LYHA Customer Bulletin - January 2022
Happy New Year from the LYHA team

We hope that 2022 is a healthy and happy one for you.
We are optimistic that there are better times ahead and hope we can all enjoy a more settled year.
Keeping one another safe

Unfortunately, Covid rates are still high at the current time and we encourage everyone to keep following guidance, including wearing facemasks and booking your Covid booster.

Please help keep everyone safe by cancelling any appointments with LYHA colleagues or contractors if you (or anyone in your household):
- Is displaying COVID symptoms
- Has tested positive for COVID on either a PCR or lateral flow test
- Is awaiting test results
- Is self-isolating
If you are visiting our office, please wear a facemask
If members of our team or contractors are working in or around your home (including communal gardens) please follow social distancing guidelines. Thank you.
Reconnecting with customers

We recognise that the pandemic has had a significant impact on many people, so over the last three months we have spoken with over 700 customers to check on wellbeing and update details to help us improve our services.

Everyone we speak to is automatically entered into a prize draw and five customers have already won £100. Our calls will continue over the coming weeks and there'll be more cash prizes to win.
Rent Review Letters

We will be writing to all our customers shortly regarding your rent and service charges for the next financial year. Rents will be increasing by 4.1%. With cost increases in the economy generally, and in the building and maintenance sectors in particular, this increase is essential to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, secure, and warm homes now and into the future. LYHA is a not-for-profit organisation and all income is reinvested into our homes and communities, including improving our repairs service, investing in digital technology to improve customer experience and making our homes more energy efficient and sustainable.
Rent changes will take effect from 1st April and our increase is in line with other social housing providers and reflects current government policy on rent-setting.

We recognise that many costs are rising, including food and energy bills. If you are struggling to pay your rent and/or experiencing financial hardship, please contact us as soon as possible on Tel: 0113 278 3335 or email: to speak to one of our dedicated Income Officers. We also have a LYHA Support Fund in place. Please click here to find out more.
Support with rising energy costs

We are able to support customers with pre-payment meters who are experiencing fuel poverty, or are in financial hardship, by providing PayPoint and Post Office vouchers through the HACT Energy Hardship Fund.

If you feel you may be eligible for support, please speak to a member of our neighbourhoods team. Please note, these vouchers are only available to customers with pre-payment meters.

You may qualify for government support with your fuel bills via the Warm Home Discount Scheme or Cold Weather Payment (if you receive certain benefits) or the Winter Fuel Payment (if you are of pension age). Please click the links above to find out more.

The Groundworks Green Doctor project also offers free, independent advice to help you save money on your energy bills. The service is open to anyone throughout Yorkshire, by calling 0113 238 0601 or emailing:
Winter boiler advice

As we're currently in the coldest part of the year, we thought it would be useful to pass on a few tips about how to avoid frozen pipes and what to do should it unfortunately happen.
  • Try to keep your home warm. A constant temperature of at least 18°C is ideal.
  • If you are going away, keep your heating on low or on a timer and make sure that a neighbour has your contact details, so that if a pipe bursts you can find out quickly and minimise any damage.
  • We strongly advise all customers to take out Home Contents Insurance. Prices start from less than £1 a week. Click here to find out more.
  • If your boiler has stopped working and/or you suspect a frozen pipe, you could try pouring warm (not boiling) water along the outside of the external condensate pipe, which is usually white or black plastic and connected to an external drain. Find out more here: How to safely defrost a frozen condensate pipe - YouTube
  • If a pipe has actually burst, turn off the water immediately at the stoptap; turn all cold taps on to drain the system and if water is going into or near electrical equipment, turn the electricity off at the fuse box. Then put a bucket under the leak, wrap a cloth around the pipe and contact our repairs service.
New Repairs Handbook & Customer Commitments

As part of our drive to improve customer experience, and in particular our repairs service, we have recently created a new Repairs Handbook. This sets out how to report a repair and the timescales and service commitments customers can expect from the LYHA team and contractors working on our behalf. You can read a copy here. We will be keeping you updated about further improvements to our repairs service throughout the coming year, including the recent introduction of text acknowledgments that you will receive after you call us to log a repair.

We have also published a Customer Commitments guide which sets out the services and commitments you can expect from LYHA in all our operations, from lettings to repairs to cleaning and gardening. You can read this here.
Plans to build new sustainable homes

We hope to secure planning consent to build 58 new apartments in Leeds City Centre in the coming weeks. The homes will be energy efficient and affordable to run, featuring heat pumps instead of traditional gas central heating, electric vehicle charging points and attractive outside spaces. We will keep you posted as plans develop but expect work to start on site in the summer.
Carbon awareness training

On the subject of sustainability, all LYHA staff and board members have recently undertaken carbon awareness training.
We are committed to playing our part in achieving the government's Net Zero target. Already we have committed to installing low carbon heating solutions in our own new build homes, instead of gas boilers, and we will soon begin retrofitting our older homes to ensure they are as energy efficient and affordable to run as possible, as well as reducing carbon emissions. We need government funding to support the delivery of this and will share details with you in due course about our plans. 
Community drop-in events

Our housing team is getting out and about visiting communities to meet customers and discuss local issues. Our next visit will be in the Bayswater area of Leeds and we will be sending information to customers there shortly.
And finally..............

If you live in Leeds and want to know more about support available for families (from free school meals, to benefits, to emergency food provision) we've spotted this great digital leaflet which tells you exactly where to go and what's available.

We like to receive feedback and suggestions from customers about content you would like to see in future bulletins. Similarly, if you would like to receive these in large print or any other language options, please contact
Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association | 0113 2783335 | |