Resident Feedback 

Below are the frequently asked questions asked by residents during the consultation period that ended on the 30th October 2019.

 

Will the rent go up?

The mechanism for rent and service charge increases will be unchanged. Increases will continue to be set in line with Government regulations and as set out in your tenancy/lease agreement. You should continue to pay your rent and service charge as usual.

Do we have the right to buy?

A very small number of Suffolk Housing tenants currently have the right to buy, and this will not change. You will not gain this right if you do not already have it but you will have the same rights as you do now, including the right to acquire and succession arrangements, (where applicable) and same “security of tenure” as you have now, including the right to remain in your home for the duration of the tenancy unless we have the legal right to bring your tenancy to an end. Flagship, as the new landlord, would have to follow the same legal procedure if there is a legal right to end a tenancy.

Would the length of tenancy include previous years whilst with Suffolk housing when calculating any discounts available?

Yes, your tenancy remains the same.

Do we still contact Suffolk housing for enquires and issue we have.

Yes! You will still be able to contact Suffolk Housing directly.

What is Flagships policy in respect to Tenants Participation?

Both Victory and Flagship have resident groups that focus on operational and customer facing issues. These groups made up of committed and skilled people who work together with Senior Management at the heart of the organisation.

Who will be my new landlord, Suffolk housing or flagship

If the transfer goes ahead Flagship will become your new landlord, however we will retain the Suffolk Housing brand and head office at Coppice House in Bury St Edmunds, so you are likely to still talk to the same members of staff you do now.

Are we going to get a modernisation plan for the next 5 years

We plan for Suffolk Housing to be managed locally by a Managing Director. As part of their new role they will have access to an additional £2m every year to maintain and improve Suffolk Housing’s existing homes. They will work with their management committee and involved residents to agree the improvement priorities for the future.

I thought Suffolk housing was a charity/ and unable to be bought and sold?

Both Suffolk Housing and Flagship are charitable organisations that do not operate for profit. Charities can and do frequently come together by mutual agreement. There is no ‘purchase’ or payment involved.

What will be the difference be to me?

The biggest difference for tenants will be the additional £2 million per year investment into maintaining and improving existing properties. Tenants will also receive an improved range and level of services from the combined knowledge of the group.

Will we still get the service we get now?

With additional funds, services and knowledge we are expecting improved levels of service. You will still be able to call Suffolk Housing and speak to the same members of staff that you are use to. We can’t guarantee things won’t change, but our focus will always be to deliver the highest level of customer service.

Bigger can sometimes mean more distant

There is always a risk that by becoming bigger we could lose the personal touch you have become accustomed to. However, we will continue to keep residents at the heart of everything we do and by keeping it local we will continue to focus on our communities and residents. You will still be able to visit our Coppice House office in Bury St Edmunds to talk to our staff, as you do at the moment.

Will the housing stock be reduced/sold off?

Our plans are to increase the overall housing stock not reduce the stock. The group ambition is to build 11,000 new energy efficient homes over the next ten years as well as investing in our existing homes. When homes become vacant, we assess if they are suitable and cost effective for the future. On occasion we have made the decision to sell a property that is energy inefficient or needs significant repairs made to keep it at a decent standard. When this happens we reinvest this money into building new energy efficient homes.

Is there a choice?

Your feedback throughout the consultation will be taken into consideration by both Suffolk Housing and Flagships Boards before a final decision is made.

Will any rules for tenants change, financial or otherwise?

You will have the same rights as you do now, including the right to acquire and succession arrangements, (where applicable) and the same “security of tenure” as you have now, including the right to remain in your home for the duration of the tenancy unless we have the legal right to bring your tenancy to an end. Flagship, as the new landlord, would have to follow the same legal procedure if there is a legal right to end a tenancy.

We are due upgrade works this year, will this be honoured?

It is difficult to answer any specifics at this stage, however as part of the Flagship Group, Suffolk Housing will have access to an additional £2m every year to maintain and improve Suffolk Housing’s existing homes.

Is the reason were not getting upgrades because we don’t have money?

Unfortunately in recent times we have had to prioritise our spending on essential repairs. This has meant that we have not been able to complete the upgrades to your homes that we would like to have done. With the merger with Flagship Group, we will have £2m each year to spend on existing Suffolk Housing homes.

Will pull cords be removed?

There are no plans to remove pull cords from schemes that currently have them.

Flagships online reviews are not great, is this true reflection of the company?

Delivering outstanding customer service is vitally important to Flagship. We are proud to have a Net Promoter Score of +28 and we value all the feedback that we receive from our customers. We are passionate about doing the right thing, and we work really hard to put things right when they go wrong. We don’t currently invest our customers’ money into raising our profile online as we frequently contact our customers directly ourselves to ask them their views on how we are doing.

Is 2 million a year enough? Will this only be spent on Existing properties?

We think that the £2 million additional investment will enable us to have a robust plan to maintain and improve our existing homes.

What position will Suffolk Housing be in if the merge does not go ahead?

We have not had the funds available over recent years to be able to deliver the services and improvements that we know our residents want. The opportunity to merge with the Flagship Group will enable us to do so.

What are Suffolk Housings Priorities after the merge?

We are keen to begin the investment programme for our existing properties and to work with the Group to develop new energy efficient homes in our local area. We also are keen to include our residents’ views on how we run our business, and plan to increase our resident involvement to make sure we understand exactly what is important to our residents living in their communities.

How many leasehold properties Flagship have as a group?

Flagship currently has 572 leasehold properties and Victory Housing has 46

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