News from Bolton at Home
Here you'll find our most recent news articles, from important tenant updates and new housing developments, to new community initiatives and activities.
Challenge Poverty Week: Read about our anti-poverty pledge and how we help
Challenge Poverty Week (11-17 October) is a national week of action designed to highlight the issue of poverty in England and Wales.
To show our support for Challenge Poverty Week, we’re highlighting what we’re doing with our partners and communities to alleviate poverty in Bolton and across Greater Manchester and different ways to get in touch with us if you need some support.
Updating and renewing our anti-poverty pledge
We've joined forces with the other housing organisations that make up the Greater Manchester Housing Providers to sign up to an updated anti-poverty pledge. The GMHP anti-poverty pledge cover six priorities, which are:
- Reducing inequalities
- Social inclusion
- Employment and skills
- Housing and homelessness
- Social value
- Fair employment.
These priorities cover 29 individual commitments that ensure we’re taking a comprehensive and consistent approach to alleviating the immediate burden of poverty and addressing some of the more fundamental causes of poverty.
You can read more about GMHP’s anti-poverty pledge at: https://gmhousing.co.uk/2021/10/08/poverty-pledges.
Some of the ways we help to prevent or tackle poverty
Supporting people into or towards employment, improving skills
Employment and skills support can be a springboard into work and away from poverty.
Last year we were involved in 328 positive outcomes as we supported people into paid work or towards employment through education, training, or experience opportunities.
Our Working Wardrobe project supported 161 people with interview coaching and a full outfit.
We’ve so far provided 23 employment opportunities with us and partners through the Kickstart programme.
In the year ahead GMHP members have pledged to support 1,500 people into work, 10,000 with training, 400 apprenticeships and 200 kickstart placements.
Building new homes
It's essential everyone has access to housing they can afford and that’s based on their needs.
As well as providing a safe and secure place to live, new energy-efficient homes can also help people reduce energy bills and have more money in their pocket.
We’re currently providing 1,400 new affordable and sustainable homes over five years to meet local demand, prevent overcrowding in family homes, reduce the risk of homelessness and keep household running costs down for people.
We can also reinvest income generated by new developments, including some shared ownership properties, to help upgrade older homes and provide vital community services
Addressing fuel poverty, becoming more sustainable
Last year we saved people £60,000 on energy bills through tariff reviews and meter changes.
We install around 950 new boilers in a typical year and carry out approximately 80 insulation upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of tenants’ homes.
We’ve also started to fit air source heat pumps in properties that can accommodate them.
Making homes more energy efficient and sustainable helps reduce fuel poverty.
Helping customers keep more of their money
We work hard to keep more money in our customers' pockets.
Last year our Money Advice Team found over £10 million worth of savings or benefits that people were entitled to. This was an increase of £4 million compared to 2019-20.
In total, 2,414 customers were given expert money advice. This included 87 customers who accessed money through our hardship fund to pay emergency bills and 167 customers received a full benefit entitlement check through their Welfare Support Officer.
Helping people make positive changes
Starts with you (www.startswithyou.org.uk) is a subsidiary we set up to support local communities.
It’s a social enterprise, which means it’s focused on its social purpose and being a force for good by helping people to make positive change.
Starts with you also delivers support services like life coaching, digital skills, energy and money advice, increasing our overall offer to help tenants and residents overcome worries and flourish.
Last year Starts with you delivered £350,000 of financial gains for customers.
Reducing inequality, creating opportunity
Through GMHP's Covid-resilience plan we are committed to supporting people into the zero-carbon and digital sectors, with an emphasis on opening doors for more women, disabled people, care leavers, older people, and ethnic minority residents into these growth industries.
Tackling homelessness is a key first step towards alleviating poverty for many people. Together with our GMHP partners we've helped over 800 rough sleepers and homeless households into secure homes, providing the additional support they need to move forward with their lives.
Would you like our support?
We want to use Challenge Poverty Week to help even more people who may need our support. For more information about how we may be able to help you, here’s all the ways you can get in touch with us.
- Phone us on 01204 328000.
- Email us at email@example.com
- Use our Live Chat service (in the bottom right corner of our website).
- Direct message us on Facebook.
- Contact one of our UCAN centre teams online, by phone or in person- full details at: www.boltonathome.org.uk/find-a-ucan
- Our Valley House reception is open for pre-arranged visits. Please contact us by phone or online to make an appointment.
You can find more contact details and a customer feedback form here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/contact-us
This quarter, we thought you’d find our 2020/21 Annual Report more useful than a standalone issue of TAP4.
Why? Because it includes more detail on many of the topics we’d otherwise include in the latest TAP4 issue.
a breakdown of how we spent EVERY PENNY from each pound of rent you'd paid us,
how building NEW BUILD HOMES benefits you, regardless of whether you live in one,
and the exact number of COMPLAINTS we’ve received, as well as some examples of how we’ve learnt from them (such as missed appointments, fly tipping, and our Antisocial Behaviour Policy).
Want to read a previous issue of TAP4? No problem. They're listed below:
Past TAP4 issues (newest first):