Resident Newsletter - Autumn/Winter 2023
We are thrilled to bring you this newsletter.
There will be two for the year, bringing you the latest updates, sharing good news stories, valuable resources and essential information to help you make the most of your home.
You can either read on below or, if you would prefer, you can download and print - Customer Newsletter - Autumn 2023.pdf [pdf] 293KB
If you have a story for us, or would like to share your thoughts, ideas or feedback, email us at email@example.com or call 0300 304 5000.
Message from Ian Martin, CEO
Welcome to our customer newsletter.
I want to tell you about some of the spending decisions we’ve taken over the last couple of years. I also want to talk about our repairs service, but firstly I want to focus on any worries you might have because of the current cost of living crisis.
Times are tough and we want to understand how we can best help you.
In December we will be asking you some questions in a survey to find out how things are for you. High energy prices and inflation are just two of the things that might be causing you problems. We want to understand more, so we can provide help and support in the most useful ways. If you need any advice and support now, please contact one of my team on 0300 3045000 who will be happy to help.
Spending money to keep customers safe.
The last couple of years have been some of the most challenging in the history of the Housing Association movement. The highest rate of inflation since 1981, plus increasing interest rates (the highest since 2008) and soaring costs have all impacted on Estuary. Frustratingly, this means we have less money to do all the things we want to. Also, that we get less for our money when we buy goods and services.
We’ve had to make some hard choices. Replacing dangerous cladding on two high-rise blocks as well as fire doors in many homes has cost more than £24 million. Choosing to do this means we have had to scale back on developing new homes and other work that we had planned. I know we have had to disappoint some customers who were expecting new kitchens and bathrooms. I’m sorry that our money has not been able to go further but am pleased to say that, despite current challenges, we are in sound financial shape.
Improving our repairs service.
We want repairs to be done speedily and well and for you to be kept informed about what is happening at every stage. We know that our repairs service needs to be better and are working with our contractor (Axis Europe) to improve things. There are some big hurdles here, such as a lack of skilled labour, but we hope to see repair times improve. I know that we don’t always get things right, and when that happens, I am determined that we apologise and put things right as soon as we can.
We want to provide housing that you are proud to call home.
This is at the heart of our social purpose. It’s not just a slogan, it’s what keeps us on track through challenging times. I sincerely hope that “By providing housing our customers are proud to call home, we change lives for the better every day.”
Welcome from the Resident Voice and Influence Panel
We’re a resident led group, holding Estuary to account. You might have seen us out and about; we’ve recently participated in the Customer Voice Roadshows and got to meet with many customers there.
We’d love to add to our numbers, so if you’d like to join us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 304 5000.
If you'd like to find out more before contacting us, visit the Resident VIP area of the Estuary website.
Anna Firth Visits Kingswood Chase
Anna Firth MP came to visit our five Leigh-on-Sea residents at Kingswood Chase, as part of the Starts at Home Campaign!
She spent time speaking with the residents about their hobbies, interests and living in supported care.
She also spoke with our CEO Ian Martin, Helen Gregory (Director of Customer Services) and Lucy Drake (Head of Care and Support Operations) about all things social housing.
We really have a lot to be proud of! The difference supported care makes to people’s lives is immeasurable and it’s important to keep that in mind in all we do.
We Welcome All Feedback
We’re committed to providing our residents with a great service, so any feedback we from you is valuable to us, as it helps us to learn and improve our services.
The lessons we learn from complaints in particular are key in improving our services. You can view some these on our dedicated lessons learnt page.
Home Contents Insurance
Nobody wants to think about the worst happening. While we make sure we have buildings insurance, we encourage you to look at contents insurance, as we don’t provide this.
The National Housing Federation work in partnership with Thistle Insurance Services Ltd.
Call Thistle Tenant Risks on 0345 450 7288 or you can visit thistlemyhome.co.uk for more information or to request a call back.