We'll always do everything we can to make sure our tenants are happy and safe in their homes. Take a look at our most recent case studies below to see how we've helped our tenants not only with practical support, but wellbeing support as well.
Brightening up our communities
Over the past few months we have been working with our partner Chiltern Rangers and our wonderful tenants to brighten up areas within some of the estates that we manage.
In Mahoney Court we worked with our tenants to make use of a large empty planter at the front of the site and filled it with flowers, shrubs and herbs to be enjoyed by the tenants.
Malvern Close also had a tidy up with planters installed, fences and railings painted, and some bespoke artwork put on display with many tenants coming along to help out and making the area look virtually brand-new!
Shiplake House has also benefitted from the support of Chiltern Rangers by creating a wonderful community garden! A compost heap has been built, along with wooden planters, and fruit bushes and veggies have been planted. Bird boxes have also been built, and some lovely artwork created to tie everything together. This project was driven by the tenants/leaseholders who live at Shiplake House, who submitted their ideas to the Environmental Improvement Group.
Helping older tenants access benefits (January 2023)
In July 2022 Age UK reported that between 1.4 and 2.1 million pensioners in the UK were living in poverty, yet around £2.4 billion of pension credit and housing benefit remains unclaimed every year. According to Matt, one of our Inclusion & Wellbeing Specialists, this story is all too true for some Red Kite tenants in our sheltered schemes. He often finds that older tenants don't like to take up benefits they feel they are not entitled to, but also that the claim system can be very confusing.
Thankfully Matt uses his expertise to help many of our tenants navigate the complex system, and in January he helped four tenants access housing and council tax benefits which amounted to almost £9,000 a year each.
"If someone is receiving a state pension, a pension credit guarantee, and has less than £10,000 in savings, they have a good chance of claiming the financial support they are entitled to. I can support them with an online application, and then it’s just a case of providing the evidence to the council. It really does make a big difference - and they deserve to access it after paying into the system for so many years."
We're proud to have such a supportive team that genuinely impacts people's lives, and we'll continue to support those most in need through our wellbeing service. Please get in touch if you'd like to discuss whether you may be eligible for support.
Help with hoarding (December 2022)
While carrying out a Home Check with a tenant, one of our Community Specialists spotted that as well as the condition of the home deteriorating, the tenant seemed to be struggling, and there was no gas or electricity in the home. The Community Specialist quickly escalated this case, and we brought in Wycombe Mind’s Free Space project to provide guidance and support to our tenant.
At Red Kite we’re passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, and we recognise that to do this successfully, we often need to work in partnership with other organisations in our community, such as Wycombe Mind. Their Free Space project was developed to provide dedicated support to those affected by issues relating to hoarding, and has helped to improve the mental health and wellbeing of tenants whose home environment has been negatively affecting them. Having originally supported this project through our Springboard fund, we soon realised how important this service was, and we now use Wycombe Mind as a contractor for complex hoarding cases.
As Wycombe Mind already had a relationship with our tenant, this made it easier for them to gain access into their home so that essential repairs could be carried out. Over the course of a few weeks, the home was cleared, the tenant was offered mental health support, and gas and electricity were restored and safety-checked. Wycombe Mind even delivered a Christmas meal to them!
Mobility scooter storage (February 2022)
A tenant contacted us to ask permission to store a mobility scooter in the communal hallway. However due to health and safety rules, we couldn't agree to this. His flat is small so it's not possible to keep the scooter indoors. We explored a couple of other options with him, but both were unsuitable.
As we spoke to him, we learned that he has a disability and relies on a church for support - they collect him once a week and take him to church. He explained that other than this he can't leave his home because of his disability, and is socially isolated. He hasn't lived in this home for long but the fact that he needs a mobility scooter hadn't been flagged up, therefore he's been housed in the wrong type of property for his needs.
His 60th birthday is coming up in June, which means that he'll be eligible for one of our sheltered schemes, where he can continue to live independently, but with extra support and space for his mobility scooter. Our sheltered schemes are designed for those who want the freedom to live independently within a community of similar-aged people. P3 housing will support him in making another application to Bucks Home Choice, and we've explained that he would get priority banding due to a surplus of sheltered housing. He is happy to wait until then and felt that this was the best way forward.
However, we were still concerned about him being socially isolated, living alone and with a disability, so we offered him support through our Wellbeing Team, which he agreed to. Our Wellbeing Team offers financial and wellbeing support to tenants who may be struggling.
Our tenant called to say:
"Thank you, thank you so much! What a great young man Deepak (Inclusion and Wellbeing Project Lead) is – he's been so helpful. He referred me to the foodbank which has been amazing - their parcels are so big! He also sorted me out help with my electricity bill and vouchers to spend in Morrisons. You are such great landlords - I have never had a landlord that has supported me like this, you really have done so much. Deepak has been so understanding, please do let him know."