Last week I introduced you to our new Head of Finance, Tracey Fletcher. We are now also making some administrative changes. This is really to get more consistency into how we do things.
So we are changing the date on which we take your rent direct debits. Currently, although your tenancy agreement says rent is due at the start of the month, we take it at a number of different times. From December 2015 we are bringing every one into line and taking rent from the beginning of the month. We have written to all residents about this. We have asked you to contact Steve Musham firstname.lastname@example.org if this change causes you a particular problem.
We are also formalising our arrangement for how we pay all our suppliers to give them clarity about when their invoices will be paid.
These changes help us because it simplifies some of the administrative tasks that Alex in Finance undertakes.
Our waiting list now contains over 1300 applicants. This is the largest number ever – almost double the normal size. With our rents at 20%-30% lower than the market and our great locations it’s actually not surprising that there is such demand. And having finished our Anson Carleton Development it’s now a priority to find a new scheme.
Our current Head of Finance, John Austin, is retiring in December and we have appointed a new Head of Finance – Tracey Fletcher. Tracey has lots of experience working at senior level for a number of large and medium sized housing associations.
Two Board members retired at our Annual General Meeting in September, Andrew Sutcliffe and Huseyin Huseyin. Our immense thanks to them for giving their time to ensure that Zebra remained on a sure financial footing, remained true to its values but also started to develop new homes. We’ll be recruiting new Board in the next few months but if there is a resident out there, who is expecting to be in the UK for the next 2-3 years and would be interested in serving on our Board, I’d be happy to hear from you on email@example.com
J&K are complete with new residents due to move in next weekend. The landscaping is progressing well, too. It includes the construction of new bicycle storage, refuse facilities (for both Anson and Carleton), new side gate and hard standing for a maintenance van.
Everything should be completed by 13 November 2015.
We’ll be moving all the refuse bins over from Anson Road but we’ll give you lots of notice before we do so
The Right to Buy
There has been a lot of coverage recently in the media of the deal done by our trade body the National Housing Federation (NHF) with the Government in order to allow it to deliver its election commitment to extend the “Right to Buy” to Housing Association tenants. Very briefly tenants living in council housing already have the right to buy the home they live in from their landlord and the government wants to extend this to social housing tenants living in housing association properties.
The proposal that the NHF has made and has been accepted by the Government is that Housing Associations’ social housing tenants will have similar rights to those in council housing.
However these proposals do not include student housing and it was never the intention of government to give the right to buy to tenants of student housing.
Zebra Housing will not therefore be offering its properties for sale to its tenants.