In our last email newsletter, sent in June, we asked you what you thought about our online tenant portal, My Ancho.
The survey received 28 responses. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill it in. Well done to Catrina Calderwood who is the winner of our £50 voucher.
Are you signed up to My Ancho?
What do you like most about it?
Half of all responses rated communication and ease of use as the thing they liked most about the portal. Some of the comments said:
What don’t you like about it?
80% of responses stated they were satisfied with it. However, those who weren’t said they preferred the telephone for a more personal touch.
What puts you off signing up for or using My Ancho?
The most common reason given was that they weren't aware about My Ancho or didn't know how to sign up.
What are we going to do with this information?
Some tenants were unaware about My Ancho. This shows a need for us to promote it and market the service more to tenants. Since a few tenants expressed confusion about how to sign up or use my Ancho, we’ll get in touch with them individually with instructions on how to use the platform.
Did you know that your rent is due in advance on the 1st of every month? For example, your rent should be paid on 1 January for the month of January, 1 February for the month of February, and so on.
This is called paying your rent in advance and is a condition of your Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement.
If you are currently paying on a date other than the 1st of the month you should contact your Income Officer to discuss moving your payment date.
In some cases we may agree to your rent being paid on an alternative date. If we agree to this, you will need to temporarily increase your payment so that on the 1st of the month your account isn’t in arrears.
If you would like advice or help paying your rent, please get in touch.
Congratulations to everyone who has received results! We know that some young people may feel worried about what the future holds for them, particularly during a pandemic. But as many of us at Cairn Housing Group know, there is #NoWrongPath!
You can find out more about what careers suit your skills, interests, experience and personality here. And you can find out about apprenticeships here.
We are seeking to recruit new Board Members who have a real desire and interest in helping our organisation achieve its aims and objectives and contribute towards providing an excellent service to our tenants and the local community.
Ancho is a housing association with 850 properties for social rent and provides factoring services to 200 owner occupiers with the majority in North Ayrshire. It has an annual turnover of £3.1m and is a registered social landlord with the Scottish Housing Regulator. Ancho is part of the Cairn Housing Group, following the establishment of the constitutional partnership with Cairn Housing Association in November 2018, the Group provides homes and services in communities across Scotland.
Our Mission is to provide quality, safe, affordable homes and services, in our communities and with our partners, throughout Scotland. Our Values are Customer First, Excellence, Accountability, Respect, One Team.
Ancho’s Board has responsibility for good governance and direction of the service, supported by the local Ancho staff team and the Executive Team at Cairn. We are looking for interested parties who can commit to attending up to 9 meetings per year (currently Thursday evenings online via Teams). As part of our succession and development approach we encourage and support Board members’ personal development through induction, mentoring, training, seminars and conferences or study visits and involvement in working groups across the Cairn Housing Group. You will receive a Laptop, email account and IT support to facilitate attendance at virtual meetings. As a voluntary position you will not be paid but travel to attend meetings and other expenses are reimbursed in line with the Group Entitlements, Payments and Benefits Policy
We are committed to improving equality and diversity on our Board and welcome applications from all sections of the community, particularly under-represented groups, and we would be keen to hear from you if you have experience in the following areas:-
· Ancho Tenants
· Law / Charity Law
If you wish to discuss this matter informally, or for further details and an Application Pack please contact: Carolyn Owens, Governance Services Manager, on Tel: 0800 990 3405, email email@example.com or write to us at Cairn Housing Group, 22 Hopetoun Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4GH.
Closing date for applications is Monday 2 August 2021. Interviews will take place w/c 9 August 2021.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Not only do indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they’ve been shown to boost mood, increase creativity, and reduce stress. Don’t think you’re green fingered? Read on to find plants that are impossible to kill.
Indoor plants don’t just look good – they can make us feel good, too. Studies have shown that indoor plants:
Here are some of the easiest to look after…
These tough plants tolerate lots of abuse, making them excellent for newbie gardeners or those without a green thumb. Situate in bright light away from direct sunlight and they will flourish. Let the top third of the soil dry out before watering again and make sure the plant doesn’t sit in water as this will lead to root rot.
Sansevieria (Snake Plants / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
If you’re a forgetful gardener then fear not, these plants thrive on neglect and are well-equipped for long periods of drought – they can go weeks without watering. Only water once the soil has completely dried out. They are happy in most levels of light from full sunlight to a dim north-facing room.
These plants thrive off neglect and dry soil, just like the Sansevieria. They are also very slow growing so won’t need frequent repotting. They are great statement plants for shady corners. If you truly can’t keep anything alive, this is the plant for you. Only water when the soil is completely dried out.
These plants are incredibly fast growing so great if you want to create a statement in a short period of time. They will tolerate shadier spots as well as bright, indirect light.
Succulents and cacti
These types of plants are slow-growing and will withstand tremendous abuse. They do best with bright light (think the sunniest windowsill you have) and little water. Try to replicate the desert conditions these plants naturally grow in and you won’t go far wrong.
There may be times when you find pests in your home. We understand it’s not pleasant. It’s really important that we work together to try and make sure your home is free of infestations. Even the cleanest homes can become host to unwelcome visitors, no matter how careful you are.
We have put together some advice and information on a range of common pests and used the Pied Piper as a resource aid.
Whose responsibility is it?
Dealing with a pest infestation is usually your responsibility as a tenant.
As a landlord, it is our responsibility to deal with any infestation where pests have gained access through a defect in the fabric of the building, or if the infestation is within a communal area, where the tenant is unable to take appropriate steps to treat the issue themselves.
