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Keep up to date with us and your community with our latest news updates. You can also view our Facebook and Twitter feeds below.

Neighbourhood survey now open

Neighbourhood survey now open

A member of GCH staff conducting a survey with a tenant

Over the Summer our Neighbourhood team have run community events at White City, Tuffley, Coney Hill, Podsmead, Kingsholm and Westgate, giving local residents to speak with us. During these events we have been busy gathering your feedback and as a thank you we have run prize draws where residents won a fruit hamper.

The survey asks you about your neighbourhood including things you like and areas you’d like to see improved.

The survey is now open to all residents and there will be another prize draw, with the winner announced on 30th September.

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GCH Supports the Safer Gloucestershire ASB Pledge

GCH Supports the Safer Gloucestershire ASB Pledge

Guy Stenson, CEO of GCH signing the Safer Gloucestershire Pledge

Gloucester City Homes is pleased to commit to the Safer Gloucestershire ASB Pledge.

The Anti-social behaviour pledge has been developed by Safer Gloucestershire, a County-wide community safety partnership, led by the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

Guy Stenson, Chief Executive at GCH says “At GCH we are committed to creating thriving communities where everyone can feel safe, we are proud of the strong and effective partnerships already in place within the communities we work. We recognise how important it is to customers that we work together to minimise ASB, support victims and work together to reduce the causes of ASB at a community level, this can only be achieved by working together and making it easy for people to report concerns. We are pleased to join so many other local organisations in adopting the pledge developed by Safer Gloucester and the OPCC.”

The pledge promises that anti-social behaviour will be taken seriously, made easier to report and tackled in partnership – with victims no longer being passed ‘from pillar to post’ when it comes to ASB. The pledge is;

  • As signatories of the Safer Gloucestershire Anti-Social Behaviour Pledge, we recognise a broad definition of anti-social behaviour which can affect the people of Gloucestershire in many different and sometimes profound ways.
  • We will continue to work together to understand the impact of anti-social behaviour in the county and tackle issues as a priority when they arise, with a focus on early intervention and prevention. People in Gloucestershire have the right to feel safe, whether they live, work in, or are visiting the county, and victims will always be provided with appropriate support.
  • We will make it easier to report anti-social behaviour, ensuring the process is clear and accessible to all. Where victims feel they have not received appropriate support, we will promote the use of Community Triggers to offer collaborative multi-agency solutions.
  • Working in partnership, we will share information to maximise the impact we can have within communities, ensuring victims are at the heart of all we do.

If you are experiencing ASB please report it to us here, email us or call 01452 424344. However, if you are in immediate need of assistance, or if a crime is in progress, then phone 999

To report to the police please phone 101 (non-emergency number) or  visit this link. If you wish to report crime anonymously then you can report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or click this link

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Supporting Anti-Social Behaviour Week

Supporting Anti-Social Behaviour Week

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We are proud to support ASB (anti-social behaviour) Awareness Week; bringing together people and organisations from across the country to take a stand against anti-social behaviour and make communities safer.

Running from 18th to 24th July, ASB Awareness Week aims to encourage communities to take a stand against ASB and highlight the options available to those facing it.

The week of action is bringing together people and organisations from across the country to take a stand and work together to make communities safer.

Organised by community safety specialists Resolve, ASB Awareness Week is being backed by the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Local Government Association (LGA), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC).

If you are experiencing ASB please report it to us here, by emailing us or calling 01452 424344. However, if you are in immediate need of assistance, or if a crime is in progress, then phone 999

To report to the police please phone 101 (non-emergency number) or report to the Police online. If you wish to report crime anonymously then you can report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report online.

If you do make a report to the Police, please let GCH know that this has happened along with any incident/crime numbers.

Which agency is responsible for my ASB report?

GCH

As a landlord, we tackle anti-social behaviour that is a breach of tenancy.  This includes things like:

  • Noise nuisance
  • Fly-tipping
  • Verbal abuse

The Police

The police investigate criminal offences.  Following on from these investigations, if they are proven, it may be that this proves a breach of tenancy and then we, as the landlord, may be able to deal with this.

Things that are criminal offences and therefore should be reported to the police first include:

  •         Drugs – taking of or suspicions of drug dealing
  •          Assault

The Local Authority (Council)

The Council has an Environmental Health Team who investigate serious noise nuisance and fly-tipping.  They have the power to prosecute or confiscate equipment.  Following on from these investigations, if they are proven, it may be that the proves a breach of tenancy and then we, as the landlord, may be able to deal with this.

