CIH and BMENational housing rights website

A message from John Perry ( at CIH:

Dear colleague,

I’m sure you are aware of the CIH/BMENational housing rights website ( which provides help to migrants and their advisers about access to housing and housing benefit. CIH has been offered a small grant from the TDS Charitable Foundation (itself funded by the Tenants Dispute Service) to extend the website to cover the private rented sector (PRS). The aim will be to guide migrants and their advisers on access to the PRS, problems they may encounter, how to exercise their rights, access to LHA, the checks that will be imposed by the Immigration Act, etc. It will be of particular benefit to recent migrants who are often forced into poorer parts of the sector and are unaware of their rights and find it difficult to access advice services

We are writing to let you know about this work but also to request (a) any documentation or advice notes which you use and which might be helpful in building up the material (including sources that could be referred to on the site) (b) if you have particular expertise or have staff working in this area (whether advising migrants or advising on entry to the PRS in general), and would be willing to look at draft material before it goes live.

We plan to contact a small number of agencies by telephone to discuss their priorities for advice on the PRS and potentially to road-test some of the material.

We hope that this will further add to what we believe is already a valuable and well-used resource, and in any event we’ll be in touch again early in 2015 when the new material goes live.

Best wishes

John Perry

CIH Policy Adviser


If you have any feedback about this new changes, please send your messages to John Perry at

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Westway HA presents: Service Charge Training with CIH


Date: 15th September 2014
Location: Westway Housing Association              
                Ladbroke Hall, 79 Barlby Rd, London W10 6AZ
Time: 10:00 – 16:30


To make leasehold and service charge management more effective.

Learning Outcomes/objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • State the characteristics of long leases (traditional and shared ownership) and similarities with periodic tenancies
  • Understand the importance of what is written in the lease
  • Explain good practice in billing for and setting service charges (long leases as well as periodic tenancies)
  • State good practice about how to levy services charges on periodic tenants
  • Explain the difference between variable & fixed service charges
  • Understand the statutory framework for service charges and what is says about the need to provide Value For Money (VFM)
  • Manage the Section 20 process when major works are required and manage the repayment of associated charges
  • Apply measures who could help in preventing service charge arrears
  • Appreciate the Universal Credit Housing Cost rules
  • State good practice in managing the collection of service charges
  • Explain the powers of the courts to forfeit leases and how to forfeit leases
  • Understand the role of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)


10.00               Introductions/ course aims/objectives/lesson plan/timetable

10.10              Contents of leases & Tenancies/Rights and Obligations of tenants and leaseholders. Shared ownership leases. Varying leases and tenancies. Differences between the two.


11.15               Break

11.30               Service Charge management getting it right.


11.45               Setting Service charges for leaseholders and periodic tenants/Accounting for depreciation/Apportionment issues/Ensuring value for money. Issues around periodic tenancies/variable and fixed service charges (understanding the difference)


12.30              Statutory framework for service charges and why leaseholders might be able to challenge service amounts/ Can periodic tenants do the same?

13.00               Lunch

14.00               Major Works


15.00               Break

15.15               Income Recovery Strategies/Other Leasehold Rights/FTT

                        Similarities and differences for period tenancies

                        Universal Credit and Housing Costs

16.00               CASE STUDIES

16.30               Finish

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Arawak Walton HA is recruiting!

Arawak Walton logo

Housing Officer

Salary scale: £22,540 – £27,506 + car allowance

The successful candidate will be required to demonstrate that they can manage a busy
and varied workload, meet tight deadlines, work effectively as part of a team and be
committed to excellent customer service and equality and diversity. Ideally, the
candidate will have experience of carrying out a similar generalist housing officer role.

Business Support Assistant

(Part Time – 17.5 hours per week, Monday to Friday)

Salary scale: £16,441 – £20,589 (pro-rata)
*Temporary until 31st March 2015 but with a view to becoming permanent*

We are looking for an ambitious individual to assist the Business Support Team with administrative duties in relation to office management, human resources, health and safety and equality and diversity.

In particular, the successful candidate will have excellent IT skills and will be responsible for liaising with our external Web Developer to ensure that the association’s website is kept relevant and up to date. In addition, the post holder will have experience of using social media and will be responsible for updating our Facebook and Twitter pages, under the direction of the Business Support Manager.

This is a great opportunity for a confident, well organised individual to join an organisation that prides itself on providing excellent training and development opportunities, in addition to offering a friendly working environment, generous holiday entitlements and fantastic office facilities, based in the heart of Manchester.

For more information about the roles, please visit Arawak Walton Housing Association.

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BMENational Chair joins the CIH Presidential Commission on Leadership and Diversity in Housing

Chartered Institute of Housing unveils diversity commission

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has announced the members of a presidential commission aimed at tackling a lack of diversity among housing leaders.

The commission, which was announced by CIH president Steve Stride at the institute’s annual conference in June, will explore ways to increase ethnic, gender and age diversity.

The CIH announced today that seven members, including Mr Stride, will sit on the commission.

They include: Ashwin Kumar, board member at the National Housing Federation, Cym D’Souza, chair of BME National, Debra Constance, chair of Women in Social Housing and James Caspell, business innovation manager at Tower Hamlets Homes and Inside Housing Rising Stars winner.

Kate Dodsworth, executive director of people and strategy at Amicus Horizon, Farooq Mohammed, chair of the Forum network for BME housing professionals and Michelle Reid, chief executive of Cynon Taff Community Housing Group will also sit on the commission.

The commission, chaired by Mr Stride, will hold its first meeting on 1 September and publish a call for evidence within weeks. The commission will take evidence from employers and individuals before launching a final report with recommendations early next year.

Announcing the commission in June, Mr Stride said: ‘While our workforce is diverse, this is not reflected in our leadership which remains too white, too old and too male. Just look at me.’

The original article on Inside Housing.

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Transforming your experience of learning English

A unique
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to learn English


Praxis Language Gym, is a new way of learning English for learners of all levels. It is developed and run by some of the most experienced people supporting newcomers to the UK working alongside well-known experts and experienced English language teachers. It is a social enterprise which has been set up with the support of major international corporations and philanthropic foundations.

Membership in the Praxis Language Gym offers intensive, high quality English Language teaching to learners of all levels. It is a unique mix of face-to-face learning and group activities (called Learning Circles and Conversation Clubs). All Gym members have access to learning materials online at any time of day and night, they can access the Gym on their mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer and their learning is support by a personal Language Tutor and Learning Guide.

Free trials can be accessed here.

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