Category Archives: Information

Hudds North/South TRA’s – Touching Base Event

Hudds North/South TRA Event on Monday 20/01/14

Over 50 representatives from Tenants and Residents Associations in the two Huddersfield neighbourhoods turned up for this event.  As well as time to catch up and talk to other volunteers, KFTRA arranged for Michael Gelling Chair of TAROE (Tenants and Residents of England) to attend the meeting. Michael gave an interesting talk on a new campaign being organised by TAROE to find out what tenants actually want and what the important issues are that affect social housing tenants. Some of the issues raised were;

  • No rent increase above inflation
  • Abolish the bedroom tax
  • Rinfencing issues
  • Negative publicity

Tenants should have a huge political influence

One in five people in England live in the social housing sector, thats 10.6 million people living in 4.2 million properties.DSCF4036

TAROE aim to ask as many of their membership as possible to identify their concerns and priorities and these will be presented to the main political parties with the demand that the voice of 20% of the population is listened to and their concerns are met.

If you would like to take part in this important survey and add your voice to the tenant movement, then please click the link below.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TAROE

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Big Energy Saving Week

The BIG Energy Saving Week 2014

BIG Energy Saving Week

Big Energy Saving Week is back!  January 2014 will mark the third Big Energy Saving Week; a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.

BIG Energy Saving Week

Energy is a huge issue and accessing it cheaply, getting support where needed and saving it where possible can have a massive impact on consumers’ ability to manage their energy usage and cost.

Many people stay on the same tariff or with the same energy supplier for years, without realising they could be getting a better deal elsewhere. They could be saving up to £200 a year, particularly if they have never switched before.

CHECK—SWITCH—INSULATE.

Check

Contact your energy supplier to check you
are on the best tariff and payment method for your circumstances, or if they can offer you any discounts to cut your bills.

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to check you are not missing out on any benefits or tax credits that could boost your income.

Switch

Visit an accredited switching website to see if you could get your energy cheaper elsewhere. Shopping around for your energy supplier could save you as much as £200 if you have never switched before.

If you use heating oil as your main fuel, see if there are any local oil buying clubs you can join. If not, you might want to start your own.

Insulate

If you’re worried about how much money you’re spending to heat and light your home,
or just want to spend less, there are some simple steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient.

Keep in the heat by insulating the cavity walls and the loft of your home – you could save up to £320 per year. Most suppliers are giving away free or discounted insulation and other energy efficiency measures so ask if you’re eligible.

For more information, visit http://www.bigenergysavingweek.org.uk or call 0300 123 1234

FREE TRAINING SESSIONS – ENERGY BEST DEAL

Find out how much you can save and get advice about your money and debts at this free session delivered by Chris Fitzsimmons from CAB

Ring KFTRA to book on 01484 223466 or email general.admin@kftra.net

Wednesday 5th February 2014 – 10.00-12.00am at Huddersfield Town Hall

Thursday 6th February 2014 – 2.00-4.00pm at Dewsbury Town Hall

Ring KFTRA to book on 01484 223466 or email general.admin@kftra.net

Huddersfield Area Committee – November 26th 2013

Huddersfield Area Committee – November 26th 2013

All people who live or work in Huddersfield will be welcome to the next Huddersfield Area Committee meeting on 26 November 2013,  7 – 9pm at the HuddersfieldTown Hall.

The topic for the meeting is:

Poverty Looming, Gambling Booming – who are the winners and losers in Huddersfield?

There are now more opportunities to gamble on the High Street and online.  For many this is harmless entertainment, but for some people it can become a problem that affects health and relationships.  Come and find out more about the impact of gambling on individuals and communities, and what is available to help.

For more information visit  http://kirkleesareas.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/poverty-looming-gambling-booming/

Gambling booming flyer

Neighbourhood Watch – How to set one up

Neighbourhood Watch Schemes

neighbourhood_watch_logo[1]

A Neighbourhood Watch scheme can be easily included for your TRA catchment area and can attract new members to your group. As well as having a positive effect on reducing crime and the fear of crime on your estate.

How to set up a group.

If you would like more details on what is involved, or on how to set up a group either of the two people below will be happy to help.

David Whitteron West Yorkshire Police Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator  david.whitteron@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Howard Fanning KNH Fire and Police Liason Officer
howard.fanning@knh.org.uk

New Housing Solutions Service for Kirklees

New Housing Solutions Service for Kirklees

From 1st April 2013, we are offering a new service called Housing Solutions Service – bringing together Private Sector Housing and the Housing Options and Support Service

 What support does Housing Solutions offer?

The service’s main focus is on assisting people to find, keep, maintain and live independently in quality, affordable homes.

Customers can access advice and support which includes:-

  • Access to housing information and guidance
  • Advice on a range of housing options
  • Assessment of housing need including the prevention of and assessment of homelessness
  • Information and advice to private sector landlords and tenants and some home owners
  • Housing related support to enable vulnerable people to maintain their accommodation.

The service adopts a person centred, creative early intervention / prevention approach to solving housing problems, only turning to compliance action as a last resort.

 Where can people access the service?

The service will continue to be provided from the Customer Service Centres, currently Civic Centre 1 in Huddersfield and the Walsh Building in Dewsbury.  The service will move to the new Huddersfield Customer Service Centre when it opens in late Spring. 

 For further information please contact:

 Operations Managers:         .

Cath McGurk – Access to Housing

Steve Cale – Quality Homes

Team Managers:

Lynne Mitchell – Young People and Support

John Marsden – Advice and Assessment

Lisa Allan/Carina Kemp – Access to Housing Solutions Services

Peter Halpenny – Temporary Accommodation

Jeremy Maguire – Access to Private Rented and Compliance

All can be contacted by phoning 221000 or internal 860 1000 and asking for them by name.