GCH will work in partnership with these agencies to assist in their investigations and provide advice and support to complainants.

Our key priority is always to try and resolve or stop the anti-social behaviour happening.  Evictions are very rare and always a last resort.

The Community Trigger

You may feel like you have nowhere to turn for help.  You may have reported the anti-social behaviour but no-one seems to be doing anything and no-one is listening but the anti-social behaviour is continuing.  The Community Trigger has been designed for you.

If you (or others with your consent) have reported 3 incidents (or more) within a 6 month period you can activate the Community Trigger (also known as ASB Case Review) through your Local Authority.  This has been designed to give you, the victim, the right to demand that agencies deal with persistent anti-social behaviour.

Read more about the Community Trigger/ASB Case Review here.

Recent ASB cases we have dealt with

At GCH, your Neighbourhood Managers deal with low level ASB and tenancy breaches. We also have two Community Safety and Enforcement Managers who address serious anti-social behaviour, managing safeguarding cases and tenancy breaches. Here is some of the cases they have been working on recently to give you an idea about what they get up to;

One of our Neighbourhood Managers identified a case of subletting whilst door knocking regarding access for an electrical test. The resident, Miss A, advised that she had been paying her rent of £500 cash per month for at least 6 months, to a male who advised that he was the landlord. Conversations with Miss A revealed that the real tenant had moved to France, leaving a friend in charge of collecting the rent. She had been led to believe the home was a private rental. Subletting is illegal as it is a way of making a profit from low-cost social housing that is in demand by so many people in need of an affordable home.

Our Neighbourhood Manager and Community Safety & Enforcement Manager worked with Miss A to gather evidence however the actual tenant found out about this and threatened Miss A therefore our team had to help the family access emergency accommodation as she felt unsafe. Once our Officers sourced emergency accommodation they helped Miss A to pack up essentials and arranged transport for her family to get there.

Once the family were safe, our Neighbourhood Manager and Community Safety & Enforcement Manager requested a lock change to ensure that the real tenants friend could no longer access the property and served an legal ‘notice to quit’ to get the property back so we can let it to someone in need who has been waiting for social housing.

This is a great example of the patch team working together to ensure that Miss A and her children were no longer at risk, remaining with the family on site for over 6 hours. They overcame barriers with the Council to ensure that emergency accommodation was provided and also that the property was secured. Ideally GCH would have liked to pursue legal action for the tenancy fraud however due to not knowing the whereabouts of the tenant, it was not possible.

Tenant, Mr E, had been holding his partner Miss B, and her children, captive in their home therefore she planned to escape from him. Social Care were helping Miss B and her children to escape however Mr E caught his partner attempting to collect items from a neighbour’s house and get into a taxi. The Police moved Miss B and her children to safety.

Following this there were ongoing threats from Mr E to the neighbour, Miss K, and she left her property due to feeling unsafe.

Our Neighbourhood Team sought temporary accommodation through the council for Miss K, as she feared for her life and that of her family, which was not easy however our Neighbourhood Manager and Community Safety & Enforcement Manager worked with the local PSCO to challenge the decision and gain Miss K temporary accommodation.

Once the immediate risk had been removed and both Miss B and her children and her neighbour Miss K and family were safe, we started working to pursue action against Mr E.

Cases like this are complex and our Officers have to identify the best way of resolving high-risk issues and ensuring that the victims have somewhere to safely live. Access to emergency accommodation is very challenging as there is not much availability however our team have to prioritise the safety of residents. At GCH we do not condone Mr E’s type of behaviour, which breaks our tenancy agreement and will take action against those who act in such a manner.

Numerous complaints were made to GCH concerning the behaviour of a tenant, Mr H, in the Podsmead area.

Complaints were initially in relation to noise nuisance, but the behaviour of Mr H soon escalated into serious incidents and this was having a detrimental effect on the community. The incidents included assault, intimidation, threats, racial abuse, domestic abuse, criminal damage & drug cultivation.

Early intervention methods such as home visits and tenancy warning letters had no impact on Mr H’s continued behaviour and an early decision was made to apply to the country court for an Injunction Order. This was granted by the District Judge with a power of arrest attached to the Injunction should the order be breached.

Mr H went on to breach the injunction on 10 occasions and was arrested by police which saw him serve a custodial sentence of 12 weeks.

