In July, members of the senior leadership team held the latest Resident Review meeting in York.
The Resident Review Meetings provide an opportunity for residents to meet and ask questions to senior leaders in JRHT. It is an open forum, with most of the two-hour session used for open questions and answers.
We really value these meetings as they provide an opportunity to hear about issues concerning residents, whilst also allowing staff members to respond and clarify JRHT’s position.
The meetings also help us to deliver on commitments made as part of the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants Charter, building relationships, improving communication, increasing resident voice and advancing accountability.
Key issues raised and response
Query about what happens when a home becomes empty
We relet homes as soon as possible but often work is needed to bring it up to the standard required. Where possible good quality fixtures and fittings are retained but sometimes it is necessary to remove items which may cause additional repair costs in the future
Concerns about plans to build more homes at Hawthorn Terrace South
People concerned about the impact to their property and wildlife We are committed to building more affordable homes to help meet need.
Clarification that this scheme has not yet been approved by the City of York Council so residents are able to provide comments / objections into this process. Other statutory bodies will also be consulted by the Council, so concerns around issues like drainage / trees will also be considered.
Query around the levels of child poverty within New Earswick and whether JRHT has noticed this
Appreciate that the cost of living is increasing, however this has not translated into increased rent arrears as yet.
We have a Money and Benefits advice service and some crisis funding to support people at times of need. Over winter we also provided some warm spaces at the Folk Hall.
We continue to offer Open House at the Folk Hall every Thursday (between 10am – 12pm), Residents can access free refreshments, socialise and find out what is happening in the local area.
Issues with overgrown hedges and landscaping in New Earswick
We have a landscaping team which continues to work in New Earswick to improve the public spaces it is responsible for. We recognise maintaining hedges can be a problem for some residents. If people identify issues, they are encouraged to report it to the Customer Access Team.
Problems with paving in New Earswick
We are responsible for some of the footpaths in the village. The City of York Council are responsible for others. We do have a budget to repair paving. Residents are encouraged to report issues to the Customer Access Team.
Concerns raised about the sale of alcohol at the shop in New Earswick
It was explained that the shop is seen as an important asset to the village. To make this shop viable a decision was made to allow it to sell alcohol.
Residents believe the shops in New Earswick need a refurbishment
We recognise this is an issue but there is no budget currently available to do this work. A commitment was made to look at this again and share options with residents.
Provision of homes for young people and families. Will young people be given priority for new family homes being built?
We are committed to providing a mix of homes to meet the needs of a range of people. Homes are allocated to people based on their assessed need, as such a three-bedroom home would not be allocated to a single person but instead allocated to a family with children. However, no priority will be given to young people.
There is a lack of understanding about the Allocation Policy for new homes
We take that feedback on board and will look to see what can be done to improve this understanding. One option might be to provide clearer information on the website.
Want to know what JRHT are doing about a shortage of homes for larger families (3 bedroom +). Resident has been on the waiting list for a long time
We are committed to building 1,000 homes over the next 10 years. This should help support the high need for affordable homes and will include some larger properties.
As explained previously, we allocate homes based on need meaning a larger property will only be allocated to a suitably sized household. We have also been increasing the provision of smaller homes in part with the aim of encouraging people to downsize to a more appropriate property if they wish to.
How is JRHT incentivising people to downsize to smaller properties
It was explained that we would never force anyone to downsize, however we do encourage it through advice and a range of small financial incentives. It was clear from the discussion in the meeting that not enough residents are aware of this, so this is something we agreed to look at.
Increased Anti-Social Behaviour in the village – especially from young people
The Communities Team are working with a range of partners to increase the provision of youth activities. As an example of this is the free activities, we facilitate over school holiday periods. We also work closely with the police to understand issues better where this involved residents if it appropriate to do so, we will speak to them about it.
Issues raised about flooding in the becks near Hartrigg Oaks
Flooding issues are the responsibility of Yorkshire Water / the Environment Agency. We have no formal role; however, we can pass on any issues that are reported. Residents are also encouraged to contact these organisations directly if they have concerns.