An Update from Rob

Hi, I’m Rob Thomas. I’ve been working at CCHA for more than three years. I started as a Customer Service Advisor before moving to the Property team as Technical Maintenance Assistant. Working from home has been a strange thing to get accustomed to. Most of my role can be carried out remotely but I miss the camaraderie of the office.

I help coordinate CCHA’s PAG (Physical Adaptation Grant) works, which mainly includes the fitting of stair lifts, level access showers, adapted kitchens, and access aids. I speak to residents who may have decreasing mobility issues or problems using the current facilitates in their homes and refer them to Occupational Therapists. We then arrange the technical surveys, tender works, and apply for grant funding in order to carry out the adaptations required.

 

When a property becomes empty, following an end-of-tenancy, it is known as a ‘void’ property. I am responsible for making sure the void works are properly logged, all necessary compliance testing is carried out, and for the smooth running of the admin, so that both the Property and Housing Teams are kept informed of progress. During the lockdown restrictions, work on our void properties has not stopped and we have continued to let properties to people in need of accommodation.

 

Our PAG works on the other hand, like our responsive repairs, were severely limited due to COVID restrictions. As of this month we have resumed works and are working hard to catch up on the backlog. If you are a tenant and require adaptations, or would like to find out more, you can contact us by emailing PAG@ccha.org.uk or by calling customer services on 029 2046 8490

Look after yourselves,

Rob

 

An update from Amy

Hello, my name is Amy Thompson. I joined CCHA in 2017, working within the Health and Safety Department.

I am now part of the Compliance Team, working as a Compliance Officer. I oversee water hygiene and the control of asbestos within our stock, as well as being responsible for ensuring all lifting equipment – such as passenger lifts within blocks of flats, or stair lifts and hoists within your homes – are suitably maintained and safe.

At the moment, I am working predominantly from home but I can also be found out and about completing regular safety inspections of our Estates and Communal Areas.

During these difficult times, our work within the Compliance Team has not stopped! It has been more important than ever that we continue to provide a safe environment for you and your families to live in. We have been working closely with our contractors to ensure that measures are put in place to allow the essential work that we do to continue as normal.

We understand that you may have concerns when asked to allow access to your property for essential compliance works. But please be assured that CCHA, and all contractors working on our behalf, are following the guidance set out by the Government and are taking all necessary precautions. As a Team, we would like to thank-you for your continued patience and understanding.

Should you have any queries or concerns, please get in touch on 029 2046 8490 or Compliance@ccha.org.uk and we will be happy to assist.

Take Care,

Amy

 

An update from Naz

Hi everyone,

My name is Nazma, better known as ‘Naz’.

I have been working for CCHA for about 12 years.  I started my journey with the Customer Services Team, so a lot of people may recognise me from our Meteor Street office.

I am now based at our Tolven Court office as a member of the Compliance Team.  My role as a Compliance Assistant involves making sure all of our domestic electrical tests are up to date, ensuring Health & Safety by raising and monitoring orders from recommendations made during fire risk assessments, and updating our systems with information from estate visits.

We focus on cooperation and teamwork at CCHA, and a lot of my work relies on communicating with contractors, liaising with our tenants, and supporting my colleagues both in the Compliance Team and across the organisation.

During this difficult time, working as a team to ensure the safety of our tenants has never been more important.  Working from home has provided many challenges, and we are constantly looking at new ways of keeping communication and services running.  All of us at CCHA have been working hard to ensure that our services and your safety are maintained.

The tests and servicing we undertake in order to maintain your safety are still going ahead at this time, and allowing access to your property, unless you are self-isolating or shielding, is still very important.  If you have any concerns or queries, please contact us on 029 2046 8490.  We are always happy to help.

 

 

An update from Steve

Hi, I’m Steve Smith, the Head of Property for CCHA.

I’m responsible for the fantastic team that delivers the Planned Maintenance Programmes, prepare empty properties for re-letting, and ensure that tenants’ homes are safe.

When we realised that we would be isolated in our homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first job was to create a space to work. I am lucky enough to have a room that I call an “office” (although 13 weeks ago “dumping ground” would have been more accurate), and for the first time in 20 years it has been cleaned out and used for its intended purpose. I’ve even put up the pictures of a few sporting heroes of mine that bring back some great memories.

So what have I been doing for the past 13 weeks?

