News — articles for February 2017

Gerry saves lots of energy with his smart meter

Gerry from Trebanog got his hands on a smart meter in March last year, since then he’s been able to have more control over his gas and electric bills.

“By having a smart meter I can monitor what I’m paying and what I’m using,” explained Gerry.

“It’s really simple to keep up to date with your bills; all you have to do is log on to your online account to see what you’re spending and how much energy you’re burning each day.

Smart Energy GB is rolling out government plans to make sure energy suppliers install smart meters in every home in England, Wales and Scotland by 2020.

“I would encourage anybody to get a smart meter, I’ve always been a gadget guy and they’re so easy to use. If you can use a smart phone, you can use a smart meter,” said Gerry.

“I think having a smart meter isn’t only about saving money - you also save lots of energy.”

What is a smart meter?        

Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters which will replace the traditional meters in our homes.

How does it work?

Smart meters will enable you to see exactly how much energy you’re using as you use it, and what’s costing in pounds and pence. They take regular readings and share these directly with your energy supplies through a secure wireless network, putting an end to estimated bills and manual meter readings.

For more information about smart meters and how they can help you visit smartenergyGB.org

Gaz and Leccy

Read Gerry saves lots of energy with his smart meter…

Partnership working gets positive results in tackling ASB

Andrews Court

A closure order has been successfully served on a property in Andrews Court, Pontypridd.

Andrews Court is a block of flats owned by Trivallis, one of Wales’ largest housing associations.

Granted in Merthyr Magistrates court the order application, which was supported by Trivallis and South Wales Police and applied for by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, means the tenant is unable to enter the property for three months.

The court agreed that closing the premises would prevent the continued re-occurrence of persistent drug abuse and nuisance exhibited by those who lived in and visited the property.

Trivallis’ community safety officer, Jane Hayman, said: “Tenants are at the heart of everything we do at Trivallis. Incidents of anti-social behaviour were having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of neighbours in surrounding flats and the elderly people’s home opposite, so we needed to act fast.

“We had concerns about the tenant for a while, but had not received any formal complaints from neighbours. We later found that this was due to fear of any repercussions and worked hard to build trust of other tenants in Andrews Court in order to get evidence and build a case.”

PC Anthony Ferguson, anti-social behaviour officer at the South Wales Police, said: “We were aware of issues with the property and conducted a number of drug warrants at the premises. Trivallis contacted us and made us aware that the behaviour of the tenant and those who frequented her property was having a significant impact on local residents, many of whom were living in fear and therefore had not reported issues to us.

 “By working with Trivallis and the local council we were able to take swift action to close the property and improve the life of the community.

“As part of the Community Safety Partnership we take issues effecting people’s quality of life seriously and we will continue to identify cases of anti-social behaviour and take appropriate action where necessary.”

Trivallis and the South Wales Police identified issues including incidents of drug use, nuisance callers to the property and disturbance caused by people being under the influence.

Evidence of these incidents was handed to RCT Council’s legal department and progressed to the courts, where the decision was made to close access to the property, excluding Trivallis staff carrying out housing duties.

Louise Davies, head of environmental health, trading standards and community safety at RCT Council, said: “Communities should not have to suffer because of the actions of individuals who flout the law and have no regard for their neighbours. When this case was brought to our attention, due to the severity of the allegations and the scale of problems being caused by the resident of the flat, the Council and our partners in the Police and Trivallis acted swiftly to ensure effective and decisive action was taken to stop the problem.

“The Council is committed to protecting our communities and, through the Community Safety Partnership, we will ensure robust action is taken to protect our residents and ensure they can enjoy their community.”

Following the closure, Trivallis will now serve a notice to the tenant. It will then apply to court to regain possession of the property.

The tenant has been offered support and details for agencies to help with the issues causing the behaviour and safeguarding.

Read Partnership working gets positive results in tackling ASB…

Trivallis' sheltered schemes are 'Visibly Better'

There are currently about 100,000 people in Wales living with sight loss, but that number is expected to double over the next 25 years. 

Over a fifth of people with sight loss live in social housing.

Trivallis, one of Wales’ largest registered social landlords, has been awarded its ninth Visibly Better accreditation by the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB).

Visibly Better Cymru is RNIB’s accreditation scheme for supported housing in Wales. Organisations work towards six standards, which focus on different aspects of accessibility, and receive Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of accreditation as they progress through the standards.

Maerdy Court, a Trivallis sheltered scheme for people aged 60+ in Maerdy, has received a platinum award for providing services that help people with sight loss and refurbishing the inside and outside of the building.

Contrasting colours have been used throughout the scheme to ensure door handles, sinks, showers and other objects stand out to those who are partially sighted. Additional features also include improvement works in the garden and to the entrance of the building.

Ceri Jackson, Director of RNIB regularly visits extra care schemes and has seen the difference these changes can make to an individual. “Creating an accessible environment is incredibly important because some people may not be aware of their conditions. Excellent practice has been demonstrated here that should be replicated in hospitals.”

The scheme, which was built in 1982, underwent some major changes in 2015 to better meet the needs of its residents. Angela Stacey, interim Deputy Director of Neighbourhood Services at Trivallis said: “We made a commitment to our sheltered tenants to provide modern homes that were easily accessible. It’s clear to see the new design features and characteristics of the scheme are right for our tenants.”

During the award ceremony, Chris Bryant MP said: “We live in a modern world which is why everyone should make our buildings as accessible as possible.

“It’s brilliant this has been done so well. The hand rails are different colours to the walls; making the building smart and tidy. The new version of this building is considerably better.”

Ron Hook is a tenant assessor for Trivallis’ schemes; he works closely with Cathryn Hughes from RNIB to evaluate the properties.

“We usually have a walk round the properties to carry out an initial assessment which has a number of recommendations; it’s surprising what things you notice,” explained Ron.

“Throughout February we’ll be visiting more Trivallis schemes including Fernbank House, Summerdale Close and Linden Court.”

For more information on Trivallis’ sheltered schemes click here.

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Helping heroes find homes

A valuable partnership between Trivallis and the City of Cardiff Council is providing sustainable homes for Armed Forces leavers, veterans and families.

The development of 152 properties is owned by Trivallis who have been working with Cardiff City Council, Seraph Property Management and the Welsh Veterans Partnership to allocate at least 15 per cent of the homes to veterans registered on the Cardiff Housing waiting list.

Julie Vellucci Trivallis’ Business Development Director said: “This is the first time we’ve ventured outside of our boundaries and built affordable homes in Cardiff. Being a part of this journey and building these valuable partnerships has been a wonderful experience and makes us incredibly proud.”

Steven Bushel who served in the army for eight years moved into a one bedroom apartment in November, he said: “It’s not the battle on the field; it’s the battle coming home. When I left the army in 1992 there was nothing in place to support veterans to find work or a home but it’s so different now.

“Trivallis are a great landlord and living in an area with other vets is great because if you see someone is feeling a little down you can help them out.”

Trivallis met with the Welsh Veterans Partnership two and a half years ago and were immediately drawn in. “As a community mutual our tenants are at the heart of what we do,” explained Andrew Freegard, Head of Development and New Business.

“Anything we could do to make it easier for the ex-veterans to access housing was something we wanted to get involved in.

“We are proud, honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Welsh Veterans Partnership.”

For more information on the Welsh Veterans Partnership and all of the work they do please visit welshveteranspartnership.org

Read Helping heroes find homes…

Ceriann's in safe hands with her engineer

Mum-of- two Ceriann Fenley from Cilfynydd feels safe and warm this winter thanks to her free gas safety check by a Trivallis engineer.

Each year our engineers visit all 10,000 Trivallis homes to make sure they’re safe for tenants. As your landlord we have a legal obligation to service your gas boiler and check that your other gas appliances are in good condition. We’ll arrange a free gas safety check every twelve months and give you a record of the check.

Ceriann, who lives in her home near Pontypridd with her partner and two children, has been a tenant for over 14 years and has never missed a free gas service.

Free service

“This winter the engineer came to do our annual safety check – to check the boiler and that. He was stood by the gas meter measuring things when he said there was a problem – he could tell there was a leak. Straight away he capped the gas and went to find out where it was coming from.”

Quick action

With Ceriann’s gas safely capped, the heating was off, and the temperature had dropped.

“We got all the duvets down and wore fleeces and jumpers – it was so cold! Luckily we have an electric shower and I was boiling the kettle for washing up!”

“It took a while to find the place where the leak was – our engineer had to pull up carpets and floorboards on the upstairs landing to find the leak. When he found it he was able to fix it straight away.

“He did a fantastic job. When I went upstairs it was all put back as good as new and you would never have known he’d taken it up.

“When he said I could put the heating back on and that we were safe I could’ve hugged him!

Safe as houses

“My sister has bought her house up the road and she always says how lucky I am – if anything goes wrong I can pick up the phone to Trivallis and get it sorted. She can’t.”

“It’s a free service you’re offering and we’ve got two children -I feel so safe now.”

Ceriann Fenley

 

Keeping you and your family safe

  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm
  • If you smell gas call the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999
  • For more gas safety advice visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk

The facts

  • By law Trivallis has to provide a gas safety check on all of our homes.
  • Every week out customer services team make over 280 appointments for this free safety check. If you find you can’t make your appointment please get in touch so we can rearrange.
  • You need a safety check even if your meter is capped.
  • It’s an obligation of your tenancy agreement to allow us access to compete the safety check.

Thanks!

Sometimes emergencies crop up like Ceriann’s which means we need to act fast. If we’ve had to rearrange appointment to make way for an emergency thank you for your patience!

Read Ceriann's in safe hands with her engineer…
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