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PCHA's Summer Party!

October 2023

On Saturday 16th September we held a special party for our residents and friends at our new office in Bexley.

This was a chance to celebrate a successful merger with BECHA (Bexley Community Housing Association) earlier this year, as well as meet some of our new residents and catch up with longer-standing ones. 

We had a really good turnout - it was wonderful to see so many of you! The sun was out, and the ice cream and rum punch were flowing!

 

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Transfer of engagements from BECHA to PCHA

31st March 2023

We are delighted that as of 31st March 2023, BECHA has formally become part of PCHA. 

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PCHA now owns and manages over 400 homes in the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley and as one organisation we are confident we can continue to deliver a truly great service to all our residents.  We firmly believe that in working together we will be better placed to grow strategically and meet the needs of both current and future residents across Bexley and Bromley.

We are hugely excited about the opportunity this transfer will bring; it will result in greater resources to invest in both our homes and services going forward, making us stronger and more resilient in a difficult environment whilst simultaneously supporting our residents to thrive.   


We will be holding an event to celebrate this partnership in late spring. We will be in touch with all our residents and stakeholders with more details about this in due course.
 

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Karen at karen@pcha.co.uk, or call us on 020 8659 3055. 

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PCHA and BECHA initiate merger discussions

October 2022

We are delighted to announce that we are currently in discussions about entering into a strategic partnership with another small community association, Bexley Community HA (BECHA).  We believe that together we will be stronger and more resilient to face the significant challenges ahead.   

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BECHA is a small community-based association working in Bexley with 134 homes.   

Subject to detailed negotiations and consultation it is hoped that PCHA and BECHA will form a formal partnership over the next six months.  BECHA’s residents, homes and staff will all come across to become part of PCHA under a Transfer of Engagements.  

Karen Cooper, Chief Executive of PCHA commented: 

“We have been investigating the potential benefits that joining together might bring for some time and are confident that the proposed Transfer of Engagements from BECHA to PCHA offers a mutually beneficial opportunity that will bring demonstrable benefits to all our residents.  

Both organisations have similar origins, histories, values and a shared commitment to putting residents at the heart of everything we do and making a positive impact in our communities.  We have  worked together over many years and believe we will be stronger together. We have identified savings that can be made from the Transfer and which will allow us to continue to invest in the stock and services to residents.   

We will shortly be undertaking formal consultation with BECHA residents and will seek the views of PCHA residents on the proposal.  After considering their views, those of stakeholders and the business case for the transfer, we will reach a joint decision in early 2023 as to whether to complete the Transfer.” 

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Help for Ukraine

March 2022

Like many people, we at PCHA are horrified by the events in Ukraine. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) predicts that 18 million people will be affected by the escalating conflict in Ukraine, with 4 million people expected to flee their homes as the war continues. We know that some of our residents are looking for ways to offer help. 

Here are some of the ways you can support Ukrainian people, and what you need to do if you’re hoping to be a  Homes for Ukraine host. 

DEC donation

One way to help is by making a donation to the DEC’s Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal – they work with many charities, including the British Red Cross, to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families. 

Donating items

 

You can also donate items but please check you are donating to a registered charity. It's sad to say that fraudsters will use the situation in Ukraine to target people for fraud and probably via charitable donations. Therefore, make a few simple checks before giving:

  • Check the charity’s name and registration number at www.gov.uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered, and you can use the advanced search function to identify charities working in specific regions and countries

  • Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information 

  • Be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them 

  • Contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to understand how they are spending their funds 

  • Look out for the Fundraising Badge on charity fundraising materials. This is the logo which shows that a charity has committed to fundraise in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice. 

Volunteering

Local organisations may also have volunteer opportunities, and invitations to donate clothes and other supplies. Your local voluntary action centre will be able to help you find any opportunities near you. 

Hosting a Ukrainian refugee in your home

You may also wish to help by welcoming a Ukrainian person or family into your home. The Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme supports people to offer a spare room, or separate self-contained accommodation, to Ukrainian refugee(s) for at least six months. 

We want to make sure that this is as easy as possible for you to do if you wish, BUT you MUST get our written permission in advance of registering with the scheme. We will get back to you with our decision no later than two weeks of receiving your request. 

You should not request payment or charge to any individuals you host as part of this scheme. 

We ask you to consider some things before you make this decision as part of your tenancy conditions, and expect that all residents wishing to offer rooms in your home have satisfactorily covered the following points:

  • The size of your home. There are strict guidelines on how many people can live within our properties to ensure that these are not considered ‘overcrowded’, which is set out in housing law. You can find this information in your tenancy agreement or please ask us. If you are in a bedsit or one-bed flat, YOU CANNOT offer your home.  

  • Financial assistance with your rent. Having people living with you, even short-term, could affect any financial help you receive towards your rent or service charges. This could be a payment from your local authority (Housing Benefit) or as part of any Universal Credit payment. It would be best to enquire whether any hosting could affect any payment you receive, as you will be expected to make up any difference. You can find further information on the Government’s website relating to hosting and income. 

