Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Three tenants lose homes over anti-social behaviour

Three council tenants who plagued their neighbours with anti-social behaviour have lost their homes.

Under new ‘introductory tenancies’, court action against council house tenants who breach the terms of their tenancies can be fast-tracked, meaning that they can be more easily evicted if their behaviour becomes unacceptable.

East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), which manages council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council, has successfully taken action against three tenants who breached their introductory council tenancies.

In the first case, neighbours living in the low rise flats of Potternewton Court, Chapeltown, were subjected to repeated noise nuisance by 59-year-old Mr Bernard Davey. Mr Davey had large groups of visitors to his flat at all hours, culminating in damage to property, verbal abuse and fights breaking out. ENEHL reacted quickly to the concerns of neighbours and successfully had Mr Davey evicted.

Lee Condon, 40, lived in a flat at Ramshead Heights, North Seacroft, was evicted for cultivating cannabis in his flat, which is a direct breach of his tenancy. It also resulted in anti-social behaviour in the neighbouring area and ENEHL promptly terminated Mr Condon’s tenancy.

And Ali Abika Omar, 32, was evicted for a serious breach of his introductory tenancy at Asket Drive, Seacroft. Acting in an abusive and threatening manner, it was alleged that Mr Omar said he had a gun and threatened to shoot one of his neighbours if they did not let him into their property.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing, said:
"Our policy of taking firm action against those who breach the terms of their tenancies is an important one.
“We must ensure that we protect tenants from anti-social behaviour - something that can cause real misery for people and affect their quality of life.
“The action taken in these cases sends a clear message that unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated."

Angelena Fixter, chair of the East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“The safety and well being of our tenants is very important to us and should tenants become victims of ASB we will do everything in our power to ensure it is stopped.
“All our tenants have the right to live their lives feeling happy and safe.”

Notes to Editors:
East North East Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
East North East Homes Leeds manages 19,000 council-owned residential properties in Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.
About the National Federation of ALMOs

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Staff’s ‘light bulb moments’ shine the light on £30,000 of savings

An organisation that manages council housing in Leeds has been switched on to big savings it could make – thanks to some bright ideas from its own staff.

An initiative by West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL) is on course to save £30,000 after staff were given the opportunity to make suggestions of how the organisation, which manages and maintains council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council, could save money.

Employees were encouraged to note down any ‘light bulb' ideas they have for helping WNWHL make savings to re-invest in tenants’ homes and communities.

And the initiative has already brought big savings – Neighbourhood Management Officer Joga Nahl at the Wortley Housing Office spotted that metal fencing in the area, which was due to be scrapped, could instead be used to make other properties more secure.

This has saved a potential £30,000 and increased the security of homes in the area whose gardens run onto a public footpath.

These efficiency suggestions from staff at ground level have given some of the best insights into where savings can be made. Employees have been given remainders on office stationary of a dedicated e-mail address where these ‘light bulb' moments and big ideas for efficiency saving can be shared.

Cathy Clelland, chair of the West North West Homes Leeds board, said:
“Who better to spot where we could be saving money than our own staff? They’re the people on the ground who can easily see potential savings that might otherwise be missed.
“We have found that our staff’s bright ideas are making a real difference, and making sure we can invest more money in the homes and communities we care for.
“We hope to continue with these kinds of improvements and savings in the future.”

Notes to editors:
West North West Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
West North West Homes Leeds covers the areas of Otley, Pool, Bramhope, Guiseley, Yeadon, Cookridge, Rawdon, Holt Park. Tinshill, Horsforth, Kirkstall, Burley, Armley, Bramley, Pudsey, Woodhouse, Wortley, Farnley, and New Farnley.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk