News

Moving out? You can now let us know online

As part of our plans to increase and improve our digital services, we’ve launched our first form requiring a digital signature - the new tenancy termination form.

The new form makes it faster and easier for you to tell us you’re moving out. It can be completed on any device, including your smartphone.

You just need to fill in the form and sign your name using your device touchscreen or mouse.

This means you no longer need to collect a paper form from Sutton Gate or send anything to us in the post if you are ending your tenancy.

If you need to end your tenancy and do not have internet access, your Housing Manager can help you fill out the online form at one of our hubs or in your home.

We’ll be making even more services available online later this year - including a new digital sign-up process and improved repairs tracking.

To simplify managing your tenancy or lease and be in with a chance of winning £50 every month make sure you’re signed up for an online account.

 

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Voluntas take over satisfaction surveys

From 1 April Voluntas will take over our satisfaction surveys - helping us to find out what you think about the services we deliver, and how we can improve. Voluntas will take over from Acuity.

Voluntas will be calling residents to find out what you think of us. They will ask questions about how we work as a landlord, what you think of your neighbourhood and how satisfied you are with services like repairs. 

Voluntas make calls from a landline number from the Birmingham area - 0121 314 0265. If they call, they'll explain who they are and ask if you're happy to complete a survey about SHP.

It's completely up to you whether you'd like to take part in the survey, but your feedback is really valuable to us so we can improve.

Your survey responses are not shared with any other organisations or used for marketing purposes, and you can choose to remain anonymous if you prefer. We hope you can take part if Voluntas do call.

Switching to Voluntas also means we're saving money which can be re-invested into the things you care about - better repairs, good homes and thriving communities. 

If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

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Does your Freedom Pass expire in March 2019?

If your Freedom Pass expires in 2019, you will have been written to in February asking you to renew your pass.

If you received a letter, it’s quick and easy to renew your pass online at: www.freedompass.org/renew. You just need your current freedom pass with you and the letter containing your unique renewal number.

That’s all! Your new pass will be sent within three weeks once you’ve completed the renewal.

If you have any questions, please contact the Freedom Pass team on: info@freedompass.org or call: 0300 330 1433.

 

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Pride of place: gardening in St Helier

Peter Haycox has been an SHP resident for 15 years, first in Wallington and then in St Helier. We spoke to Peter about bringing people together through gardening and the role of residents’ associations.

“I started a gardening project at Lovett Drive last summer. I started by tidying it up a bit, then I realised there was a chance to turn it into a gardening club.

“I got some funding through the SHP Community Fund to buy more plants, tools and a gazebo. I feel proud when I see the difference it’s making - people sitting out in the garden and chatting.

“My favourite thing about my community is the people. Everyone contributes in their own way. Sometimes when I’m gardening people will bring me cups of tea and biscuits. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference. It’s about people doing something together.

“Our next project is to do the garden at the Seven Acres Community Hub. We’ve got some funding from SHP and we’re looking for volunteers to help. If you can lend a hand contact communitydevelopment@suttonhousingpartnership.org.uk.

“I’ve also been involved with my local residents’ association. I’ve done the role of community rep, which involved speaking to people and finding out what’s affecting them. Residents associations are a good thing. They mean you have somewhere to go if you have an issue, it’s a way of making your voice heard.

“If you’re thinking about doing something in your community - just do it! You can make a difference.”

SHP will help you find the right way to get involved, whether it’s through a community event, a residents’ association or starting your own community group. Find out more about the different ways you can get involved - and don't forget, you can always contact your local residents’ association directly.

 

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Meet the Chair - Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock became the Chair of SHP’s Board in November 2018. We found out more about him and his plans for SHP...

As the Chair of SHP’s Board, what are your main responsibilities?

My role is to make sure SHP delivers our aims and vision in line with regulations, through good governance, performance management and planning. I work closely with SHP staff, tenants, leaseholders and Sutton Council to make sure we are listening to each other and sharing concerns.

How many years have you been working in housing?  

I became a councillor in Lewisham in 1982. I’ve been involved in housing in different ways ever since – I guess that means 37 years, which is a bit scary! For the last eight years I was the executive Lead on Housing for London Councils - the organisation that represents all of the London Boroughs.

What are your priorities for SHP?

Along with Steve Tucker, I want to make sure the SHP New Deal works well in practice. I want us to be a listening organisation which is both transparent and accessible to residents.

Why do you think housing is important?

I grew up in council house. It was a safe and secure place to start life. Having a safe, secure home is the foundation for good education, health and employment.

What are your core values?  

Put simply - I always try to leave things better than I found them. We need to strive to leave a legacy for future generations as we do our best to deal with today’s challenges. And that is more likely to happen if we really listen to each other and treat those we disagree with respectfully.

What do you find interesting about Sutton?

It is a place that has a lot going for it and a council that is doing really innovative work. The Sutton Plan, which is led by the council and developed by 23 local organisations including SHP, is a really exciting way of working together to make things better.

In relation to SHP, there is a strong tenants organisation which I want to work. I want to make sure I hear from those on the receiving end of SHP’s services, as well as those delivering them.

If you could have a magic wand to change one thing about housing in London, what would it be?  

If I had to choose one, it would be to change the way the private rental sector works. In particular I’d give tenants much greater security both in terms of how long they can stay, but also rent levels.

Where would you like to see SHP in the next 5 years?  

I am an optimist and I expect that by 2024 SHP will be managing many more properties, that will have been allocated to people in need.  

We will have a team who are good at their jobs, and have the opportunity to develop themselves and progress.

We will continue to have a strong relationship with Sutton Council and be working together on ways to improve housing in Sutton. Most importantly we will have more tenants and leaseholders involved in different ways to help make SHP successful.

How do you plan on starting to take SHP there?  

I’ve started by getting to know the people who are involved in different ways. Now I want to get out and about in Sutton, to meet SHP’s residents and the staff who are based in the Community Hubs.

The board and senior staff sometimes have to make difficult decisions, but we can only do that well if we really understand what those decisions mean to the people who are affected by them.

Do you have a favourite quote or role model?

Mario Cuomo was the Governor of New York State for many years, he said “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose”.

It is something all of us in public life need to remember – it’s fine to make grand statements about what we want to achieve but it’s what really happens afterward that can change lives for the better.

Do you have a favourite book or film? What do you love about them?  

Alexandra Morton is marine biologist working in the Canadian Province of British Columbia.  Her book "Listening to Whales: What the Orcas have taught Us." is quite extraordinary.

In part it is a moving account of her early years working there but it also teaches us so much about these wonderful social animals that been treated so badly by humankind. It had me in tears at times.

Do you have any hobbies or passions?  

I love live performances. Whether its well-known actors playing Shakespeare in the West End or young musicians playing in tiny local venues.

I really enjoy walking in the countryside, but also in London which always has things to surprise you. I’m planning to explore Sutton on foot over the coming year too so do say hello if you see me out with my boots on!

 

 

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