GHA operate a “STAY PUT” policy in our socially rented properties, therefore we are in the process of removing our communal smoke detection from these properties and will be applying the appropriate signage for tenants to refer to.

Please follow the guidance and stay safe. A Stay Put Policy allows residents to remain in their own property in relative safety in the event of a fire in another flat/area of the building, and do not usually require an alarm warning to be sounded other than in the flat of the fire's origin.

To see the Fire Action Stay Put Sign click here.

Tenants will have their rents frozen for the next year following the decision of the Association’s Board not to apply a rent increase on the 1 April 2021. 

It is hoped that the announcement will bring some much needed relief to the many tenants who have suffered financially because of Covid-19. 

This freeze will also apply to service charges and owners’ management fees.  Tenants and other customers will be advised by letter in the coming weeks.  

Dr Abhishek Agarwal, chairman said:- “As required of the Association and in keeping with our commitment to engagement, last November we consulted tenants on the rent increase and at that time the majority opted for a 0.7% increase for 2021/22. 

“We appreciate the feedback and comments from all tenants who participated.  However since then, the Board has reflected on the continuing adverse affect of Covid-19 and the challenges of further lockdown restrictions for tenants and other customers. 

“The Board was already mindful that when our tenants were surveyed during the first lockdown, just over half reported they had experienced a negative financial impact.  So when the second lockdown was announced it was acutely clear to us that the full financial impact had yet to be felt and the coming year will be another very difficult one for many households.” 

Throughout the pandemic the Association has undertaken extensive work to support its tenants.  This has included telephone check-ins with vulnerable tenants as well as providing practical assistance and access to its tenancy sustainment services which offer free money and debt advice, housing support and energy advice.  A new tenant welfare fund and a new energy crisis fund have also been set up to support tenants in financial hardship to buy essentials and heat their homes.  

Neil Clapperton, chief executive said:- “We are determined to do all we can to support our tenants and customers where it is possible for us to do so, ensuring that tenants can continue in the knowledge that we will keep our commitment to improving their homes, reducing fuel poverty and continuing with our current new build programme to address housing need. 

“Due to the continued uncertainty over the economic impact of the pandemic, Board members have tasked us with reviewing our business plan proposals. 

“We are fortunate in that we have been taking action since 2018 to make efficiencies.  These have already made a positive contribution to our financial health and will continue to do so as change progresses.” 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to Grampian Housing Association’s concern about colleague wellbeing and resilience in the face of the enduring global pandemic, new wellbeing days are being offered to staff through its “Feeling GREAT” initiative.  

Wellbeing days are part of a range of measures the Association has put in place to support colleague mental health.  They will acknowledge the continuing hard work and commitment of staff in challenging circumstances as well as being a way of saying thank you and showing appreciation.

For Association staff, the pandemic has necessitated compulsory remote working, home schooling, caring for loved ones, furlough, financial hardship and a whole range of other impacts on their lives.  

Chris Mathieson, compliance, engagement and support lead at Grampian Housing Association said:- “Diagnosis of stress, anxiety and depression are increasing daily throughout the UK and require specialist support.  Our colleague wellbeing days are not a sticking plaster for these issues.   

“Instead, we feel that we are playing our part in highlighting the importance of positive mental health through contributing something tangible and beneficial for colleagues which may provide a bit of respite and may help prevent an issue from becoming more significant further on.  Our wellbeing days will help colleagues to clear their mind, process their thinking and come back stronger.

“It’s never been more important to be kind to yourself and to others.  Businesses must make decisions which encourage staff to deliver but which acknowledge the challenges they face and offer support to help them cope and deliver outcomes and outputs which are beneficial for both. 

“My resolution for 2021 is that colleagues take up this new employee benefit. I’ll certainly be encouraging them to do so, and can’t wait for the Spring to arrive to use my day to hit the hills on Deeside.

“We look forward to hearing how colleagues choose to use their day – going running, swimming, gardening, cooking, reading, spending time with family.  The day is for individuals to use in a way which gives enjoyment and promotes inner calm. 

“Ultimately, our Wellbeing Day highlights the trust and appreciation we hold for colleagues; a commitment to honest, open and a continuing conversation around mental health and wellbeing; and that it will deliver increased colleague commitment, satisfaction and engagement with Grampian.  Happier, content and productive colleagues will deliver a customer dividend through enhanced service delivery and the customer first ethos that as a Registered Social Landlord we are rightly keen to deliver.”

Inez Kirk, Aberdeenshire UNISON Branch Secretary said:- “We welcome the work Grampian Housing Association has been undertaking to improve the wellbeing and benefits offered to our members.  At a time when we are seeing the impact on our members’ mental health the GREAT initiative is a positive way to support and reward employees. 

“This initiative leads the way in Aberdeen and UNISON will be keen to encourage other organisations to take a look at Grampian Housing Association’s ethos and to invest in their workforce in such a positive way and we are in full support of the ’GREAT’ proposals.” 

Commenting on the Wellbeing Day, Dan Thompson, Senior Housing Officer said:- “It’s a very positive initiative and it is nice to hear how much thought is being given to the wellbeing of colleagues.” 

Colleague wellbeing days complement the extensive work the Association has undertaken to support its tenants throughout the coronavirus crisis.  This has included telephone check-ins with vulnerable tenants as well as providing practical help and access to its tenancy sustainment services which offer free money and debt advice, housing support and energy advice.

 

From SGN

Wednesday 3 February – 12.15pm update

We’ve now resolved the issue with our network, which impacted gas supplies to Huntly and Keith yesterday.  Residents in Huntly and Keith can now start using gas again.

Click on the link and follow the seven steps (in order) to safely turn on your gas supply at the meter. 

Having difficulties?  Call SGN for help on 0800 912 1717.

 

 

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