LYHA Customer Bulletin - August 2021
It's hard to believe that we're now in August. The grass cutting/gardening service is in full swing and the gardens and estates are in bloom. All our services continue, although our Headingley office remains closed at the current time - more on that later in the newsletter.

Many COVID restrictions have now been eased, however please continue to follow hygiene and social distancing guidance and if you think you may have symptoms, please get tested immediately. Rates of infection as still high and we all need to do what we can to protect one another.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

We recognise the value that diversity brings to our communities and workforce. We want to deliver services that are accessible to all and ensure that customers and colleagues from all backgrounds are treated equally, fairly and with respect for their individual needs.

For us, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are about recognising and valuing difference. Discrimination on any grounds will not be tolerated and will be actively challenged.

As an inclusive landlord and employer, we have formalised these commitments in a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which we created in consultation with customers, colleagues and board members. This outlines our vision for tackling inequalities that hold communities back and our firm commitment to open and honest conversations to create greater understanding between us all. If you have any feedback or would like to help us further develop and implement this strategy, please email us: info@lyha.co.uk We’d love you to be part of the conversation and help us get this right.
Abusive or aggressive behaviour

On the same subject of improving understanding, customers should be aware that we will not tolerate abuse or aggression of any kind towards our colleagues. This doesn’t happen often but can occur both face to face and over the telephone. We recognise we don’t always get things right and frustration can boil over but please consider the impact of your behaviour and raise your complaint via the appropriate channels:  Compliments and complaints | Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association (lyha.co.uk) Our colleagues are carrying out their jobs to the best of their ability. Any reports of abusive or aggressive behaviour will be investigated, resulting in tenancy enforcement action in extreme cases.
Opposing the benefits cut

We oppose the government's plan to cut the £20 weekly benefits uplift in October that was added to Universal Credit and working tax credits during the pandemic. This additional money makes a significant difference to so many households and we have written to your local MPs to urge them to fight this cut. To strengthen our voice on this subject, we have also joined forces with charities and housing associations across the country in a campaign known as Keep the Lifeline - click here to find out more.
Clear corridors and balconies

Customers' safety is our top priority and it is so important that you don't leave any bulky or potentially flammable items in stairwells, corridors or on your balconies. These could cause a fire and/or block your means of escape which could jeopardise the safety of your family and neighbours.
Please don't leave bikes, pushchairs or rubbish in any communal areas and if you have a balcony, please keep it safe by following the guidance set out in this Factsheet.
No win, no fee claims

Please be alert to claim companies who may contact you offering to carry out a survey of your home or encourage you to make a disrepair claim. Please do not allow them into your property. They are not acting on LYHA's behalf and it could end up being very costly for you. Please click here for further information.
Looking for a home swap?

We have recently purchased ‘Swap Tracker’ software (in addition to the Homeswapper service) so that you can now apply for home swaps online without putting in a written application. To find out more click here. You can also access an online dashboard so you can instantly see the status of your application and request updates.
LYHA on the move

In September we will be moving to new offices just around the corner from our current office in Headingley. The move will give us a more modern working environment with private space to carry out customer meetings, whilst still being easy to access for customers.
We will share more details very shortly.
Free training

We have partnered with Realise Training (formerly Interserve Learning & Employment) to offer free skills training to LYHA customers and their families. There is a wide range of free courses on offer including: childcare, mental health training, warehousing, IT skills and functional maths and english.

The majority of training is online and we can loan out free tablets and preloaded WiFi dongles if you need them. For further information about the training courses available or to sign up, please contact: westley.clarke@realisetraining.com or Tel: 07525 903841.
Learning from you

On the subject of learning, our team has been lucky to have had a couple of guest speakers recently: Katie from Friends of Dorothy ( a charity for older LGBTQ+ people) who told us her inspiring story about transition and acceptance; and Iffat, who talked to us about the issue of islamophobia and her experiences of being Muslim in the UK today. We are keen to hear experiences from others so that we can continue to increase our understanding of diversity and meeting individual needs. If you have any ideas for future stories or links to organisations that you would like to put us in touch with, please email: sally.hilton@lyha.co.uk
New starters

We are delighted to welcome a few new starters this month.

Craig Ball has joined the LYHA team as Repairs Technician, as part of our ongoing plans to improve our repairs service.
He will be carrying out minor repairs across our sites, as well as improving our communal areas.

Meanwhile, Simon Smith and Fred Thornton have joined us as Property Surveyors.
New photography

We will shortly be taking some new photographs of some of our properties and estates, so that we have up to date images when we are reletting properties. The photographer will carry ID and we will not take any pictures of people without prior consent.
Affordable broadband plan for those on benefits

BT has recently launched a new affordable broadband plan for those claiming benefits (including Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Pension Credit). To find out more, please visit: BT Home Essentials Broadband | Low Cost Broadband | Broadband on benefits
And finally..............

We would like to receive feedback and suggestions from customers about any other content you would like to see in these bulletins. Similarly, if you would like to receive our newsletters in large print or any other language options, please contact georgina.thompson@lyha.co.uk
Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association | 0113 2783335 | georgina.thompson@lyha.co.uk | www.lyha.co.uk