A campaign aimed at promoting the availability of the Warm Home Discount to Swindon Borough Council tenants has been nominated for a national award.
The UK Housing Awards 2016, organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Inside Housing magazine, recognise outstanding work by housing organisations to improve the lives of people in their communities. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s awards attracted more than 250 entries from all over the UK.
Swindon Borough Council’s Tenancy Services team has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Campaign of the Year award along with seven other organisations.
The campaign was launched due to the high cost of energy and the number of people suffering from fuel poverty, and pointed tenants towards the Warm Home Discount, a £140 rebate from electricity suppliers.
The council’s team actively helped tenants to apply for the discount either online or by completing paper application forms.
Letters were sent to tenants advising them of their potential eligibility for the rebate and inviting them to a series of events to find out more about the scheme and to register an application.
A total of 442 tenants attended awareness events in Toothill, Penhill, Walcot and Pinehurst and, if all were successful in their Warm Home Discount applications, more than £60,000 would have been deducted from tenants’ fuel bills.
The winners of the awards will be revealed at a ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel on 26 April and impressionist and comedian, Rory Bremner will present the awards. The awards are sponsored by Campbell Tickell, Capsticks, CHAS, Higgins, Housemark, The Housing Contact, Mitie, NHBC, Osborne and United Living.
Cllr Emma Faramarzi, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “I am extremely proud that the council’s housing team has been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Housing and shortlisted for such a prestigious award. “Our awareness campaign will have helped a number of tenants in the greatest need to stay warm, which is particularly important especially in the winter months.”
CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “The UK Housing Awards recognise the great work being done by housing professionals and organisations across the industry, but they also push us all to do better as a sector. We hope the achievements of our finalists will inspire others as they aim to provide the best possible services for residents and communities.
“Congratulations to all of the organisations that have been shortlisted, and best of luck for the 20th anniversary ceremony – win or lose your work will help inspire us all to improve.”
Emma Maier, editor of Inside Housing, said: “The quality of the entries rose again this year so even to get this far is an amazing achievement. In the face of some really stiff competition, Swindon Borough Council has shown it is performing at the highest level - well done! Being our 20th anniversary means the evening will be even more memorable and we have some great celebrations planned.”
ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS: 1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the professional body for people involved in housing and communities. We are a registered charity and not-forprofit organisation. We have a diverse and growing membership of 22,000 – both in the public and private sectors – living and working in over 20 countries on five continents across the world. Our members work for local authorities, housing associations, Arms Length Management Organisations, government bodies, educational establishments and the private sector. Many tenants and residents are also members. We exist to maximise the contribution that housing professionals make to the wellbeing of communities. Further information is available at: www.cih.org
OUTSTANDING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR
asra Housing Group – Get Moneywise
Equity Housing Group – Universal Credit
Ready Family Mosaic – Be Heard London Gypsy and Traveller Unit – We STILL Count
North Lanarkshire Council – Big Switch
Swindon Borough Council – Warm Home Discount campaign