a message from our chief executive, bill fullen

We’re already halfway through January but this is my first opportunity to wish you a happy new year. I don’t want to tempt fate, but I hope it’s realistic to feel optimistic that 2022 will bring a return to a more normal life for us all.

It does sometimes seem we are taking one step forward and two back with coronavirus, and at the time of writing this, the north east has one of the highest rates of infection in the UK. With this in mind, we will carry on taking every precaution to keep our customers safe. We’ll keep you informed if any of our services are affected and please do contact us if you have any concerns.

One of the ways we support our customers is by funding projects that benefit believe housing tenants. We’re currently inviting applications for our Large Community Revenue Grants. There is a total ‘pot’ of £30,000, with grants of £5,000 to £10,000 available for up to six projects.

A new year can be a motivation to find a new job, and believe housing is committed to boosting skills, training and employability among our customers. For example, one of our grants awarded last year is supporting a nature rangers scheme. This gives young people the chance to learn new outdoor skills and aims to inspire them to take up a career in the environmental sector.

On the same topic, a reminder that our specialist Employability Team offers one-to-one advice and support for tenants with job searching, CV writing and application preparation. This service is available for customers who are looking for work, and those who wish to change jobs.

We’re all used to being asked to give our feedback every time we so much as buy a lightbulb online, and it can be irritating. You know there’s a ‘but’ coming next, and here it is …

But it’s hard to think of a more important issue than the quality of our homes, and the performance and attitude of landlords can have a huge impact on tenants.

For this reason, I want to ask you to have your say on plans to monitor the performance of social housing landlords. The social housing regulator is proposing new tenant satisfaction measures (TSMs) which would require landlords to provide data on the quality of their service. This would help inform the regulator how improvements could be made.

The regulator is asking tenants and landlords to comment on the proposals included within this edition of the newsletter, so please take a look at the consultation and give your views.

Best wishes

Bill Fullen

Chief Executive

believe housing