Blog Archive

January 2015

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    Effects of an ageing population on housing associations in the UK

    It is estimated that there will be over 16 million people aged over 65 in the UK by 2034 - nearly 3 million will be over 85, 24dash reports.The Smith Institute's report, sponsored by Genesis Housing Association, predicts that housing associations with 30,000 homes will have 7,500 more tenants aged over 65 within the next 20 years. This will create extra revenue pressures of £12.5...

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    Housing Trust deals with tenancy fraud

    It has been using various means to promote the campaign via Facebook, and bus shelter and petrol pump advertising, 24dash reports. The campaign encourages people to report those who they think are committing tenancy fraud.  They have been told to alert the Trust if they think people are lying on their housing applications or move out of their Weaver Vale homes and rent it out to others.This is...

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    App for people with mental health concerns

    The Students' Centre of Health, WELLWVU (based at the West Virginia University, USA) created the app in order for students to receive direct mental healthcare.Data about mood, anxiety and sleeping habits can be displayed on a graph and accessible from the app so users can get a better understanding of their habits and how they can improve. It also encourages users to engage in ‘wellness...

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    Homeless people being turned away from shelters

    According to a government report, an average of 100 people a day are being turned away from Victorian homelessness agencies, The Guardian reports.Around 92 people per day, who needed accommodation and support, have been rejected of these services in the past financial year.  This report suggests that these agencies are having to deal with high numbers of people in need of shelters - but lack of...

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    Government to further reduce the benefit cap

    In 2012, the coalition government introduced the current £26,000-a-year cap on benefits that households are entitled to. However, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to reduce the cap to £23,000 if the party is successful, 24dash reports.According to Cameron, the £135 million in savings the government would make every year by lowering the cap would be used to create a million new...

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    Award-winning suicide prevention app helps people to deal with their mental health issues

    A team led by Nadine Kaslow, an Emory University School of Medicine psychologist, have developed the user-friendly mobile app. It was ultimately designed to provide support on daily basis for people with mental health issues and then continuous and follow-up checks for people at risk of suicide.ReliefLink helps the user monitor their thoughts and moods, and helps them to develop coping skills for...

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    Council homes involved in trial of new technology

    The technology has been developed by Japan's Department of New Energy and Development Organisation (NEDO). They signed a deal, worth up to £20m, with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to trial it in the UK, Inside Housing reports.  This system has never been used anywhere in the world and its first use will be in 600 Greater Manchester households - including the Wigan homes. Air source...

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    Charity registers as social landlord

    It has now registered its housing department as a housing association, Inside Housing reports.The charity set up Golden Lane Housing (GLH) in 1998, which has now registered to be a social landlord with the Homes and Communities Agency.The organisation owns 400 homes across England and will now be subject to HCA regulation and access grant and financial benefits for housing associations.Director...

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    Twitter leads national campaign for compassionate care

    #HelloMyNameIs is a social media based campaign created by one doctor, Kate Granger, in order to encourage healthcare professionals to introduce themselves to patients.The campaign is now being backed by almost 30 NHS trusts, the Health Service Journal reports.Having no idea how much of an impact this campaign would cause, Dr Granger has seen it spread throughout NHS organisations across...

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    Homelessness hostel uses psychologists to treat residents in need

    It has resulted in a noticeable reduction of the residents' criminal activity and has improved their general health and well-being, The Independent reports.This unique project houses former rough sleepers ranging from drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes - many of whom were deemed as ‘too challenging' to help.Clinical Psychologist from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)...

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    Social media for housing associations

    Online engagement between many commercial and charitable organisations and their clients and users has become very popular. However, many housing organisations have not succeeded as well as they could, in terms of widening their social media use. Many commercial and charitable organisations engage more with their clients and users online yet housing organisations have been able to keep up and...

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    Programme which supports people with vulnerabilities saves public purse millions a year

    The programme provides beneficial support to the following groups of people:·         Homeless people and those who are at risk of losing their homes.·         Socially excluded groups such as substance misusers and ex-offenders.·         People with long-term support needs such as physical or learning disabilities and those who have mental health...

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    Benefit sanctions for people with mental health issues

    This figure was an average from data gathered in January 2009 and took into account overturned decisions, Inside Housing reports.The last month for which data is available is March last year, when around 4,500 people with mental health problems on Employment and Support Allowance were sanctioned.DWP records revealed the most common reason for being sanctioned is lateness or no arrival of a person...

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    An effective social media strategy for your social organisation

    It is important to reach a position on social media where the community feels comfortable in sharing the content that you post.Your content should reflect the trust and integrity your users have for your organisation. It may be difficult to maintain a constant flow of content which is relevant and useful for your users but the persistence is worth it if it boosts your social media...

