We would like to thank everyone who responded to our advertisement for the above post.  We are pleased to announce that Gavin has now started with us last month and is working his way through his induction, shadowing and training.  We welcome him to the team and Centre as a whole.

 

If you are interested in following the Centre and being kept up to date with what we do LIKE and

 

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS @ SFHA

Suzie Moffat attended the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ Annual Housing Management Conference last month where the icebreaker was “walking on broken glass”.  Suzie Moffat said “It’s all about positive thinking, confidence and trust, the very ethos of First Home!”

glass

 

Suzie and John Hodge from South Ayrshire Council presented a First Home Workshop which delivered an overview of what First Home’s Capacity building Programme involves for Young People.  They received very positive comments and feedback from those who attended and enjoyed the opportunity to attend the conference and take part in the other workshops available.

sfha

ENERGY EFFICIENCY ADVICE

Here is a useful list of various ways to try and reduce bills:-

Save energy HES

Welfare Reform

The Centre has been preparing for the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) which has now started in South Ayrshire.  The roll out is currently single claimants but this will gather pace from now until 2017.  The Centre has engaged with South Ayrshire Council tenants to gather information and ascertain risk UC may have on vulnerable tenants.  John Mulholland CEO said “The fact that a claim for UC will normally be electronic, online provides the first potential challenge.  If a claimant does not have access to a computer or internet then there is a barrier to making a claim.”

Within the Centre’s own research there are high numbers of our existing service users where there is no access or limited access via a phone to the internet.  There are further issues relating to UC such as ensuring claims are kept up to date and payment of the Housing Costs element in the overall UC payment on a monthly basis.

The Centre continues to look at new practical ways to assist service users meet their rental obligations.  We ensure staff have up to date, accurate knowledge to share with service users.  The Centre has recently provided 4 in depth UC training sessions for staff and Council colleagues.  John Mulholland CEO said “The Centre had recognised at an early date that we would have to adjust how we delivery some of our services to take into account welfare reform.  In particular, our Tenure Sustainment Service will have to link further with service users ensuring that they comply with claimant commitment under UC rules.”

The Centre continues to seek resources and opportunities to provide help for vulnerable people impacted by UC.  Many of our service users already struggle making ends meet and find it difficult to adhere to their rent payments every fortnight.  UC will increase the pressure on those who are already in poverty and often in debt.

AGM

The Centre held its AGM on Thursday 28th January 2016.  The AGM was well attend and detailed reports were presented by the Chairperson, Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer.

Alex Anderson, Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting.  He outlined the activities of the Management Committee over the past year, the challenges the Centre has met and the future challenges linked to Welfare Reform, constitutional change, procurement and legislative change in Public and Private Housing law.  He commended all the staff for their hard work and their commitment to the Centre’s aims and objectives.

Ethel Riach, Treasurer presented a detailed report on the Centre’s finances.  She highlighted the allocation of expenditure into the next financial year and beyond.  She considers that the Centre currently has a strong financial foundation although we continue to review all our income and expenditure commitments. She thanked CEO, Services Manager and Administration Officer for their efficient record keeping and our Accountant Andrew Howatt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Mulholland, CEO presented a detailed report on the wide range services provided by the Centre.  He advised that once again it has been a very busy year for all our services.  He commented “the services the Centre provides to both individual service users and groups are innovative, preventative, proactive, participatory and inclusive”.  He highlighted the importance of partnership development in providing services which has been further enhanced over the past year.

Service user Outcomes have been very positive outcomes.  The Centre prevented homeless in 253 cases in the past year.  Becoming homeless has numerous impacts on families in particular:- economic, social, health and educational.  The Centre highlights for every £1 they receive they return a benefit of £21.72.  John welcomed the very positive feedback that all our services received over the past year. This emphasises the spend to save mantra that both ourselves and South Ayrshire Council agree works well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Slavin presented the Service User Feedback – Annual Report 2014-15

Heather Anderson from South Ayrshire Council Policy and Strategy gave a very informative presentation on Housing Options and the impact on Homelessness presentations.  She reiterated the value and importance of partnership working between the Council and the Centre and how the Council values our work and what challenges there are for the future.

