Hello and welcome to your latest update from Thrive Homes
Knowing you'd like to hear about what we are doing to look after our existing homes, I'm pleased to open this newsletter with an update on just that.
My team has been busy building a plan for each and every home. This includes looking at what upgrades are needed to keep them in a good condition, as well as to meet building safety and energy efficiency regulations.
Material and labour costs have shot up, so we need to be careful making decisions on which upgrades we will do.
Deciding which updates we will do
When a home is well maintained and looked after, we expect its parts to last. For example:
- Bathrooms to last at least 30 years
- Kitchens to last at least 20 years
- Windows to last at least 30 years
- Pitched roofs to last at least 60 years
Planning ahead helps us better manage how we spend our money.
68% of our rented homes have now had a HomePlan® visit, which is one of the ways we keep an eye on the condition of these items. On top of this, we’ll take an even closer look every five to seven years (as part of a check called a stock condition survey. We’ll let you know when your checks are due, all we ask is that you let us know if you need to rearrange.
Our progress to date
Last year, we spent £5.4million upgrading our homes (with things like new heating, kitchens and bathrooms) compared to £4.3million in the previous year.
250 of our homes have received insulation upgrades and there’s more on the way.
Heating homes is responsible for a third of all carbon emissions in the UK, so managing energy at home is essential. If you think your home could do with some extra insulation this winter, please get in touch!
When we may decide to sell a home for shared ownership
Since 2020, 120 of our properties have been removed from rent, and 610 more homes added to our ownership or management.
As our housing stock gets older, there are times when a property needs a lot of investment to bring it up to regulatory standards and ensure it is safe, comfortable, and energy efficient.
When a home becomes empty, we assess works needed to bring it up to these standards and calculate how much this would cost. Sometimes we find that we wouldn’t be able to recover the costs in rental income alone. This means that if we went ahead with the works and kept the property for rent, we would have less money to maintain other homes.
In situations like this, we may decide to refurbish the property and sell it as a shared ownership home rather than selling outright to a private landlord or developer. This means it’s kept as a social housing option . It also means we keep a rental income from the property that we can use to pay for more improvements to the rest of our homes.
Money received from the sale is used to build more homes in the same local authority area. For example, we have used money from the sale of homes converted to shared ownership in Three Rivers to build more homes at Summerhouse Way and Notley Court in Bedmond.
I hope you find the items in this newsletter useful, and if there's anything you'd like to hear about next time, please let us know.
Interim Assistant Director - Assets
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We work hard to make sure your privacy is protected and that your personal data is treated with respect.
We've clearly set out what data we collect and how we may use it.
Stay in the know
- View your cleaning and grounds maintenance schedules
- Easily give feedback on services
- Read safety information about your building
Thrive Customer Voice is making a real difference
Pick from an article below to read about how we've been acting on member’s input:
- What members told us to include in your annual report.
- Suggestions for our anti-social behaviour policy.
- Members thoughts on our process for managing damp and mould.
- Tell us what could make you feel safer in your home and how we can your attention to important safety communications
- Share what's important to you when it comes to our cleaning service.
- Help us create a 'good neighbour' agreement so you can enjoy where you live.
Get involved at: thrivehomes.org.uk/getinvolved
Your service updates
- Repair appointment times have reduced!
- The grounds maintenance team are back to full strength and have expanded their in-house team
- What we do to monitor and manage your cleaning service
- and more!
Complaining to us
We'll deal with things like overflowing bins, any repairs or issues in your building as part of our service offer to you.
If you feel we've let you down, our formal complaints process makes sure things are put right and prevented from happening again.
You can make a complaint in a variety of ways so choose the option that works best for you. Contact us through our website, by email, use live chat, call us, send a letter or speak to a colleague when they visit.
Our process meets the Housing Ombudsman's Code of Complaints, has just received extra legal powers..
What's your feedback telling us?
In April, the new Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) were made a requirement by our Regulator. These are a set of questions we must ask you about things like our repairs service, complaints process, or how we’re listening to your views.
The results are in and you can see how we are performing in line or above landlords in quite a few areas!
Fire doors protect you and can stop fire spreading to the rest of your building.
Learn how to check yours is in working order in six simple steps...
Autumn is around the corner
This means colder weather, which may bring out damp and mould issues.
Developed with Thrive Customer Voice members, our website gives advice on how to diagnose the issue and explains how we'll work together to manage it. There's also information on how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
If you find any damp or mould in your home, please let us know!
Slips, trips and falls
You can help us prevent you from getting hurt. Please let us know if you notice anything like damaged or missing handrails, or loose or missing outdoor paving slabs.
Dates for your diary
- If you pay service charges, your actuals statement will be with you at the end of September.
- You can download a copy of our Annual Report for Tenants on 1st October 2023 at thrivehomes.org.uk/annualreport
Let us know if you'd like to help us create a 'Good Neighbour Agreement' in the autumn.