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    Council faces challenges over homelessness policy

    Resident Hakima Alemi will be heard in the High Court, where she will be represented by law firm Hodge Jones & Allen.She contends that this scheme is 'unlawful' as it suspends homeless people from bidding for social housing until a year after their homelessness acceptance, Inside Housing reports.Furthermore, Alemi argues that Westminster's policy breaches the 1996 Housing Act which states that...

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    Funds to repair thousands of London’s council homes

    These funds have been secured through the government's decent homes backlog funding programme and will be used for council tenants across nine London boroughs for internal and external repairs to help improve living conditions, 24dash reports.Improvements will soon be take place in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Lambeth, Kingston upon Thames, Southwark and...

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    The use of e-mental health services

    The experts have insisted that the use of technology in supporting people with mental health is cheap and effective, ABC reports.An innovative online service which began in Australia, Reach Out, is an online service which provides advice on issues such as mental illness, sexuality and bullying. It also provides monitored forums, and information on how to seek professional help.It has an active...

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    Housing association supports needs of older people

    The acclaimed Community Trust Housing (CTH), part of the Network Housing Group, has been noted for its hard efforts by the British Irish Council (BIC) social inclusion workstream and various other officials from across the UK, Scotland, Wales, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. These officials are working together to share their practices of social inclusion of older people, 24dash reports. CTH's...

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    Budget cut by 10% for housing department

    The Department for Social Development (DSD), responsible for housing, has had its funding cut by almost 10% in a budget. The Northern Ireland government announced that the budget for 2015/16 will be £715m down from £790.3m, Inside Housing reports.Social housing sector figures had feared cuts more severe than those outlined in November's draft budget due to Stormont's need to find cash for a...

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    Technology to revolutionise health care

    Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England's medical director, believes that wearable technology that can record heart rates and other health information will revolutionise healthcare, Guardian reports.The doctor further explained that devices worn on the wrist that record your heart rate, calorie intake or running distance can help to secure the NHS's future.He also believes that gadgets like fitness...

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    Young people in supported housing accommodation

    The YMCA surveyed 300 residents for the report, and found that more than half of the residents in supported accommodation felt ready to move out but felt stuck as they could not due to the lack of suitable housing to move into, Inside Housing reports.80% of the residents mentioned they were worried about finding somewhere to live when they moved out of supported housing accommodation. Due to...

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    ‘Overlap’ between homelessness, criminal convictions and substance misuse

    It was found that 58,000 people per year have access to institutions which deal with all three, Inside Housing reports. Researchers at Heriot-Watt University gathered data from criminal justice, substance misuse and homelessness services. They wanted to see to how each system dealt with people from each of these three categories.  The report stated that those who are in aid of homelessness...

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    The use of mobile apps for mental health care

    According to the Wall Street Journal, developers are creating smartphone applications which some health care providers have encouraged the use of, to treat and monitor patients' mental health conditions.  An app created by Ginger.io has been recommended by gynaecologists for patients who have come close to the end of their pregnancies. This app can help to track:·         How far the...

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    London housing associations to complete thousands of homes by March

    According to the Greater London Authority (GLA), they must complete more than 12,000 homes in the next three months, or face paying back grant, Inside Housing reports. However, around 8000 of these will not be completed until March, causing them to warn of ‘risk to delivery'.The completion of the programme for the set deadline is a growing concern at City Hall. However, a spokesperson for...

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    Local welfare assistance funds held back by councils

    The Centre for Responsible Credit using Freedom of Information requests carried out a study which found that 127 local authorities spent 52.8% of their £148.5m sharing of the local welfare assistance fund, Inside Housing reports. In December, the government announced that the £172m national fund for local welfare assistance schemes would be ended in April this year.There was great opposition...

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    New technology helps older people and people with disabilities

    The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is trialling new technology to support older people and people with disabilities in their homes in Australia, ABC reports.The technology is a sensor network which can be installed in a client's home and can monitor environment factors like heat and movement. It uses a network of home sensors to track a person's movements,...

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    Increased spending of housing associations due to welfare reform

    This was to encourage new tenants to move into larger homes due to the government's welfare reforms.Inside Housing carried out an analysis of 100 of the largest housing associations' annual financial statements. These had shown that there was an increase from £2.38bn in 2012/13 to £2.48bn in 2013/14.Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) reported its spending increased from £3m to £17.9m in 2013/14. It...

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    Charity urges homelessness to be put to an end

    Homeless Link, in its manifesto to end homelessness, has urged the next Government to end rough sleeping, ensure employment and welfare support, provide more homes and protect the rights of tenants, LocalGov reports.The charity informs that local funding for accommodation and support services is ‘increasingly under pressure'. Homelessness services are being overpowered by groups that councils...

