Simpler structure, same focus on improved lives - your questions answered
1. What’s changed?
We have brought together City West Housing Trust (CWHT), Villages Housing Association (VHA) and Villages Community Housing Association (VCHA) under a single landlord called ForHousing. The changes took effect from 1 April 2019.
2. Why did you do this?
We work closely with staff teams in other parts of the ForViva Group so it made sense to simplify our structure and bring housing services under a single landlord with one name. The aim is to improve services and reduce confusion. It also means people can access a wider pool of resources and skills more easily.
3. What’s changed?
Only the name of the registered providers changed. We kept our charitable status and staff and tenants are not affected. Staff work in the same locations doing the same work they did before the changes.
4. When did it happen?
The new single landlord came into effect on 1 April 2019.
5. Did anyone’s role change?
The plans were about simplifying our structure and making things easier for all of us. People’s roles and responsibilities did not change as a result of this project. Nothing changes in one crucial respect. We are all here to deliver improved lives.
6. Did you seek views on the plans before agreeing them?
We sought views over an eight week period between 16 July and 7 September 2018. We used our websites and Facebook pages as well as putting messages on posters and electronic boards in offices. Staff spoke to tenants and we discussed the plans with stakeholders including local authorities, estate management committees, local MPs and union representatives.
7. What kind of views and questions did people share?
People were supportive of the plans and felt that they made sense. Most of the questions we received were about making sure people had a better understanding about the practical arrangements for how we would operate in the future. We also received a few questions around the governance and constitutional arrangements.
8. How are you involving people in developing ForHousing in the future?
We are currently asking people about the views and beliefs they hold about us – and what’s important to them. ForHousing is more than a logo - it’s about who we are - and that’s why we are seeking views on who you want us to be as a landlord.
1. Has anything changed for me?
No. You’ll receive the same local services delivered by the same friendly faces. Things look a bit different now, with a new name and image. For example, the website is branded ForHousing. The staff you deal with may have a different @forhousing email address. We remain as committed as ever to involving you in reviewing and shaping the services we provide.
2. Has my tenancy or lease changed?
No. You don’t need to do anything differently and you don’t need a new tenancy or lease agreement.
3. Will I pay the same rent?
You won’t pay any more or less as a result of the change to ForHousing.
4. How do I pay my rent and other charges?
Please continue to make payments the way you do now, even if you pay online or via an app, the name has just changed to ForHousing. The easiest way to pay for rent and other regular payments is by setting up a Direct Debit.
If you already pay by Direct Debit we’ll make any necessary changes. You don’t need to do anything differently.
If you pay using an allpay card please continue to use your current card until you have received a new ForHousing branded one.
If you pay by cheque, you’ll need to make this payable to ForHousing.
If you pay by Standing Order or any other method, we will contact you separately and let you know what you need to do.
The easiest way to manage your tenancy is through the MyAccount+ mobile app. It’s the fastest way to contact us, report and track repairs - and much more too. Search 'MyAccount+' on the Apple App Store or Play Store on your mobile device to download.
5. How do I log a repair?
You can log repairs in the same way you do now. If you use the website you’ll need to go to www.forhousing.co.uk.
6. Have I retained my Right to Buy, my preserved Right to Buy or Right to Acquire?
Yes, you have retained the right if you were eligible. There are some exceptions which will continue to apply.
1. What happened to the websites?
We are for keeping things simple. We now have one ForHousing website which aims to reflect tenant needs wherever they live and promotes local events. The City West Housing Trust and Villages websites closed on 1 April and anyone logging on is redirected to the new site. We carried out user testing before going live and welcome any more feedback to help us continually improve the website.
2. What about the intranet and social media accounts?
You can find us on:
ForHousing - Stockbridge Village and Fitton Hill (was Villages)
ForHousing – Salford (was City West Housing Trust)
ForHousing - Cheshire West and Chester
Twitter and LinkedIn
We didn’t make any changes to the ForHousing Twitter account. On LinkedIn we deleted the ForHousing showcase page within the ForViva page and replaced it with a standalone page. The City West Housing Trust and Villages accounts closed.
3. Have you put up new building signs?
We have only put new signs up where we needed to remove branded City West Housing Trust and Villages signs. We left signs which were unbranded and in good repair.
Where possible, we used unbranded signs - like the big ones which have the name of the building on.
4. What about van livery?
We will phase out any City West Housing Trust, Villages and ForWorks branding on vans. In the future, all vans carrying out Liberty tasks will eventually be branded Liberty. We will rebrand vans as they are replaced in order to control costs, so you may see an older version of branding out on the roads over the coming months as the new vans are phased in.
1. Did shareholders for City West Housing Trust become shareholders for ForHousing?
Yes - this happens automatically.
2. Do tenants who are not currently shareholders have the opportunity to become shareholders of ForHousing? If so, how?
We are committed to engaging with you and making sure you are at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to promote shareholding opportunities.
3. How many Board members are there?
The new ForHousing Board has a maximum of 12 Board members. This includes the five Board members who previously represented Villages.
4. Were there any changes to the Board Terms of Reference?
We are reviewing the Board Terms of Reference to reflect the new structures and will include these in the revised Group Scheme of Delegation.
5. Can we see a copy of the terms of reference?
Yes - when it has been approved by the appropriate Boards.
6. Who owns the properties?
The new single landlord, ForHousing, owns the properties across Salford, Knowsley, Oldham and Fylde. In Cheshire West and Chester, ForHousing continues to manage the properties on behalf of the council.
7. Where do you hold your Board meetings?
We will hold Board meetings in the different locations we cover.
1. Will I get a letter letting me know about the changes?
We wrote to you at the end of January 2019 to let you know that from 1 April your landlord will be called ForHousing. You can expect to receive another letter confirming we’ve made the changes in early April 2019.
2. What are the office opening times?
The offices are open as follows:
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 5pm
Tuesday and Thursday – closed
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm
Wednesday – closed
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm
Wednesday – closed
Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm
Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm
3. How do I contact you?
You can contact us by:
Telephone: 0300 123 55 22
4. What do I do if I have a question that isn’t answered on these pages?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively call 0300 123 55 22.