KFTRA Delegates Meeting to discuss Mandatory Direct Debits

KFTRA Delegates Meeting to discuss Mandatory Direct Debits

Thursday April 4th at 1.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall

KFTRA Statement on Mandatory Direct Debit – 20/03/13

After meeting with a KNH Board representative on Monday 18/03/13, KFTRA have taken the decision to defer the presentation of their petition opposing Mandatory Direct Debits for council tenants, until after a full KFTRA Delegates meeting on the subject to be held on Thursday April 4th at 1.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall.

The reason for this is that KNH were under the misapprehension that KFTRA supported their position that ALL tenants should pay their rent by Direct Debit, which is not the case.

While KFTRA are happy to promote Direct Debit as the preferred means of collecting rents, they would still like to see a raft of payment options available to tenants.

Neither the KFTRA Management Committee, nor any other KFTRA meeting or any, outside body on which KFTRA has a representative has ever taken a vote to determine whether KFTRA are in favour  (or not) of mandatory Direct Debit.

KFTRA will be inviting Kirklees Council cabinet member Cllr Cathy Scott and officers from KMC and KNH to present their position on rent payments.

Then at the KFTRA Delegates meeting, representatives from the whole of the Kirklees Tenants movement will be asked to vote on the follwing.

A vote will be taken on whether the delegates are;

  1. Opposed to mandatory Direct Debit.
  2. In favour of a campaign to oppose compulsory rent payments by Direct Debit.

Of particular concern are the effects that mandatory Direct Debit would have on certain groups of people.

  • Older people who wish to continue to pay their rent at the Post Office.
  • Bankrupt people who cannot hold bank accounts
  • Vulnerable people who would find it difficult to budget a bank account.

KFTRA were also surprised that KMC sent out a letter to tenants informing them of the change to mandatory Direct Debits without discussing this with KFTRA beforehand. KFTRA were shocked at the tone of the letter which implied potential eviction for tenants if they fell behind in their rent payments by not paying by Direct Debit.

That this letter was sent out to elderly tenants who were not in arrears causing them great distress was shocking and we hope that an apology will be given and that steps will be taken to ensure that this mistake does not happen again.

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For more information contact Jill Long KFTRA co-ordinator on 01484 223466 or email jill.long@kftra.net

Lower Energy Bills for Kirklees Council Housing Tenants and Residents

Lower Energy Bills for Kirklees Council Housing Tenants and Residents

gas bill

Kirklees are joining in a recently launched campaign to help people switch to lower cost  energy supplies.

Click the link below for further details.

www.communityenergy.info

Main Points

  • if you pay by Direct Debit you should be able to save an average of 10% – 15% per year off the cost of your energy bills.
  • if you are on a pre-payment meter as long as you have arrears of £500 or less then you can still join the scheme and your savings could be 40%
  • You can join the scheme up until April 17th 2013
  • For people on a lower income or on benefits this is the only way that you can significantly reduce your energy costs.
  • IMPORTANT – to sign up to the scheme you will need a recent energy bill and preferably details of your payments for the last year
  • The scheme is NOT suitable for Warm Zone customers.
  • The offer is for gas supplies, or gas/electric supplies, but not electricity only.
  • Once your offer is made to you, you will have 14 days to decide and then a 7 day cooling off period where you can change your mind. It will then take around four to six weeks for the change of companies to be implemented.
  • For the scheme to work a minimum of 3,000 people need to sign up.

Fern Lea Flats TRA object to removal of age designations

Fern Lea Flats TRA (Tenants and Residents Association

Fern Lea Flats is a six storey block of 36 flats located in Lindley, Huddersfield
The flats are currently occupied by people over 60 years old and there is a well established community at the flats. When the TRA (Tenants and Residents Association) learned that the age restrictions on their block of flats was to be removed to allow tenants of any age to apply to live there, they were shocked. Pat Downing the associations Chair said “Young and old people are part of the local community, but they have different lifestyles. In a block of flats such as ours with poor noise insulation, noise travels particularly at night and it is unfair to expect that young people will not play music or make a noise after 11.00 pm and it is also unfair that older people should be disturbed if they do. It would seem much more sensible to allocate flats in blocks of flats to people of similar ages and lifestyles.

Petition & Deputation

Local Ward Cllr Cahal Burke is to go with representatives of the TRA to Kirklees Council Cabinet meeting on Wednesday March 12th 2013, to hand in a petition & speak to Kirklees Council Cabinet members about their concerns. 

KFTRA - Better Place to Live Seminar

Kirklees Council Housing Estates; A Better Place to Live

Getting the Site Right

Netherwood Close TRA 2011

Netherwood Close TRA 2011

Would you like to be a getting the site right inspector and help make your neighbourhood a better place to live?

Involving Tenants

Involving tenants and residents is essential to the process of managing, monitoring and improving the grounds maintenance service in Kirklees.
Kirklees Council Streetscene aim to ‘Get the Site Right’ in their work on your estate but they are not there every day. They need you to let them know when problems occur or any issues you are aware of.

What is a getting the site right inspector?

It is someone who has the power to report poor work and channel views and ideas of other tenants on how to improve your estate.
You can also attend annual site inspections with a member of the gardening team to discuss work done and put forward ideas for improvement.

What Next

For more information you can attend one of the workshops below

Huddersfield Town Hall, Reception Room on Monday 25th March 2013 from 2.30pm to 4.00pm

Dewsbury Town Hall Council Chambers, on Tuesday 26th March 2013 from 2.30pm to 4.00pm

Please contact Nigel on 01484 225064 to register for one of the workshops or to find out more about what is involved.