 

First Home achieved 2 awards

Our excellent First Home Service recently achieved 2 awards.  The first award was a gold award for Innovation from South Ayrshire Council “Outstanding People Awards”.  The second award was a Bronze National Award from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.  John Mulholland CEO of the Housing Centre said “this is a recognition of the value of partnership working and the positive impact this can have on young people.  The staff at First Home are very proud to receive these awards.”

OP award FH pic

 

 

Suzanne Moffat, Senior First Home Officer said “as the service has developed we continued to work with partners and young people shaping the service to meet their needs.  Our Capacity Building Programme came directly from this model.  The outcomes and feedback we receive is very impressive and we look forward to taking the service forward in the years ahead.”

First Home Capacity Building Programme

We have added a short clip of our First Home Capacity Building Programme which is delivered through the First Home Service.

This Programme is for young people who are considering moving into independent living and is designed to build up various home skills week by week for the young person to learn a variety of life skills to overcome barriers which will aid their success within their own tenancy.

It is hoped that if the young people are equipped with appropriate skills, they will take pride of their home and become good tenants, increased confidence and can share their knowledge as Peer Educators.

Additionally this may also help with their progress into further education and or job opportunities ultimately help to achieve positive destinations and outcomes.

Hope you enjoy

https://www.facebook.com/250771001720797/videos/768823489915543/

AGM for Reporting Year 2013/14

The Centre held its AGM on 28th January 2015 at the Troon Room, County Buildings, Ayr.  The Annual Report for 2013/14 was presented which included our Financial Report.  Chairperson Alex Anderson presented his report alongside Treasurer and CEO Reports for the period.

The AGM was well attended and Guest Speaker was David Burns from South Ayrshire Council.

CARE INSPECTORATE REPORT 2015

The Centre’s last inspection was on 20.1.15.  In our previous inspections we had always achieved  a combination of Very Good and Excellent (5 & 6) across the board. In our new Report we are pleased that we have been awarded:- 6 – Excellent  for Quality of Support 6 – Excellent for Quality of Staffing 6 – Excellent for Quality of Management and Leadership, see below

Date Quality of Care and Support Quality of Staffing Quality of Management and Leadership
20 Jan 2015 6 – Excellent (I) 6 – Excellent (I) 6 – Excellent (I)
03 Jul 2013 5 – Very Good (I) 6 – Excellent (I) 6 – Excellent (I)
24 Jan 2013 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I)
05 May 2011 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I) Not Assessed
04 Feb 2009 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I)

  A full copy of the Report can be accessed at:-   Care Inspectorate Inspection Report 20.01.15   The Management Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all management and staff for their continuous hard work and dedication to providing a high quality service.  Without them this excellent grade would not have been able to have been achieved.

NEW TENANT ADVICE & INFORMATION SERVICE

In partnership with South Ayrshire Council we have launched a new Tenant Advice and Information Service.  Leica Malkin is now in post and will be able to advise tenants who have or will be affected by Welfare Reform.  This includes moving to electronic benefit claims, direct payments of benefit to tenants and the spare room subsidy reduction, (Bedroom Tax).

Leica Malkin will provide advice to tenants on an individual basis, as well as delivering training and information sessions to Tenant Groups on a range of welfare issues.

John Mulholland CEO of Ayr Housing Aid Centre said: “It is very important that tenants and Tenant Groups get up to date and accurate advice and information on welfare issues which could impact their tenancies. Our service is designed to help tenants prepare and respond to changes in the welfare system as they are rolled out.”

Heather Anderson from South Ayrshire Council said: “Tenants have recognised the challenges arising from Welfare Reform and have developed a new service which will prepare tenants for these changes and ensure they have easy access to quality information and advice.”

Tenants involved within the Housing Service said: “‘We are delighted that the Housing Service has recognised, along with involved tenants, that Welfare Reform is having a significant impact on tenants and that having this post it is going to benefit tenants of South Ayrshire Council.”

The service started on 1st April 2014 and will be for an initial period of 1 year.

Leica Malkin, Tenant Advice and Information Officer can be contacted by phone: 01292 388101, Text: 07760 750256

e-mail: ayr_hac@hotmail.com or by contacting us on our main number – 01292 288111.

The staff and Management Committee at Ayr Housing Aid Centre would like to welcome Leica to the Team.

 

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