Unfortunately, we have had to suspend all of the planned programmes, such as replacement kitchens, bathrooms, and windows, but the preparation for the work to come continues. We have been making arrangements with contractors to ensure that they have the work plans and PPE in place to carry out the work safely once the Welsh Government allows us to do so. A brand new stock condition survey system is being introduced to improve the planning of works.

In Compliance, the team have maintained an outstanding levels of landlord compliance. This is with the help of our tenants giving access during this difficult time and our contractors, that have brought in measures that allow essential work to continue whilst protecting themselves and tenants. The team has been amazing, contacting and reassuring tenants that the work can be carried out safely.

The Voids team has done wonders. This is one of the few areas where different teams work really closely together, to ensure that properties are turned around quickly to provide new homes for individuals or families in need. This is down to the hard work of the Housing Team, Property Team, and contractors – including our new fantastic in-house labour force (the M Team). The M-Team has allowed us to be one of the few housing associations that have continued to re-let properties throughout the pandemic.

My job is to ensure that the teams have all of the tools they need to be able to carry out their work to the best of their ability. This can be ensuring that they have appropriate technology and other resources, being a reference point using my experience in the housing sector, and, more importantly during this time, keeping an eye on their wellbeing. Working from home can bring difficulties that we perhaps had not realised before – having a good place to work, distractions from others in the home, issues with the internet and sometimes the feeling of loneliness.

Much of my time (up to five or six hours a day) is spent on Microsoft Teams, in meetings, or sometimes just talking to team members ensuring that they are coping – we are a close team at CCHA and enjoy our interaction at the office; having this taken away is a challenge all of its own.

This week has been particularly challenging but really enjoyable. I, along with two colleagues and two tenants, have been interviewing for three new roles in the Property Team (again all done on Microsoft Teams). These roles will add to the knowledge and experience within the team and increase the level of service to tenants. I can’t wait to have the full team together. These are really exciting times, thinking about what we are going to be capable of doing when we can resume full service and bringing our plans into fruition.

What have I missed the most? Definitely the face-to-face contact with colleagues, tenants, and friends, and my passion of refereeing rugby on a Saturday afternoon (something I have been doing for 39 years).

Something I haven’t missed is the two hours a day travelling to the office, sat in traffic jams! J

“What has helped get you through this time?”, somebody asked me. Family, friends, work colleagues, and knowing that I am working to help those that rely on CCHA. The stories we hear from our fantastic volunteers and tenants supported by our Regeneration and Housing Teams, are truly inspirational.

 

An update from Chris

Hello there. My name is Chris and I’ve been with CCHA since 2004, working in a few different departments. I am now in the Assets Team, calculating and planning when and where our properties need  upgrades and putting together programmes for our planned maintenance contracts. These programmes include kitchen, bathroom, window, door, and boiler improvements, as well as lots of other areas.

Working from home has done wonders for my commute but I’ve missed the friendship of the office.

I’ve been working on a new computer system that will hold all of the information about our properties, such as the condition of the kitchens and bathrooms, in one place so that we can see at the click of a button whether each home meets the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

It’s been a huge task, checking thousands of lines of data across multiple spreadsheets, but it’s nearly complete and I’m looking forward to doing something different! I will be responsible for ensuring that all of the data held in our new system is correct, and that any new data entered, like property condition surveys, are accurate.

Hopefully you will see more of us back out in the community before long working to improve your homes.

Look after yourselves.

Chris

 

An update from Brett

Hi, I’m Brett Gilbert.

I started working for Cardiff Community Housing Association (CCHA) in June 2019, helping to keep customers safe from the risk of fire.

My 15 years’ fire safety experience, providing solutions as a contractor and specifying requirements from the client side, helps me recommend cost effective solutions to any concerns, ensuring our properties are safe.

While the office environment has changed for my home, the role is still keeping me busy. I manage our specialist contractors, who are still working, to ensure fire safety precautions are in place.

I am also working on fire safety projects and initiatives including:

  • Planning the installation of sprinkler systems within higher risk properties, like Aquila House
  • Working with our Fire Safety consultants to undertake inspections of our properties and communal areas
  • Working with our contractors to maintain, repair, replace, and upgrade fire alarm systems and other fire safety equipment
  • Specifying products and materials, like fire doors, to become a standard across CCHA stock
  • Producing fire safety information for tenants and creating internal fire safety processes and procedures. Our contractors are still working to ensure our fire safety precautions are in good working order. Our customers can help by ensuring communal areas are clear of items, which may allow a fire to spread or prevent people leaving if an emergency were to occur.For fire safety tips and information, visit our website HERE

If you have any queries or concerns, give us a call on 029 2046 8490.