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    The Social Media Presence of Social Organisations

    However, there are still many organisations who are not taking full advantage of social media platforms by not regularly updating their users and followers with content, nor sharing links that their users could find useful.Here are some tips that can help create a larger social media presence for your social organisation in a fast and inexpensive way:1) Variety - It is important to integrate...

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    Charitable foundation plans to set up a housing association

    This charitable establishment recently saved the tenants of a London estate, New Era, from eviction. Chief Executive of Dolphin Square, Jon Gooding, explained that it was planning the change so it could take advantage of cheap funding and financial gains that only housing associations had access to, Inside Housing reports. It is working on the development of 1,000 homes for low and middle...

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    Young people’s health harmed by fuel poverty

    The Department of Energy and Climate Change have reported that 10% of households in England were in fuel poverty.The charity, Turn2us have stated that 75% of the 2,060 adults in the PRS who were surveyed last year stated that their children's health was affected due to not being able to heat their homes sufficiently, Inside Housing reports.  81% of the people who partook in the study, whose...

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    Charity to develop app for people with disabilities

    The funding will enable the charity to develop and test the free app, called FlyCatcher, which could be on the market by 2016.The app uses iBeacon technology to send information through smartphones and tablets. It could transform how people with disabilities and learning difficulties manage in unfamiliar surroundings, SouthWest Business reports.Information can be first designed as text, images,...

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    Council on fairer housing allocation

    The council is proposing to change the way housing association and council homes are allocated. It is considering whether local people who have lived in the borough for five of the last seven years, overcrowded families and those with young children need to be given higher priority, 24dash reports.People who receive or give care and people who cannot be found homes will also be made priorities...

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    Homelessness applications decrease in Scotland

    Scottish Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess stated, ‘We are working closely with local authorities and their partners to prevent homelessness'The Scottish Government has revealed that local authorities had received 9,059 applications for homelessness assistance from July to September 2014 which is a 3% decrease from 9,359 applications received over July to September 2013.This decrease also...

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    Instagram for your Social Organisation

    It has beat Twitter in terms of number of users, but it is currently outperforming in terms of engagement as well.Instagram's engagement is 50 times higher than Twitter. The difference is a large one, but isn't very surprising as it is a fact that images generate more engagement than any other type of content on social media. This can be a huge advantage for your social organisation.It is...

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    Landlord scheme has saved the NHS thousands of pounds

    The groups - Oldham Council, Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership - consist of 10 social landlords who co-invested in the ‘Warm Homes Oldham' programme which began in August 2013, Inside Housing reports. The programme has helped 1,000 people and is one of the first examples of the NHS supporting schemes to ensure the reduction of the cost of...

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    New update for Google Translate app

    The app will enable automatic, real-time translation of voice to text for some languages, Mashable reports.Currently, the app can translate text-to-text between 80 languages and also provides voice to text translation but requires you to manually choose the desired language that you want a translation in.However, after the update, the app will automatically recognise when someone is speaking in...

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    Mental health amongst young people

    The survey was carried out by the CentreForum thinktank's mental health commission. It found that headteachers at more than half of the schools in England believe that the referral system for sending pupils to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is not working, the Guardian reports. Chair of the Commission, Paul Burstow MP stated, "The results of this survey suggest schools and...

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    Study shows targeted programmes help reduce domestic violence

    The research showed that the majority of men changed their behaviour after going on a course, Chronicle Live reports.Consequently, Durham University's Professor Nicole Westmarland is calling for more funding for domestic violence perpetrator programmes (DVPPs) to help to reduce widespread domestic violence that leaves a serious damage on families, women and their children.The results of the study...

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    The role of social media in non-profit fundraising

    According to a study by a consulting firm for non-profits, "Growth in social media audiences far outpaces that of email".Amongst 55 large non-profits, research found that email lists only rose by 14% in 2013. However, Facebook audiences increased by 37% and Twitter audiences by 46%, Allvoices reports. Also, the study found that for every 1,000 email subscribers, non-profits had an average of...

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    Charity’s new project focuses on homeless people’s health and wellbeing

    This charity provides housing and support for vulnerable people, supporting them to live independently through residential schemes and work within the community. The focal point of their work is health and wellbeing.As part of a national campaign, Trident Reach will be raising awareness and promoting healthy food and lifestyles, 24dash reports. It recently won the UK ‘Engaging Social Landlords...

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    Welfare reform hits Welsh tenants the hardest

    In Wales, 20.4% of tenants in social housing have been affected by the bedroom tax in comparison to England (15.3%) and Scotland (19%), according to research published by the Welsh Audit Office (WAO), reports Inside Housing. An increase in poverty, debt and exclusion was also found by the WAO which links to the introduction of welfare reform measures.The report also conveys its doubt about the...

