook, or contact email@example.com
Reducing the number of empty homes
We are currently working to improve the relet time for empty properties (voids) to make sure our houses are put to the best use.
The voids project has resulted in a steady reduction of empty properties, down to 88 properties at end of February, which means that the rent loss from properties being empty has reduced and more people are getting into council homes.
We are looking for more Street Reps
There are currently 48 Street Reps volunteering in communities around Swindon. They support community cafes, get involved in environmental works and organise playing out sessions for local children. They give as little or as much of their time as they can spare and benefit from making their neighbourhoods nicer places to live in whilst building friendships. If you think this might be the challenge you are looking for please contact Nick Brock for more information. NBrock@swindon.gov.uk
Community cafes were established to get residents together. They aim to promote fellowship and reduce food waste. Come along to a community café where you can have a free cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit and a chat with your neighbours.
Community cafes are held weekly on:
Monday 10am-12pm at the Central Community Centre, Railway Village
Tuesday 1pm-3pm at The John Moulton Hall, Penhill
Wednesday 1pm-3pm at the Meadowcroft Community Centre, Stratton
And every other week on:
Friday 1pm-2.30pm at theToothill Community Centre (next ones on 6th March/20th March)
Housing repairs on the move
The Housing Repair teams, currently based at the Waste Recycling plant at Waterside will be relocating to a site at Hillmead, West Swindon.
As part of this move there is also the ambition of a training centre for housing apprentices and work experience for tenants using the Tenant Academy.