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

In October 2023, Welsh Government wrote to us to tell us how much we can increase our rents. You will soon receive a ‘notice of rent change 2024-2025’ letter in the post from us, this will include confirmation of service charges (if you pay them). Plus we have 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 out 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 will be offering educational activities and opportunities that will address the importance of working to address climate change. We’ll be working across RCT, in partnership with local businesses, schools, colleges, the construction industry and community groups to champion 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:

Many of you will have been aware that a number of schools and buildings around Wales and the UK needed to close due to the presence of RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) being discovered.

In the last month there has been an increased focus on the potential for RAAC to be present in other buildings and some homes. RAAC is a lightweight material that has previously been used during the construction of some buildings. It is used mostly in flat roofing, but also in floors and walls.

Although the issues raised have been mainly identified in schools and other public sector buildings, we appreciate that some tenants may be concerned about their homes.
We want to reassure you that as your landlord, we always take a proactive approach to making sure your homes are well maintained and, most importantly, safe, and we do not believe there is any cause to be concerned. Due to the age and development style of our properties, it is highly unlikely that any of our homes would contain RAAC.
We carry out regular surveys and inspections on all our tenants’ homes which also assesses the condition of any concrete properties, and we haven’t found any issues to date and our surveyors are continuing to undertake inspections.

 

If you have any questions about RAAC or any aspects of safety in your home, then please get in touch with us.

We are here to help. 

They did it!

We are incredibly proud of our staff, tenants and volunteers who walked massive 21 miles, from Tonypandy to Cardiff on Thursday 20th of July, to raise funds for food donations to help those in need this winter season.

Through your generous support, donations, and sponsorship then we can support even more people this year. A massive well done to our colleagues from Finance, Maintenance, IT, Com Dev, Development and Customer Advice and everyone who helped with our fundraising efforts.

They have raised over £3000, and donations are still coming in! 

We actively support community members and tenants each and every week and now, for the fifth year running we wanted to fundraise to help provide even more food hampers in Winter 2023. In December 2022 we provided 90 food hampers through the money raised by our colleagues who worked hard doing a 24 hour Danceathon. This year, thanks to your generousity we can help even more people in our communities.

 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE &  GET UPDATES ON OUR JUST GIVING FUNDRAISING 

As a responsible landlord, we balance the needs of our tenants whilst improving our natural environment. Our TENANT COMMITMENT promises to listen to tenants views and plan our services to make improvements that meet their priorities.

Colleagues from our Sustainable Tenancies Team spent the day with our tenants of Ty Bethania in Treorchy as we understood that fly tipping what an issue and we could help them improve the outdoor space.  We took the opportunity to give their garden a clean up, decluttered and got everyone involved whilst chatting about our other services.
Community clean-ups are a great way of disposing of non-household rubbish and ensuring they can feel proud of where they live and enjoy outdoor spaces. We worked together to take action to improve their environment, learn more about recyling and created meaningful change.

We had such a warm welcome and tenants helped us load up the skip and got the opportunity to declutter some of their unwanted (non-recyclable) items. Working together we made such a difference to their outside space.  Gone was all the unwanted clutter and rubbish from their garden and surrounding paved areas and now its back to its warm welcoming and usable space for the tenants to enjoy.

Want to Get Involved?

Get in touch

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