Breaching the Injunction Order allowed GCH to progress with possession proceedings against Mr H using Ground 7a. This is an absolute ground for possession where the presiding Judge has little discretion in how the hearing progresses with the likely outcome being eviction.

Mr H appealed the 7a application, but this was not upheld and he was later evicted from the property.

GCH work closely with perpetrators of ASB to change behaviours and will work alongside partner organisations and support groups to achieve this. However, in this instance, the events were frequent and severe and so legal action was the most appropriate.

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Chat and Chips in Tuffley and Coney Hill

Chat and Chips in Tuffley and Coney Hill

A member of GCH staff talking to a tenant at our Chat and Chips event in Tuffley

Staff from our Neighbourhood team met with tenants and local residents in Tuffley and Coney Hill recently for Chat and Chips events.

The successful events were held opposite the shops in Seventh Avenue and at the shops in Coney Hill. This allowed the Neighbourhood Team to address various questions and concerns such as Housing benefit queries, ASB and improvements to the area whilst sharing a free carton of chips.

Tenants and local residents were also entered into a Prize Draw in return for answering a short survey allowing them to give honest feedback about GCH and it’s services. To have your say and also be entered into the Prize Draw please follow this link and complete the form: Summer 22 Engagement Consultation

For more details please call Mandi Holt on 07852 915077 or email Mandi.Holt@gch.co.uk

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Affordable Homes lead way in Kings Quarter Development

Affordable Homes lead way in Kings Quarter Development

10 development partners stood on the site in front of a green digger
Aqua, AFA, GCH and Gloucester City Council partners at the site where work has started

Working with local building company, Aqua Construction, we are excited to start work building 25 affordable flats as part of the landmark Kings Quarter development in Gloucester city centre.

Work is underway to develop 25 flats consisting of 16 two-bed and 9 one-bed homes on brownfield land located on Northgate Street and Spread Eagle Way. The homes are due to be completed in late 2023.

As Gloucester’s biggest social housing provider we are excited to play a part in the regeneration of Gloucester city centre. These 25 flats will bring affordable housing options to local people, enabling residents to benefit from the impressive regeneration that is putting Gloucester on the map.

Robert Panou, Head of Assets & Development at GCH

’We are delighted to be playing our part in the regeneration of Gloucester City centre and be directly involved in such a worthy project with Gloucester City Homes. The construction of the flats will be technically challenging especially below ground with the presence of archaeological remains however through collaborative working with the structural engineer and City Archaeologist we have through some clever engineering managed to mitigate any disturbance to the archaeological remains.

Jason Wasley, Managing Director at Aqua Construction

It is great to see affordable housing amongst all of the amazing regeneration work taking place in the City Centre.

Stephanie Chambers, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy at Gloucester City Council
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Claim Your Council Tax Rebate

Claim Your Council Tax Rebate

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The application for £150 energy rebates for those eligible residents not paying council tax by direct debit is now open on the council website.
 
The online application will be open until midnight on 14 August 2022 and eligible residents are encouraged to submit an application by this date. However, should an application not be received by the deadline then the Council will apply the £150 energy rebate credit to the council tax account and issue a revised council tax bill.
 
Applicants will need their ten digit council tax account number beginning with 030 (point 2 on here) and a recent bank statement which must show their name and full address.
 
Eligible households must meet the following criteria as at 01 April 2022;
 
  • The property must be in council tax bands A to D. This includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation band of band D, as a result of the disabled band reduction
  • The property must be the council tax payer’s sole or main residence. Payment will not be made in respect of empty properties, properties used as second homes or properties in multiple occupation (HMO), where the landlord pays the council tax
  • If you pay less than £150 council tax, or you receive single person discount, or do not pay because you receive council tax support, you will still be entitled to the payment
  • Eligible households will include who don’t pay council tax because they are in receipt of an exemption for one of the following reasons:
    • Everyone living in the property is a student
    • Everyone living in the property is aged under 18
    • Everyone living in the property has a severe mental impairment
    • The property is an annex that’s occupied by:
      • A dependant relative (of the person living in the main house) who is aged 65 or over
      • Someone with a severe mental impairment
      • Someone who is substantially or permanently disabled
Further information about the energy rebate, including FAQ’s, is available on the council website here.
 
Did you know? GCH Customers can access budgeting support and guidance from our friendly Tenancy Sustainment Team – get in touch today!
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