RHA Wales continues to progress a planned merger with Coastal Housing Group (CHG) to create a new organisation.

Another significant milestone has been reached, with appointments to the Executive Team of the new merger organisation.
Following a thorough selection process, we are pleased to confirm the following appointments that will take effect when the merger completes:
• Executive Director of People – Caroline Belasco
• Executive Director of Transformation & Insight – Jen Ellis
• Executive Director of Development & Growth – Rhianydd Jenkins
• Executive Director of Operations – Serena Jones
• Executive Director of Finance – Simon Jones
Along with the previously announced appointments of CEO Designate Debbie Green and Deputy Chief Executive Designate Luke Takeuchi, this completes the Executive Team for the new merger organisation.
Our next focus in terms of recruitment is to complete the remaining appointments to the merger organisation’s board, to join Chair Designate Peter Hughes and Vice Chair Designate Patrick Hoare, whose appointments were announced last month.

If you would like to find out more about our organisation’s merger then please visit our dedicated webpage:
www.rhawales.com/merger

As per our previous news article, RHA Wales is progressing a planned merger with Coastal Housing Group to create a new organisation.

This work is well advanced, and we are making good progress against our plan. We have now reached a significant milestone, with the first executive and non-executive appointments being made after a thorough assessment process.

 

Peter Hughes has been appointed as Chair Designate and Patrick Hoare as Vice Chair Designate of the new organisation. They are currently the Chairs of RHA and Coastal respectively, so will bring lots of relevant experience.
Coastal’s current CEO, Debbie Green, has been appointed as the Group CEO Designate of the new organisation and RHA’s current CEO, Luke Takeuchi, has been appointed as Deputy CEO Designate. This means that Debbie will head up the new merger organisation as Chief Executive from day one, working closely with Luke as Deputy Chief Executive. Debbie and Luke will also become members of the new organisation’s board of management.
Having these key leadership roles in place will ensure both a smooth transition at point of merger and strong succession planning.

 

For more information or to chat to a member of our team then get in touch:

Telephone: 01443 424200   Email: [email protected]

We are proud to have worked with Cwm Taf Local Health Board & Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council on our new hospital discharge facility provision which is providing essential and much needed hospital discharge accommodation.

Dan Yr Allt, in Rhydeflin was developed by P&P Building and Roofing Contractors utilising land owned by RHA Wales.  Our collaborative approach enabled us to design and develop an adapted property alleviating hospital bed demand on the NHS and providing individuals with adaptions to ensure independent living can be achieved and quality of life improved.

A funding package of Integrated Care Funding, Housing with Care Funding and private finance from ourselves at RHA Wales, enabled delivery of this special project. This new home enables individuals to move from a hospital setting to an accessible and suitable property, whilst they complete their recovery journey and/or until they are ready to return to their own home full time or until permanent suitable accommodation is identified for them.

 

The two-bedroom bungalow is suitable for one person and an additional bedroom for a family member or a carer. It comprises of a fully adapted kitchen and bathroom, tracked hoist system, power assisted doors, external scooter store and level access all around the property to enable the occupants to easily access external areas and enjoy the peaceful and tranquil setting that surrounds the bungalow.

Designed and built to be non-fossil fuel, the property meets EPC A standard utilising air source heat pump and solar pv as opposed to traditional methods, WDQR – Beautiful Homes and Spaces Standards and Lifetime Homes Standard.

The long-term aim is that this home is a model for what can be delivered by working collaboratively with health, housing as in Local Authority and RSL. Often these sorts of initiatives are considered on large scale builds, what we have demonstrated together is small builds like our Dan Yr Allt project can have a big impact and play a part in elevating pressures on our NHS and move individuals to a more suitable setting to aid their recovery.

From a project delivery perspective, and a mixed funding model, smaller, often less financially viable projects can be delivered and improve lives. And that’s key. Without this approach the land at Dan Yr Allt would likely remain as vacant land. However, through collaboration, a shared aim we have delivered something special that is having a positive impact, and together we are providing a vital resource for a recently discharged hospital patient whose is integrating herself back into the community, regaining her independence whilst waiting for her permanent accommodation to be sourced.

Like all housing associations, RHA Wales is regulated by Welsh Government.

