The results of the survey we have undertaken show the huge and long lasting effects Covid-19 has had on many of our tenants and their families.  

Responses from 43% or 1,136 of tenants provide headline survey results which demonstrate this significant impact on households particularly in relation to income, employment and mental health. 

With 51% of respondents affected financially, either through reduced hours of employment or being made redundant, there was real concern expressed by tenants that they are at risk of falling into rent arrears. 

The changed circumstances of many tenants also sends a strong message to the Association of the work it has to do to ensure rents remain affordable and to work with tenants to help them claim all the benefits they are entitled to as well as to manage rent arrears in the future. 

35% of respondents said their overall health had deteriorated but by far the biggest impact was on mental health with almost 70% of respondents feeling it had suffered and relationships had deteriorated.  The impact doesn’t stop there.  42% of respondents felt their children’s lives had been adversely impacted too. 

Chris Mathieson, compliance, engagement and support lead at Grampian Housing Association said:- “We continue to put our tenants first and we are using this feedback to ensure our services meet their needs and expectations as well as seeing it as an opportunity to engage more regularly and effectively. 

“In response to the survey results our staff contacted tenants, depending on their circumstances, to offer follow up advice and to ensure they had relevant support in place where it was required.  

“We also offered housing support as well as money, debt and energy advice through our Assist, Smart and Energy projects.  Referrals to these services certainly increased at the height of the pandemic and we are pleased that staff were on hand to provide this extra help and support for tenants when it was most needed.” 

Commenting on the services provided by the Association during the pandemic one tenant said:-  “It was really good to get a phone call early on to ask if everything was ok.  It was reassuring to know if help was needed I could call.” 

Another tenant said:- “Grampian was able to listen when we called when we were having difficulty paying our rent.  It was useful to be able to talk through issues.” 

The daughter of one tenant also expressed her thanks:-  “I really appreciated the call my parents received while they were shielding as I couldn’t visit and it felt they were being cared for.” 

Grampian works in partnership with Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and The Moray Councils and the results of the survey have been shared with elected members to highlight the significant issues facing  households throughout the North East as we continue to follow the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown. 

In line with the Association’s strong customer focus, the survey was the first to be conducted using CX-Feedback, an online surveying and feedback management tool.  It was procured during lockdown as part of the Association’s desire to make a difference to its tenants’ lives during a challenging time.  

Going forward, CX-Feedback will see the Association’s decision-making based on feedback from more real time transactional surveys designed to drive improvements in tenant satisfaction and inform any changes in service delivery.

Click here to access the Report.

Recently, we asked you to tell us about the impact Covid-19 has had on you and your family and how it has affected your personal circumstances.  Thank you to the 43% of tenants responded.  We really appreciate this response which provides us with insight into the human cost of the pandemic. 

By sharing your experiences you are helping us to understand the huge effect Covid-19 has had, and continues to have, on you and your family, including issues around mental health, employment and incomes.  We will be using your feedback to continue to improve and enhance our services so they best meet your needs.

If you reported exposure to Covid-19, over the next few weeks our staff will call you to find out how you are and to see if Grampian can offer any further advice, assistance or support.   Similarly, some of you told us you had applied for Welfare Benefits or feared slipping into rent arrears so our specialist staff will contact you to offer further help, including information about our money advice, housing support and energy advice projects. 

Lastly, we are grateful to the tenants who left feedback telling us they are disappointed with aspects of Grampian’s services, so we’ll be in touch to see what we can do to address those concerns and work towards a better outcome for you.

Look out for further updates here, and in Keynote, around how we’ve responded to the information you’ve given us and our ongoing work to support tenants.  Look out for information on how we will use your feedback differently, to perform better, to communicate more effectively with you and to improve your satisfaction with us as your landlord.

 

The NHS Scotland Protect Scotland Test and Protect App is now available on iPhone and Android.

Follow the link below to download:
 
 

021220 VRS 02

Project partner, Grampian Housing Association has announced another milestone in its flagship regeneration project.  The Association’s Board of Management has approved a proposal to progress to tender stage for the former Victoria Road School in Torry, Aberdeen. 

The move comes following the decision by Aberdeen City Council to make Victoria Road School a grant funding priority within its affordable housing programme.  The Scottish Government has also confirmed that funding is available over 2020-21 and 2021-22 to complete the project which will be partly funded by Affordable Housing Grant.

Neil Clapperton, Chief Executive of Grampian Housing Association said:- “The Victoria Road School project has huge potential both in design terms and for a creative and supportive relationship with the community.  It may be a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak 2020.

“We are committed to regeneration in Torry and the project is true to the Association’s wider community anchor role.  Development tenders will be invited in March 2021 to realise our ambition.”

David Fryer, Lead Trustee of Torry Development Trust said:- “As 2020 draws to a close, the years of planning and development work on the Victoria Road School regeneration project has reached a critical point that sets the scene for a most welcome start on site early in 2021.  We believe that the value of partnership working and cross-sector collaboration involving many organisations shows that investment and regeneration in communities is the way forward that not only benefits Torry but Aberdeen as a whole.  We believe that everyone will welcome this good news for 2021 and beyond.”

David Murray, architect, DMA said:- “This is very welcome news for everyone who’s put so much effort into the project over the years.  The design and mix of accommodation has been carefully crafted to directly address local needs, to create a unique place and to build on its strong historical and community links.  It will provide facilities and amenities which will benefit not just the residents of the new flats and houses but also the wider community. We’re now very keen to get work started on site.”

In addition to moving to tender stage, works to ensure the site is safe and secure will continue including clearing the retained buildings and making them watertight as well as the demolition of two unsafe former storage buildings. 

Tenders will be invited through Public Contracts Scotland and it is hoped that the project will be of interest to a wide range of contractors.  It will of course provide much needed construction and supply chain jobs.  

The plans, which see the retention of two rare public granite buildings and construction of two new build blocks, have massive local support. In total the project will deliver 50 new homes on the site all of which will be for social rent.  In an area where there is high demand for affordable housing this is also welcomed by the community.  

The focus is on low carbon housing, smart maintenance and lifetime homes with support for an intergenerational community.

To provide support to families in the area, community space and a small nursery will also be included.

There is interest from third sector organisations for some joint initiatives to address a range of issues like fuel poverty, social isolation and active ageing.

Torry Dev Trust     GHA Logo

 

We have been advised that Aberdeenshire Council has suspended all special collections for bulky items such as washing machines.  If you live in Aberdeenshire you can only dispose of large items at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).


Please do not leave bulky items outside on the street or in communal bin areas within schemes as they will not be collected even if you are willing to pay for the uplift. 
 
For more information please follow this link:
 
https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/#recyclingcentres
 
Don’t have internet access?  You can phone the Wasteline on 03456 08 12 07 and book a HWRC slot to dispose of your bulky items.
 
Alternatively Association tenants can contact us to uplift and dispose of bulky items.  We would not be able to confirm at the time of your call the cost to you until we have checked with our contractor.
 

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