Improving homes: investing in the future

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1 Improving homes: investing in the future How Raven will improve and maintain your home Investing in renewable energy I was given lots of choice over what I wanted

2 Improving homes Raven is committed to offering good, modern homes which meet residents aspirations. In response, we have developed a new standard for maintaining and improving homes, which we will adopt from April This brochure tells you about the new Raven standard, how we developed it and how much we will invest in your homes. It also explains what you can expect from our investment programme. Tackling fuel poverty We estimate that around 1 in 20 Raven households live in fuel poverty, with a further 1 in 10 very close to it. Many people are spending 6% 8% of their income on fuel. Further fuel-price rises could push them into fuel poverty. The new Raven standard will help residents cope with rising fuel prices. These figures are based on our assumptions about residents levels of income. Bringing in the NEW Raven standard All our homes already meet the Government s Decent Homes standard. And since 2009 we have reached the Decent Homes PLUS standard. After consulting residents in 2012, we have developed a new Raven standard. This exceeds the Decent Homes standard and tackles some of the longer-term concerns of our residents. We will adopt this standard from April Using a kitchen as an example, We will replace a kitchen after 22 years, or earlier if it is in poor condition. We may leave it longer if it is in good condition. If there has been excessive wear and tear or damage then we may charge for repairs or replacement. See page 3 for more details of how the new Raven standard and Decent Homes standard will work. 1 Element New Raven standard Decent Homes standard Decent Homes PLUS standard Kitchen replacement 22 years 30 years 20 years Bathroom replacement (including water-saving elements) 31 years 40 years 30 years External painting 6 years Not included 5 years Insulation (loft, cavity and solid wall) Renewable energy, such as solar panels Energy- and water- efficiency measures (see page 5) Assisted decoration scheme for elderly or disabled people * ( * see page 6 exceptions apply) The new standard puts greater emphasis on tackling fuel poverty. This means we will invest more in energy efficiency. This table explains how the new Raven standard differs from the Government s Decent Homes standard and the Decent Homes PLUS standard: The figures above show how we exceed the Decent Homes standard and how slight changes to when we replace kitchens and bathrooms allow us to do additional work in other areas, highlighted below, which you told us were important. Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes No Yes Does this mean my kitchen will definitely be replaced after 22 years? Fuel poverty Number of households % of households In fuel poverty (10% of income on fuel costs) 267 5% High risk (9% of income on fuel costs) % Lower risk (6-8% of income on fuel costs) % Low risk (5-0% of income on fuel costs) 53 1% How much is Raven investing? Raven plans to invest 499million over the next 30 years to achieve and maintain the new Raven standard. Every 1m we spend improving homes is split like this: Kitchens 155,000 Bathrooms 55,000 Central Heating 65,000 Boilers 65,000 Doors and windows 60,000 Wiring 47,000 Loft conversions 1,000 Other projects (eg: fencing, paving) 145,000 Renewable technology and energy efficiency measures 30,000 Maintenance (eg: electrical, fire and water testing, gas servicing) 265,000 Roofs 110,000 Lifts 2,000 What did residents tell Raven they wanted? Raven consulted residents using an e-survey and faceto-face discussions. Residents told us they were most concerned about rising fuel prices. They wanted Raven to invest more in insulation and renewable energy, targeting homes with the worst energy-efficiency ratings. (These were homes with an SAP standard assessment procedure rating below 65. Our new-build homes typically have an SAP rating of A rating of 100 is the most energy efficient.) Very energy efficient SAP Rating EP certificate 2

