We are backing Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

Wolverhampton Homes is supporting today’s (Friday) national event to raise awareness of the plight of those struggling to heat their homes affordably. The initiative is co-ordinated by the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA).

As well as highlighting some of the problems facing local people who struggle to heat their homes affordably, Fuel Poverty Awareness Day also aims to draw attention to the role that energy efficiency can play in making homes warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to heat.

There are a number of actions tenants & residents can take to help keep their homes warmer and their energy bills down:

  • Did you know that you can book a Home Energy Visit for your home to ensure you have the adequate measures for keeping your house warm such as heating, loft and wall insulation. For further information contact the Energy & Climate Change Team on 01902 556789
  • Checking if you are on the lowest tariff available with your current provider or visiting a price comparison site to see the latest deals.
  • Read your meter regularly and update your energy supplier to avoid estimated bills – this also enables you to keep track of what you are using and make changes if necessary.
  • If you are on a prepayment meter make sure to claim ‘The Government Electricity Rebate’ of£12 from your energy supplier TODAY! The rebate must be claimed by 28th February 2015. The Government Electricity Rebate is part of a package of measures to reduce domestic energy bills and is open to all domestic electricity customers.

For further information and advice, contact the Energy & Climate Change Team on 01902 556789

For more information on the NEA, visit www.nea.org.uk

Support Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Twitter by using the hashtag #fuelpovertyawarenessday

We are on of the top 100 companies

Wolverhampton Homes has been named by The Sunday Times as one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK – for the third year running.

Announced yesterday (25th February), the housing company, which manages more than 23,000 council houses in Wolverhampton on behalf of the city council, was ranked in the top 50 places to work in the annual list published by The Sunday Times and employee engagement specialists, Best Companies.

Overall, Wolverhampton Homes was ranked 42nd in the national list which recognises and celebrates the best places to work in the UK.

Wolverhampton Homes employs more than 740 members of staff who help look after more than 23,000 homes in the city.

Hundreds of companies from across the country took part in the Best Companies survey this year where employees were asked to rate the company they worked for through in-depth questionnaires.

Wolverhampton Homes were awarded an overall two-star rating from Best Companies which classes them as an ‘outstanding’ company to work for when it comes to employee engagement.

Lesley Roberts, Chief Executive, said:

This really is a wonderful achievement for everyone connected with Wolverhampton Homes, from my team of dedicated staff to the council and our tenants.

It’s a difficult time to be in the public sector but what this result shows is that we’ve got a team of dedicated professionals who really care about the work they do, who care about making a difference and who are committed to helping those in our city. I take an enormous amount of pride in knowing that”.

Wolverhampton North-East MP and Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds MP added:
 

I want to congratulate Wolverhampton Homes on again being ranked as one of the Sunday Times Top 100 employers. It is a tribute to all of the people who work at Wolverhampton Homes that it has yet again been recognised as one of the best companies to work for in the UK in this prestigious list. As Shadow Housing Minister, I am delighted that Wolverhampton Homes also provides such an excellent service to their tenants.”


 

Home boost for council tenants

Thirty-four council house tenants can look forward to home improvements in the coming weeks after extra funds were secured for the city from the Government.

It is the third time this financial year that additional funding has been granted to Wolverhampton to bring more houses up to the decent homes standard. The £170,000 sum brings the total granted by the Homes and Communities Agency to £1.6 million for 2014/15. On-going improvements have been carried out at council homes across the city as part of the Government’s Decent Homes programme. Wolverhampton was allocated a total £254 million for the programme and the city council which has been complemented by city council funds.

The extra funding has been granted because of the city’s good performance in carrying out the project locally on time and on budget. It has been a partnership between the city council and Wolverhampton Homes.

City of Wolverhampton housing leader Peter Bilson said: “This is more good news to city housing tenants who will see their homes improved imminently. Our housing team and Wolverhampton Homes have demonstrated a high standard of delivery on this programme and this has been recognised by Government. It is a priority of ours to have good quality affordable homes in the city and all plays a part in regenerating Wolverhampton as a whole.”

Shaun Aldis, director of property services at Wolverhampton Homes added:

We’ve carried out improvements to more than 21,500 homes across the city since this project started back in 2007 – that’s a massive achievement and it’s made a huge difference to thousands of peoples’ lives. The fact that the Government is giving Wolverhampton extra money to carry out some additional work is a reflection on how well the partnership have delivered Decent Homes over the years.