Stay safe,

 

Brett

 

An update from Mark

Hi all,

My name is Mark Hapgood, and I joined CCHA in 2018 as a Technical Maintenance Officer.

I now work in the Assets Team and run the Planned Works programmes, which I have been doing for the past nine months.

One certain thing in these uncertain times is that our tenants will still require new kitchens, bathrooms, windows, and

updated communal areas when the lockdown is lifted and things return to normal.

So, whilst working from home, I am building the Planned Works programmes; liaising with our contractors to agree specifications; working on timeframes; and discussing how our contractors are working to keep our tenants and themselves safe at this time, so that when we return to work we can continue with the Planned Works programmes and complete this year’s works.

I work with a number of contractors: Sovereign, Jeffries, EAP, Warrior Doors, Unicorn Painting, and Strong’s. I continue to liaise with them on a weekly basis to ensure we are ready to deliver our services as soon as we are able to do so.

Stay safe, everyone, keep well, and we look forward to continuing to provide this service on our return.

If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 029 2046 8490.

 

An update from Hodan

 

Hi, my name is Hodan.  I joined CCHA in September 2018 and work as a Compliance Assistant.  I coordinate Fire Risk Assessments and the cyclical servicing of fire equipment, including fire alarms and emergency lighting, in all of our communal areas.

During this time of social distancing communication is more important than ever for ensuring that you are safe in your homes and that our staff and contractors are working safely, and so my role has expanded to include supporting the Customer Services Team and acting as a community liaison.

I am supporting the Customer Services Team by taking calls for Housing and Maintenance; assisting tenants and staff alike to resolve issues promptly and directing them to the most appropriate resources where an issue cannot be resolved over the phone.

As a liaison within the BME Community I am working closely with CCHA’s Communications Team on Somali translations of our literature and on engagement within the community itself.

 

 

An update from Andrew 

Hi, my name is Andrew Bradley.

I started working for Cardiff Community Housing Association (CCHA) in November 2019, as the Assets and Compliance Manager.

We are a team of six office-based staff, responsible for managing Landlords’ Health and Safety Compliance.

During these difficult times our work continues as normal.  Making sure that everyone is safe in their own home and in the communal areas of flats is our highest priority.

The only difference is that this important work is being carried out by the six of us working from our own homes.  Here are some of the examples of the work we are doing to make sure that everyone is safe:

  • Servicing of boilers and associated appliances, smoke alarms, CO detectors, and heat detectors
  • Inspections of the electrics in your home and in communal areas
  • Inspections of fire alarms, emergency lighting, and lifts in communal areas
  • Cleaning of communal areas including antibacterial wipe down to touchpoints
  • Fire Risk Assessments to all communal areas
  • Estate inspections to make sure all communal areas and escape routes are clear

 

As we work to keep you safe in your homes we ask that you help by keeping your appointments and making sure that no items are stored in communal areas.  All of our contractors have your safety and theirs in mind and have the relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 029 2046 8490.

Stay safe,

Andrew

 

 

An update from Dyf:  

Hi, I’m Dyf (pronounced ‘dove’, like the bird, it’s short for Dyfrig, and it’s a Welsh name that translates to “We want our child to have to repeat his name six or seven times to every new person he meets”). I joined CCHA in 20

18 and I work as a Compliance Assistant.

I work in partnership with our contractor, Westward Energy Services, to coordinate the annual servicing of central heating systems in CCHA properties.

As compliance and legislation haven’t slowed down during these difficult times, neither have we! The annual servicing is going ahead as normal. If you receive an appointment letter and are self-isolating or shielding, we can rearrange your appointment for a later date.

If you have received an appointment letter for your annual central heating service and you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 07583 071727.

Stay safe,

Dyf

An update from the Money Advice, Housing and Customer Services Team

Take a look at this video where some of the team from Money Advice, Housing and Customer Services tell us a bit about themselves and how their jobs have changed during these challenging times, but they are still providing services to tenants from home, and Jeff tries to tell a joke (you’ve been warned…)