3 Who decides which homes are improved? Raven decides which homes need to be improved after carrying out surveys on a number of homes. The survey identifies what work is needed now or may be needed in future. The surveyor will estimate the age and condition of parts of your home. We use this information to plan future work. In January each year we finalise our annual programme of investment work. If your home is included, we will send you a confirmation letter three months before work is due to start. All work will be done by one of our partner contractors or our in-house team. your kitchen should be over 22 years old and in poor condition your bathroom should be over 31 years old and in poor condition. Unlike the Decent Homes standard, we will replace a kitchen or bathroom even if all other elements of your home are in good repair. 1. Your home must be in a reasonable state of repair. To fail this test, one or more of the elements (such as external walls, roof, windows, doors, boiler) must be old and in poor condition; or two or more of the other elements (such as kitchen, bathroom) must be old and in poor condition. 2. Your home must have reasonably modern facilities or services. To fail this test, your home must lack three or more of the following: The kitchen is less than 20 years old. The kitchen has adequate space and layout. The bathroom is less than 30 years old. I m a homeowner. How much notice will you give me about work that you plan to carry out? We write to homeowners twice a year with a three-year plan for investment in their blocks of flats. If you are a tenant and would like a copy of this information, call What are the criteria for getting work done under the new Raven standard? To qualify for a new kitchen or bathroom under the new Raven standard: Raven must continue to meet the Decent Homes standard The Decent Homes Standard is set by government to ensure that all housing association homes meet certain minimum criteria. The Decent Homes standard states: The bathroom and toilet are in an appropriate location. There is adequate insulation against external noise. If your home is a flat, the common areas are of adequate size and well laid-out. 3. Your home must have efficient heating and insulation. To fail this test, your home would not provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort in other words, efficient heating and effective insulation. 4. Your home must meet the statutory minimum standard set by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. To fail this test, your home must be assessed and regarded as presenting a relevant hazard. If I m going to have a new bathroom/kitchen, who will be my main point of contact? Your main point of contact will be our contractor s resident liaison officer, who will contact you before the work starts. We will try to notify you three months before work starts, and our contractor will notify you 21 days before and again 7 days before work starts at your home. The resident liaison officer will update you on progress and is your contact if you have any questions. Can I choose what materials and units will be put into my home? If you have a new kitchen you will have some choice of: cupboard doors and handles worktops flooring tiles wall colour. If you have a new bathroom you will have a choice of: tiles flooring bath panels wall colour. I ve had my survey what happens next? Now you ve had your kitchen or bathroom survey, what will happen next? When can you expect to hear if and when the works will begin? Surveyor visits your home You receive a letter giving you 21 days notice of the start of the work You receive a reminder letter 7 days before the start of the work You may have a choice in the finish of: Electrical upgrades heating upgrade/boiler replacement new windows new window frames, guttering and drainpipes wall and roof repairs. Raven reviews the survey photos Raven approves the works The work begin I was given lots of choice over what I wanted, which I really liked. Raven put in a lot of extras over the Decent Homes standard. The workers cleared up after themselves and just did a really good job. Your resident liaison officer will visit you at home to explain any choices you have and show you examples and colours. Your kitchen/ bathroom doesn t meet the criteria Raven writes to you to tell you that the work won t be carried out this year 3 4

4 The new Raven standard will include insulation, renewable energy technology and other energyefficiency measures where appropriate and possible. Each survey will consider which energy-saving measures would be the most effective for that home. Putting in better insulation Raven wants to ensure residents homes are adequately insulated, helping to reduce energy use, lower fuel bills and make you feel warmer at home. Since June 2009 Raven has installed extra loft and cavity wall insulation in more than 750 homes, helping to reduce fuel bills by around 40,000 a year and carbon emissions by 200 tonnes every year. Assisted decoration scheme for older and disabled people This scheme is for tenants who transferred from: Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in 2002 London Borough of Sutton in 2005, or London Borough of Merton in You can choose to: have our in-house team decorate up to three rooms, or get vouchers to spend on decorating materials for three rooms. Have up to 3 rooms decorated Investing in renewable energy Renewable energy, such as energy from solar PV panels, means that people can benefit from free energy some of the time. We will begin by targeting homes with a low energy rating. Subject to survey, we will look for homes where it s practical to fit renewable technology and where people will benefit the most. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels Energy-efficiency measures We are looking at various energy-efficiency measures that we could use in different types of homes. Subject to survey, these might include draughtproofing, low-energy lighting and boiler improvements. Solar electricity systems convert sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting. The systems don t need direct sunlight to work they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day but should face south to maximise the electricity they produce. After our consultation we have agreed with residents that we will start with sheltered schemes. This is because electricity cannot be stored, so free energy needs to be used during the day when older people are more likely to be at home. Can I get decorating help? Yes, if everyone in your household (except children under 18) is: over 70, or aged and getting Attendance Allowance or on the middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or under 65 and getting the higher or middle-rate care component of DLA, or under 65 and getting the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA. If you are under 70 and you are entitled to one of the benefits, we will need a copy of your Entitlement Notice (the letter saying you are entitled to one of the benefits) when you apply. What if I am aged but don t get one of the listed benefits? You can get decorating vouchers. We can t do the decorating as part of our usual service, but you can ask us to quote for it as part of our Homefix service. 5 6

5 s property investment programme is managed by our investment team. The work at your home will be done by one of our partner contractors. If you want to speak to someone about the planned work at your home, please call Call: We can provide this leaflet in audio, large print and other languages. Please let us know what you need. March 2013 Raven Housing Trust Raven House, 29 Linkfield Lane, Redhill RH1 1SS Telephone Raven Housing Trust Limited is a charitable Industrial and Provident Society, registration no R, and is registered as a social housing provider with the Homes and Communities Agency, registration no. L4334. POSITION GUIDE ONLY

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