One recent beneficiary of the improvement programme was Bilston resident Ella Paulin. She said: “It’s fantastic, we can’t thank everyone enough. The improvements have made a huge difference to our lives.”

In the last eight years, over 21,500 properties have been improved as part of the Government’s Decent Homes Standard programme.
 

LGBT History Month 2015

We are celebrating LGBT History Month February 2015

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month takes place every year in February. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community and aims to combat prejudice against the LGBT community.

At Wolverhampton Homes we embrace and celebrate diversity among our staff and customers and we want to become one of the best places to work for LGBT staff in the UK.

Our "Proud to be Me Network" work to continually raise the profile of LGBT equality. They work with local LGBT groups to learn from them and to ensure our services meet the needs of everyone.

To celebrate and show our support, we've turned our website into rainbow colours for the month.

Did you know?

Lesbian and gay people have, for centuries, struggled to be accepted as equal and treated humanely, fairly and with dignity.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the key dates in LGBT history in England:

  • Before 1967: Homosexuality was illegal (lesbianism wasn't a crime as Queen Victoria allegedly refused to believe it existed).
  • 1967: Sexual Offences Act partially de-criminalises male homosexuality making age of consent 21.
  • 1994: Age of consent lowered for gay men from 21 in 18.
  • 2001: Age of consent lowered for gay men to 16 – equalising it with that for heterosexuals.
  • 2002: Equal rights are granted to lesbian and gay couples applying for adoption.
  • 2004: Civil Partnership Act gives same-sex couples rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.
  • 2005: Elton John was one of the first to enter into a civil partnership with his partner David Furnish on 21 December 2005.
  • 2004: Sexual Offence Act 2004 sweeps away the Victorian Laws that were discriminatory towards gay men. Recognition of homophobic  assault as a ‘hate crime.
  • 2005: LGBT History Month adopted in UK throughout February
  • 2010: Equality Act in UK bans unfair treatment of people for their ‘protected characteristics’, amongst which are sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
  • 2012: Wolverhampton has its first Pride event organized by the LGBT Network Wolverhampton and we were there. (Read more about our first Pride on our Chief Executive's blog.)
  • 2013: Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 passed.
  • 2014: Same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales 

Our Proud to be Me network would love more tenants to join them so that we can check that we are getting our services right for LGBT tenants. If you'd like to be involved or want to hear more about it, please get in touch with: Proudtobeme@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk.

Rent Review 2015

Wolverhampton City Council is reviewing the rents and service charges on all its properties. 

The average rent increase from April 6th 2015 is due to be 3.11% which is an average weekly rent of £83.78. 

The rent review takes place every year following a series of consultation events across the city, tenants are being given the chance to hear a series of proposals from finance chiefs – and how those proposals could impact on the amount of rent they will pay. The review will affect tenants in homes managed by Wolverhampton Homes and also those managed by Tenant Management Organisations TMOs).

Councillor Peter Bilson, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity at Wolverhampton City Council said: 

We want to provide good quality homes for our city and offer you a good, value for money service.

Your rent covers the cost of providing your home as well as those services such as repairs and maintenance.

No-one likes the idea of rent increases but the increase means we will be able to continue to deliver our services for everyone.

We also know that we need more affordable housing in the city which is why I’m pleased that tenants are now moving into the first new council houses in the city for a generation.

All rent and service charge income collected by Wolverhampton Homes and TMOs on behalf of Wolverhampton City Council is spent exclusively on the homes it owns. The rent collected covers the day to day running costs of the housing service and improvements to the homes. 

Any tenants who are having difficulty paying their rent can contact our Money Smart Team for advice and help with claiming benefits.

Proud to be 140

Last year our Proud to be Me Network were working hard to make Wolverhampton Homes an LGBT* friendly workplace and service provider. As part of that process we entered the Stonewall Workplace Assessment programme as a way of seeing how we are doing and benchmarking our progress.

The results are in and we're really pleased to say that we were ranked... 140th out of 397 organisations. Our overall score was 92 and we just missed being in the top 100 by 18 points.

Lesley Roberts, chief executive said:

This is a tremendous result, I couldn't have hoped for anything better in our first submission.

Stonewall were very impressed with what we have achieved, they said:

No organisation has had such a high result first time round. It's an amazing achievement and you ought to be proud of the news.

The Proud to be Me Network are looking for tenants to get involved with them. If you would like to help, or would like to speak to them about anything else, you can contact them by:

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