LYHA Customer Bulletin - March 2021
We may still be in lockdown for a while longer but there is a general feeling of optimism now that the vaccine programme is being rolled out and infection rates are starting to fall.

This feeling is reflected around our gardens and estates where we're starting to see some signs of spring, with snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils beginning to spring up and our gardening team have just begun grass cutting for the year ahead.
Rent review letters

You should have recently received a letter from us outlining your new rent for the coming year, beginning 1st April 2021. If for any reason you have not received this, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
  • If you receive Universal Credit, you will need to login to your DWP journal and ‘Report a change’ in your housing costs: Please do this promptly on 1st April, as your UC will not be increased until you do this and they do not backdate payments.
  • If you receive Housing Benefit, you will need to telephone or email your local council benefits team.
  • If you pay us by Direct Debit you don’t need to do anything. The amount will be automatically changed. Please check your statement. However, if you pay by any other method (such as online banking, your mylyha account or Post Office GIRO) you will need to change the amount yourself. Please make sure this is done in time for 1st April, when your new rent is due. Or why not set up a direct debit? It’s very easy to do, just visit:
Struggling with money?

If you are struggling to pay your rent and bills or worrying about spiralling debts, please call us straight away and ask to speak to an Income Officer. They can signpost you to the right sources of support to help you get your finances under control.
It is our firm policy that we will not evict anyone that is experiencing financial hardship due to the current crisis.
We also have a LYHA Support Fund in place to help customers who are struggling. Recent help we’ve given to customers has included supermarket shopping vouchers and purchasing white goods and smart phones/tablets to help people access the internet.
Improving our repairs service

We are working with GTD to improve our repairs service, following the award of the new 8 year repairs contract in October 2020. We have started by conducting a full review of our repairs process to ensure we understand where we can make big changes over the years ahead. We want to provide a streamlined repairs service that not only deals with repairs promptly and efficiently, but also keeps you informed and satisfied throughout.

We have made some quick changes already, such as providing an option to speak to GTD directly when you call, increasing our use of customer satisfaction feedback so we can learn as we go, and working with the repairs operatives to ensure jobs get fixed first time wherever possible. Over the coming months we will be working on improvements to our IT systems so LYHA and GTD can share information better and help our surveyors to provide a better service when out and about. We will keep you updated over the coming months.
Tell us what you think about our website

We would really appreciate it if you could you take a couple of minutes to give us your feedback on our website: by filling in this very short survey:
The site is now nearly 5 years old and we would like to make some improvements to help you, our customers, access the information and services you need as quickly and easily as possible. All responses will be anonymous and we would really welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you.
Beware of fraud

We'd like to raise awareness about disrepair claim companies who may wish to make money from you and your home - generally, these companies will make approaches by door knocking or calling you. Some will say that they are working on behalf of ‘the housing’ or Leeds & Yorkshire and will ask to complete a survey on your home.
Please be advised that they are not calling on behalf of Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association.
Our surveyors and repairs team will always make an appointment with you prior to visiting your home and will carry identification. If you are unsure about who may be trying to gain access to your home, please call our Customer Services Team on 0113 278 3335.
We would encourage you to contact us in the first instance if you are unhappy with any significant delays to repairs to your home. Many issues can be resolved through our complaints procedure. If you would like to find out more about disrepair claims and processes, please visit the dedicated page on our website.
Free digital and employability training

Looking to update your skills or find a new job?
We have been working with Realise (formerly Interserve Learning & Employment) over the last year to offer free digital skills and employability training to LYHA customers. So far, we have had 7 customers undertake free training courses and another two are due to begin shortly.
The next Essential Digital Skills course will start on 12th April. Learners will develop a range of digital skills, including how to use IT equipment and stay safe online, using common applications such as Word, spreadsheets and managing your money, as well as the basic skills and knowledge to source, apply and secure a job and/or further learning opportunities online. You can carry out the training from home and all LYHA customers who sign up will receive a free tablet. To find out more or register, please contact Toni Easter on Tel: 07525 902643 or Email:

Another useful source of learning is the Barclays LifeSkills programme, which offers a raft of easy to use resources and guidance on employability, finance, wellbeing and learning opportunities for all the family. All the content is free and features short, flexible modules to help you achieve your goals. To find out more, visit:
Together with Tenants Charter

LYHA is a member of the National Housing Federation and we have signed up to their 'Together with Tenants' charter and new code of governance. This is a sector-wide initiative focused on strengthening the relationship between residents and housing association landlords and very much aligned with our commitment to ensuring customers are at the heart of everything we do. 
The charter's six commitments are:
  • Relationships - We have recently developed a new corporate plan and values which we have shared with you. It is all about working in collaboration and partnership with you (our customers), our colleagues and Board members to build on the transformation work of the last two years and make further improvements to our services.
  • Communication – we believe in being open and transparent and sharing details of our plans, performance and areas for improvement. We do this via regular newsletters, our website, social media channels and Annual Report to Customers which we review with customers every year.
  • Voice and Influencewe listen to what you tell us: we undertake over 1,500 customer surveys a year and use that feedback to inform our service improvements. Our plans for the coming year include a new 'Improving Customer Experience' strategy, due to be released this spring.
  • Accountability - we are firmly committed to making decisions and improvements in partnership with our customers. Our Customer Experience Committee and Board include five customers who are working with us as part of the team that lead the organisation. We also have a group of customers (known as our Customer Scrutiny Panel) who carry out independent reviews of our policies and processes twice a year. Recent reviews have included our estates and repairs services.
  • Quality – we invest over £1.5 million a year on maintaining and improving our homes. In addition, we build over 50 new homes every year to help address the national housing crisis.
  • When Things Go Wrong – so far this year we have resolved 96% of complaints at stage one. We recently reviewed our complaints policy in line with the Housing Ombudsman Service’s new Complaints Code and will be moving to a two stage process from end of March.
Remember to fill in your census

Remember Census Day is 21st March. Please take the time to fill it in - the information you give helps decide how services from healthcare to housing are provided and funded in your area (you could also be fined if you don't complete it).

You should receive a letter with an access code shortly which will allow you to complete the questionnaire online via a laptop, mobile phone or tablet. If you can’t do this, then you can request a paper form.
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
Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association | 0113 2783335 | |