In October 2023, Welsh Government wrote to us to tell us how much we can increase our rents. In early 2024 we sent you  ‘notice of rent change 2024-2025’ letter in the post which included confirmation of service charges (if you pay them). Plus we included support and advice information which is available to you and your families.
Following a rise in attacks caused by XL Bully dog breeds across England and Wales, the government has added this breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. RHA Wales is encouraging its tenants who own XL Bully dogs to get their animals registered for exemption ahead of the January 31st 2024 deadline.

We know this can be worrying and upsetting time for owners whose dogs are affected by this legislation. As a landlord we have no intention of banning XL Bullies or acting against tenants solely based on owning such dogs. However, we do have a duty to inform and remind tenants of the new laws coming into effect and to ensure that dogs do not cause a nuisance to neighbours.

WHAT IS AN XL BULLY DOG?

A suspected XL Bully breed type does not need to fit the physical description perfectly. The general impression is a large dog with a muscular body and blocky head, suggesting strength and power for its size. If your dog meets the minimum height measurements and a substantial number of the characteristics outlined in the link below, it could be considered an XL Bully breed type. This includes:

  • If it was not sold as an XL Bully
  • Cross breeds that look more like XL Bully dogs than any other type of dog

Please see the Governments website for more information: Check if a dog is an XL Bully – GOV.UK (gov.uk)

 

IS IT ILLEGAL FOR ME TO OWN AN XL BULLY DOG?

As of 31st December 2023, it is now illegal to sell, breed or give away an XL Bully dog, prohibited under the Dangerous Dog Act. Owners have until the 31st of January 2024 to exempt their dogs they suspect of being a XL Bully under the Government process or ensuring they are humanely euthanised.

It’s important to know that from 31 December 2023, XL Bully dogs must wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead when in a public place. It’s important to introduce your dog to a muzzle gradually and positively. There’s some really good guidance on how to do this from our friends at the Blue Cross. Click here: Blue Cross muzzle training advice.

 

KEY DATES FOR XL BULLY BREED LEGISLATION: 
  • 31 October 2023 — the Government announced that the American Bully XL type dog had been added to the banned breeds list in England and Wales.
  • 31 December 2023 — it became illegal to breed, sell, advertise, rehome, abandon or allow an American Bully XL type dog to stray.
  • 15 January 2024 — deadline to apply for a Certificate of Exemption by post.
  • 31 January 2024 — deadline to apply for a Certificate of Exemption online (12 noon).
  • 1 February 2024 — it will become illegal to own an XL bully type dog if you are not registered on the Index of Exempted dogs. Owners must also have third party public liability insurance in place, and dogs must be microchipped and neutered (unless they’re too young, see other dates below).
  • 31 March 2024 — deadline to have your dog microchipped and give the microchip number to Defra, if your dog was less than eight weeks old when you applied for a Certificate of Exemption.
  • 30 June 2024 — deadline to have your dog neutered and give evidence to Defra, if your dog was more than one year old on 31 January 2024.
  • 31 December 2024 — deadline to have your dog neutered and give evidence to Defra, if your dog was less than one year old on 31 January 2024.

 

HOW CAN I APPLY FOR AN EXEMPTION? 

You can now apply for a Certificate of Exemption to legally keep your dog and information about how to do this is on Government website. You will have until the end of February to do this. Owners will have to pay an application fee of £92.40.

As part of the process to exempt your dog, you will also need third-party liability insurance, this is insurance against your dog injuring other people and this is provided through Dogs Trust. Take a look at their website, click here: Companion Club | Dogs Trust.

  • Your dog must be microchipped (which is already a legal requirement).
  • Your dog will also need to be neutered.
  • If your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, they must be neutered by 31 December 2024.
  • If your dog is older than one year old on 31 January 2024, they must be neutered by 30 June 2024.

We recommend that you arrange for your dog to be neutered as soon as possible to ensure that you meet these deadlines. Once your dog has been exempted you must adhere to the conditions otherwise you could be committing a criminal offence, and your dog could be seized. You must be able to show the Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or a council dog warden either at the time or within 5 days.

RHA Wales will also need to have a copy of your Certificate of Exemption, if you are keeping your dog in one of our homes and we will be amending our Pet’s Policy to take account of these legislative changes.