  • Insurance arrangements. It is worth checking whether any insurance policies on your home or contents could be affected by hosting. 

  • Please note you cannot sub-let (rent) your home to anyone.  

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Public consultation on Glenbar House

March 2022

We are seeking to redevelop Glenbar House, 110 Croydon Road. We are keen to get feedback from nearby residents. We ran an online public consultation on the 7th March, which can be watched below. 

 

If you wish to provide comments, please fill in the survey at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2HZKH38.

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Glenbar House

We have won a 'We invest in people' Silver award!

January 2022

We are proud to announce that PCHA has won an award from Investors® in People.

 

The ‘We invest in people’ accreditation assesses how well organisations invest in their people – meaning, primarily, their staff and those who work closely with the organisation. It looks at how well the organisation leads, supports and improves its people. 


As well as being given a level to show where we are at now (in our case, Silver – can we say it again?), we have received a report with recommendations for how we can improve further over the next three years. We are getting a plan in place to achieve GOLD next time!


Investing in people doesn't only benefit staff and the organisation itself. It can result in better productivity levels and better service for customers too. This is because staff who are engaged and passionate about the work they do and the organisation they work for, are more likely to work better and go the extra mile. 

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Resident Satisfaction Survey Results

December 2021

 

At PCHA we pride ourselves on the relationship we have with our residents.  We aspire to deliver a high quality service. Listening to your views and comments helps us to do that and is really important to PCHA. Your feedback and suggestions make a real difference in shaping our services going forward.


Earlier this year we commissioned Acuity, an independent consultancy, to carry out a ‘STAR’ survey on our behalf. This was to help us understand what you think about your home and the services we provide, and what you would like us to do differently in the future.  

 

The summary report from Acuity entitled 'Your Views' can be downloaded by clicking the image below. 

Results

We were delighted that so many residents responded (58%) and with the high levels of satisfaction recorded. 


Over eight out of ten PCHA residents (84%) are happy with the service we provide. We were pleased with the higher ratings recorded for being easy to deal with, PCHA homes being safe and secure, the value for money of the rents we charge and PCHA staff being friendly and approachable and treating residents fairly.


We also noted the high levels of satisfaction in respect of our approach and communication during the pandemic.

Actions

 

The survey results were reported to PCHA’s Board and an action plan established which included contacting residents where possible to understand any concerns raised and to put things right. Key areas identified for focus and exploration included:

 

  • Damp/condensation issues

  • Planned works and property condition

  • Anti-social behaviour

 

We have listened to your feedback and already made changes to some of our procedures to address some of the concerns recorded.

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Free energy advice

September 2021

 

If you are struggling with energy bills or heating your home, you could be eligible for free advice and assessment from SHINE London. 

You can access free support and advice from SHINE if any of the following apply:

  • You are over 60

  • You are on a low income

  • You have a disability or long-term illness

  • You have children.

 

Support provided can include a visit from an 'energy doctor' to review your energy bills, advice on energy saving, and help with comparing energy deals on the market. 

For more information please download SHINE's flyer here or visit their website at www.shine-london.org.uk. To contact them, call 0300 555 0195 or 0207 527 2001 or email contact@shine-london.org.uk.

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February 2019

 

Together with Tenants

The National Housing Federation (NHF), the membership body for housing associations in England, has drawn up a plan called ‘Together with Tenants’. It was created in recognition that while housing associations have a strong commitment to engaging with tenants and residents, they don’t always get it right! ‘Together with Tenants’ aims to build a stronger, more balanced relationship between tenants and residents and their housing associations.

This plan includes a charter that housing associations can sign up to. It consists of 8 commitments that tenants and residents have told the NHF they have the right to expect, regardless of their landlord or where they live. We would like your feedback on this charter.

The 8 commitments are as follows:

  1. Every resident has the right to be treated with respect.

  2. Every resident has the right to a decent, safe home and quality service.

  3. Every resident has the right to be listened to and have their view heard on decisions that affect their community, home and the services they receive.

  4. Every resident has the right to know how the organisation is run, how decisions are made, and how they can get involved.

  5. Collectively, residents have the right to influence decisions that affect their community, home and the services they receive.

  6. Every resident will have simple, clear and accessible routes for raising issues, making complaints and seeking redress.

  7. Every resident will receive support and advice when things go wrong or their expectations aren’t met.

  8. Every resident will have access to the information they need to make informed decisions and hold their landlord to account.

At PCHA we aim to meet these commitments in any case and therefore we are happy to sign up to this charter. However, we want to know if you, our residents, feel this reflects your expectations. Please get in touch with your views.  You can email Karen at karen@pcha.co.uk or call the office on 020 8659 3055.

The NHF are consulting on this charter and their Together with Tenants plan until 19th April. You can participate in their online questionnaire here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4849220/Together-with-Tenants-Consultation.

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