Dales Housing

We have been asked to publish some information from Dales Housing, which was sent to the Parish Council and might be of interest to Villagers. The statement by Dales Housing is set out below.

“There seems to be a misconception that the type of accommodation provided by Dales Housing i.e. ‘social housing’ is for unemployed people or those in receipt of welfare benefits. This is incorrect; a large number of our tenants are in full time employment or have previously owned their own property. Dales Housing’s rents are very competitive and present an affordable housing choice in locations throughout the Dales. Our properties are also repaired and maintained to a very high ‘lettable’ standard, which compares very favourably to private rented accommodation.

I am looking to forge stronger communication and referral links between Dales Housing and local parishes. This will enable us to consult organisations such as yourselves and receive feedback about current initiatives in your area which impact both on our tenants and the wider community.

Also, I hope it would be beneficial for you to receive details of vacant properties available in your area as you may know individuals who could benefit from a move to such properties. It is vitally important to us that local residents are aware of rehousing opportunities in their own village or surrounding area and indeed many properties have a local connection requirement where applicants are given first priority if they live, have lived or have family in the area.

Another key benefit I would like to highlight is our properties are available to applicants who currently own their own home but would like to move closer to family members for support. This may be of particular interest to your parishioners who have elderly relatives living some distance away but are wanting them to relocate.

We currently have a number of properties available for older applicants aged 55 and over. These properties range from I bedroomed flats in various locations throughout the Dales, where the Housing Officer calls on a daily basis, or flats or studios within schemes, where a ‘warden’ is on site during the day and there are facilities such as a communal lounge and IT suite and activities are organised on a regular basis, such as keep fit, coffee mornings, lunches, art sessions and fruit and veg sales! As accommodation for older applicants is called ‘sheltered’ this can sometimes be off putting as it suggests a care or nursing home situation. This is totally incorrect – all applicants live independently but just have the reassurance of a daily visit and a call alarm facility.

Indeed, from April next year, residents will have the choice not to receive any visits or to receive visits on a timescale to suit their lifestyle.

The benefits of sheltered accommodation is the security, a smaller property to maintain and neighbours of a similar age group. Some properties may have small adaptations such as grab rails or level access showers.

Properties are currently allocated via the Home Options choice based lettings scheme, which is internet based and applicants place a ‘bid’ to register their interest. Although property sheets can also be posted out to older applicants and are displayed in libraries etc., I am concerned many potential applicants do not access a computer on a regular basis and therefore may be missing out on a home more suitable to their changing needs.

As previously mentioned, to ensure we are able to reach as many applicants as possible, I am looking to set up a joint referral mechanism by which organisations can contact us with details of potential tenants and/or we can send out details on a regular basis of properties that may be of interest to your parishioners.”

If anyone would like to enquire about these facilities, please contact Bernadette Lawley: Senior Housing Officer – Voids and Allocations, Dales Housing, 01629 593200.