Christmas Support & Festive Cheer

We understand that the festive season can be challenging for many. We know that people are struggling with the cost of living crisis and energy bills rising.  Our RHA Wales colleagues worked hard to fundraise during 2023 to ensure we are able to help to offer some festive cheer this Christmas.

Our festive hampers are offered to those identified by our Housing and Payment Advisors as well as offering everyone into help themselves to our community fridges.

The festive hampers include:

* Items for Christmas dinner

* Treats for families like selection boxes, chocolates and mince pies

* Food cupboard staples to batch cook

*Pet food for furry companions

*Toiletries, sanitary products and home essentials

We’re also providing winter warm packs are through funding from the local authority. Our front line staff  identify those in need, and offer to those struggling with heating or aren’t appropriately clothed for the cold weather.

Through working with generous partners we have donated the hampers this week to tenants and community members, our colleagues and our awesome tenant volunteers made sure hampers were delivered to doorsteps in time for Christmas. Ensuring those in need were provided with festive food and gifts for their children, it’s been lovely to brighten Christmas day for those who need a helping hand.

We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and thank you all for your donation, support and volunteering.

Fundraising and working with partners and awesome volunteers to donate almost 100 hampers to those in need this Christmas!

We’re pleased to share that we’ve started talking to our friends at Coastal Housing Group about merging to form a new organisation.

We want to create a 10,000 home organisation for the future; one which constantly raises the bar to deliver improved services and homes for our tenants. We’ll have increased capacity and resilience to deliver a greater number of new, high-quality homes each year.

We’re focused on growth and investment in existing homes and services, and we also want to create a more resilient organisation with a wider geographical reach.

There are strong, shared values across RHA and Coastal and we’re excited to explore creating a new, combined organisation which can have an even greater impact across the communities within which we operate and beyond.

The key drivers for the proposed merger have been jointly identified as:

  • To be in the strongest position to meet the challenges and expectations for housing associations in the coming years
  • To achieve increased capacity for growth and greater organisational resilience
  • To maintain and improve the quality of homes and services to our residents by combining our resources and expertise
  • To maintain and improve our community regeneration work
  • To enable greater capacity and resilience to learn, explore and develop new and enhanced services for our tenants
  • To be an employer of choice, able to recruit and retain talented skilled colleagues

For more information or to chat to a member of our team then get in touch:

Telephone: 01443 424200   Email: [email protected]

In this time of climate emergency, we are delighted to have received UK Government funding which enables us to launch our new exciting Greener RCT project.

We are offering educational activities and opportunities that address the importance of working to combat climate change. We are working across RCT, in partnership with local businesses, schools, colleges, the construction industry and community groups championing change through collective climate action.

Maes Trisant Finds New A New Home With RHA Wales

We are pleased to welcome thirty one new tenants and see them benefit from our local services and community presence. 

Building on our Corporate Plan commitment to grow the organisation and increase our overall resilience, this purchase from Habinteg Housing Association will not only increase our stock numbers but will complement our existing portfolio as RHA already owns over 80 homes in Talbot Green and has an adjacent housing estate a few minutes from Maes Trisant.

Both our organisations have been working through the transfer process for around six months and in consultation with tenants and staff, today we see the completion of the acquisition and smooth transition to RHA as the new landlord.

We are pleased to announce the acquisition of 31 homes to our portfolio.

At RHA we are committed to listening to and hearing the views of each one of our tenants on all the services we provide.

 

Each year, we carry out a STAR survey, where we ask for your feedback which helps us to make improvements and ensure tour support, activities and services meet your needs.

We know we may not always get things right, so our tenant commitment is to listen and learn from your experience and feedback. We are working with an independent company called Acuity Research to carry out this survey on our behalf.

  • You can complete the paper survey and return it using the enclosed freepost envelope
  • Complete the survey online at starsurveys.co.uk/rha using your personal code sent to you
  • Or take the survey by phone, please call: 01273 287114

All our tenants will soon receive a phone call, letter, text or email and there is a prize draw for a £100 shopping voucher and 4 runner up prizes of £50 shopping vouchers. And by simply completing the survey you will be included in our free prize draw to win Love 2 Shop vouchers – just in time for the (dare we say it!) festive season!

Below you can see what you fed back to us on our last all tenant survey, and how we made improvements:

Want to Get Involved?

Get in touch

Got a question? Get in touch! [email protected] 01443 424200 CF40 1BE