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    New app helps healthcare professionals identify mental health issues

    This is an underdiagnosed condition affecting women after they give birth.The usage of the app by 200 women has been tracked, and it was found that behavioural patterns and symptoms tied to depression, NewsMax Health reports. For example, there was a link found between poor mood and decreased mobility on weekends and longer duration phone calls.The Ginger.io app is a new health technology that...

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    Specialist team help to tackle substance misuse in York

    At York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust a specialist team including nurses help patients who have serious problems with alcohol and substance misuse, York Press reports.The Alcohol Concern campaign encourages people to refrain from drinking alcohol and have an enjoyable break for a month after the excesses of the holiday season.However, for some people, drinking and substance misuse has...

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    Homelessness in Scotland

    Shelter Scotland stated that this percentage is ‘disproportionate' to the sector's size which makes up 13% of all housing in Scotland, Inside Housing reports. It was also mentioned that the number of people who gave ‘long term roofless' as their previous housing situation increased by almost 25%.The youth homeless rate is at 13.7 per 1,000 which is at more than double the rate for the over...

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    Tips for Charities and Social Organisations

    Twitter plays a key role here at the Media Bubble, where you can stay up to date with our latest posts at @TheMediaBubble.1) Outline goals - For non-profit organisations, Twitter can be used in a variety of different ways such as raising awareness, attracting more users or volunteers, fundraising and contacting users or potential patrons. It is important to determine your goals as a social...

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    Homelessness an ‘increasing trend’ in Wales

    Cais blames the lack of options available to individuals due to the change in the type of support that can be offered.The Chief Executive of Cais, Clive Wolfendale has described the problem of homelessness as an ‘increasing trend', BBC reports. Wolfendale further stated, "I think individuals are finding themselves not able to be supported by housing organisations and authorities of all types....

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    Private renters struggle to find other housing alternatives

    The National Housing Federation (NHF) published statistics from a survey which revealed that 63% of private renters between the ages of 25 - 44 years old believed that they would have bought their own house by now.The survey consisted of 1,183 private renters found that 28% felt unable to put their roots down as they may have to move soon.This figure has risen to 32% which is one in three amongst...

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    Firm’s work with disabled workers saves UK taxpayers millions

    Remploy's recent figures show that it found more than 18,500 jobs for people with disabilities or health conditions in 2014. It claims that for every £1 it gave in supporting disabled and disadvantaged people, it delivered £2.51 in social value. 24dash reports. In July, the Department for Work and Pensions launched a commercial process under which Remploy Employment Services would leave...

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    Social listening can improve social media for your social organisation

    Social listening composes of many factors but the main points are having good communication with your users and responding to their queries efficiently.Furthermore, responding appropriately to negative comments or dealing with difficult situations depends on how well you listen, react and take note for your future as an organisation. Either way, by responding to your users, you're letting them...

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    Report on rent regulation and calls for unrestricted tenancies in the PRS

    Also, tenancies in the private rented sector (PRS) should become unlimited and unrestricted.  In a recent report, Civitas also mentioned that Ed Miliband's controversial proposals for reform of the PRS ‘do not go far enough', Inside Housing reports. It advised that the obtainability of housing benefit is creating a cycle of increased prices as landlords are able to fix ‘artificially high'...

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    Calls for NHS funding

    Stevens also called for an end to the ‘boom-bust' approach. Stevens told the Financial Times he hoped for more annual funding in addition to the £2bn lifeline that the Chancellor, George Osborne, guaranteed if the Tories succeed at the general election. The Guardian reports. He stated that a "boom-bust" attitude to funding was "inefficient for taxpayers and bad for patients".Stevens went on...

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    Ginsberg Health App

    The Ginsberg health app is aimed at physical and mental well-being and has received Scottish Government backing. Ginsberg has already attracted more than 1,000 users in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. It is also targeting a health app market which is more aimed at physical health which the firm's founders consider a major opportunity, Scotsman reports. Approximately, one in four British...

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    Joint landlords and their newly formed housing association

    The two landlords, Jephson and Raglan, made an announcement that they would work together in the autumn of 2013. They introduced their new enterprise, Stonewater, on 31st December 2014, 24dash reports. The new organisation has around £160 million in turnover and £1.6 billion in assets.The Homes and Communities Agency gave its assent to the merger in September 2014.Chair of Stonewater's board,...

Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I thought this briefing was very good and very useful.  The presentation was clear, well argued and I always find Michael gives me food for thought even if I don't agree with everything he says.  I really like the way he facilitates a discussion in the room and I learn as much from other participants as I do from the presenter which is always good. Right length, right tone." R.P. - Richmond Fellowship

 

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