Tag: Housing

Wythenshawe residents getting their say on housing


Residents in Wythenshawe are getting the chance to have their say in a bid improve social housing.

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group are in the middle of a major consultation exercise with residents to contribute to the government’ s Green Paper – A New Deal for Social Housing.

Residents are being asked to give their views when they ring WCHG’s customer contact centre and a series of events are being organised to give local people a voice on the future of housing.

Dean Slavin, leading the consultation for WCHG, says the aim of exercise is to collate 1000 responses to be presented in a report – “The Voice of Wythenshawe”, before the government’s deadline on November 6th.

The government’s consultation is centred around five themes :

  • Ensuring homes are safe and decent
  • Moving away from long convoluted complaints system
  • Providing a voice for tenants for holding organisations to account
  • Tackling the stigma of social housing – moving away from notions of sink estates
  • Promoting home ownership schemes.

The government want public opinion on it from tenants, social housing leaseholders, or shared owners. Wythenshawe residents are being asked about a different theme each week. Consultation in Wythenshawe began on September 10th and is running till October 12th.

Dean is particularly passionate about tackling the stereotypes associated with social housing and changing attitudes and language. He says there has been a positive response to the consultation so far.

He said: “The Government produced a very long and complex survey. We decided to scrap that and produce a more straightforward set of questions. The responses will be collated and presented in a report “The Voice of Wythenshawe”, before the government’s deadline on November 6th.”

There will also be a series of customer panels and they are working with tenants and residents groups in Benchill, Northenden, Village 135 and Baguley.

The government has attracted criticism from some quarters who see the Green Paper as a missed opportunity. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says the initiative could have spearheaded a growth in affordable housing as a way of tackling poverty.

The JRF’s Chief Executive, Campbell Robb, said: “Families up and down the country are being trapped in poverty because of high housing costs. The Social Housing Green Paper was an opportunity to right this wrong and deliver a plan that would build a new generation of social housing, that would loosen the grip of poverty on families and help people to build a secure future.

“Whilst the plans to empower tenants and give them a real voice are very welcome the lack of concrete plans to build significantly more truly affordable homes risks failing a generation. Against a back drop of rising foodbank use, families on low incomes will continue to face impossible choices about whether to pay the rent or put food on the table. We urge the Government to invest in 80,000 genuinely affordable homes a year at the next Spending Review to put things right.”

Wythenshawe MP praises landlord and fire service for removing tower block cladding

wp-1478947269179.jpegWythenshawe MP Mike Kane has praised Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and the fire service after cladding was removed from a tower block in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

Mr Kane said earlier this week he understood that none of Wythenshawe’s tower blocks were fitted with cladding which has been associated with the rapid spread of the London fire in which at least 79 people killed or are missing presumed dead.

But after a review by landlord, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service, cladding was removed from one of the blocks.

In a statement, Mr Kane said: “We are all shocked by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. Our thoughts are with those who are affected by the fire, and we are grateful to the emergency services who responded so rapidly and bravely. It is vital that we get to the bottom of how this fire happened, hold those responsible to account, and do what is needed to make sure it does not happen again.

“Wythenshawe Community Housing Group responded quickly following the fire and have been working with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service to ensure the safety of their tenants. They have inspected all blocks and where cladding was present this has been sent off for testing. This processes has identified an issue with some of the panelling on Village 135 and immediate steps are being taken to remove the panelling.  However the view of the Fire & Rescue Service is that Village 135 is a safe building.

“I am grateful to WCHG and GMFRS for their swift response and the steps they are taking to ensure that residents are safe and have the necessary reassurances about fire safety in their their homes.”

Wythenshawe tower blocks “do not have Grenfell-style cladding” says MP

DSC_0131MP Mike Kane has assured residents living in tower blocks in Wythenshawe that none are fitted with the controversial cladding linked to Grenfell Tower tragedy in London last week.

The rapid spread of the fire in which at least 79 people are dead or missing presumed dead, is still being investigated but has been attributed to the use of a type of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding which is banned in Europe and, according to Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, is also banned in the UK.

Councils and housing associations across the country have been ordered to urgently check whether the tower blocks in their areas have been cladded using similar materials to those at the Grenfell Tower. Continue reading “Wythenshawe tower blocks “do not have Grenfell-style cladding” says MP”