If it is your responsibility, but the infestation is so severe that you cannot reasonably be expected to manage the issue yourself, we may assist you and pass on the cost for treatment to you as a rechargeable repair. We will always advise you if this is the case before arranging treatment.
What can you do?
It is important to take preventative action to discourage pests in your home. Ensure your home, including common areas, are kept clean and tidy. To deter pests, it is essential that you:
Mice and Rats
Mice and rats can cause damage to your home and furnishings by chewing through electrical wires, increasing the risk of fire and electrocution. They are most active at night which makes it easier to spot signs of a problem rather than the rodent itself.
If the issue is inside your home we will send out a pest control contractor to investigate and treat. There may be a recharge for this if the infestation is caused by poor hygiene. If the issue is outside you may be able to keep mice under control using traps or poison which can be bought in most DIY stores. You can contact your local council to find out if they provide a service to remove rats and mice.
Bees and Wasps
Bees are not pests. Honeybees must not be killed as they are useful pollinators and are protected by law. However, they may be re-homed with a local beekeeper.
First, check if what you have are bees or wasps. This may sound rather obvious, but it is an easy mistake to make. Wasps and honeybees are about the same size, but wasps have black and bright yellow stripes. Honeybees are brown and less vibrantly coloured than wasps. Bumblebees are furry. You can find out more about how to tell the difference here. If you are experiencing serious issues with wasps in your home, we will send out our pest control contractor. If the problem is in a shed or outbuilding it will be your responsibility to arrange for treatment.
We will not get rid of bees. If you think you have a honeybee swarm, please contact the Scottish Beekeepers Association which provides help and advice. You can find your local beekeeping association on their website.
Treat them using an ant spray or powder which you can purchase in most DIY stores. Treat the nest if you can find it. You may be able to locate it by following the trail of ants. If you can’t reach the nest, treat all entry points to your home (doors, windows and drains). The ants should carry the insecticide back to their nest. Carefully follow the instructions provided with the treatment and be especially careful if there are children and dogs in your home.
Further guidance can be found here.
Most UK birds are protected so it is illegal to remove their eggs and nests or disturb them once they have begun nesting. Although they can be noisy, they seldom cause any damage and their nesting period is fairly short. We advise you to take a note of where the birds have nested and then call us to remove it once they have left the nest.
Scotland’s native red squirrels are specially protected since their numbers having fallen drastically, mainly due to the rise of the grey squirrel.
Grey squirrels don’t receive any protection and are considered a pest. If you have grey squirrels in your loft space, we can send out a pest control contractor to investigate and treat. For more information or to report a squirrel sighting visit here.
Fleas from pet cats and dogs don’t spread disease but flea bites can be itchy and uncomfortable for you and your pets.
To deal with fleas, treat your pets, bedding, furniture and carpets with flea sprays or powders. If you are unsure of which type to use, you may wish to speak to a vet for advice. To prevent fleas, you can treat your dogs and cats regularly. Again, speak to your vet for advice.
Bedbugs / Dust Mites
Bedbugs are visible to the naked eye and are around the size of a watermelon seed. They generally don’t live inside the mattress, but on the seams of mattresses, bed slats, frames, bedside cabinets and even the pleats of curtains. The only way these should be tackled by yourself is with a steamer. In most cases, however, a professional treatment will be required. Using DIY chemicals will not be effective and you could end up dispersing them and turning it into a far bigger problem.
Dust mites live in mattresses and bedding. They can make your symptoms worse if you suffer from eczema, asthma or any other breathing problems. Dust mites prefer warm, humid environments. To keep them under control, wash your bedding regularly at 60°C and try to keep your bedroom cool and well ventilated.
Some animals and birds may be protected, such as bats. They should not be removed or killed without you first getting specialist advice on what is the best course of action to take.
Looking after your health and safety
Please try preventative methods first before considering the use of pest control. If you do need to use a product, please consider the following:
Happy #PRIDE month! Ancho are proud to support our LGBTQ+ community this month and beyond. You are loved, seen and heard. Click the image to access our round-up of resources.
Want to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community? Here’s a roundup of some of the best books from the last few years.
Books not your thing? If you prefer a documentary we’ve got you covered too. This list of documentaries is a good place to start!
Do you know what a pronoun is and why they matter so much? Click here to find out more about them, including what to do if you make a mistake.
Ancho’s Board members have chosen to volunteer because they want the lives of Ancho’s tenants to be the best they can be. We’re searching for likeminded tenants to join them in shaping the future of the organisation.
Board members come from all walks of life. Diversity is so important; it allows us to utilise the countless skills and experiences that different people acquire over time. And the experience of an Ancho tenant is incredibly valuable to us. After all, no one knows our services better than you.
As part of our governing body, you’ll make strategic business decisions about the management of Ancho, including key policy and budget decisions. If you’d like to become a member of our Board, please get in touch. Training, support and mentoring is available to all Board members
In our last email newsletter, sent in February, we asked you what you thought about the service you receive when you get in touch with the Ancho team. The survey received 33 responses. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill it in.
Well done to Neil Turner from Irvine who is the winner of our £50 voucher.
When you phone Ancho, what qualities are most important to you?
The top three responses for tenants were:
How satisfied are you with how quickly we answer your calls?
What other feedback do you have?
It was great to get some positive feedback about our team. Our Board are looking at your feedback when they set new targets for how quickly we answer calls or digital enquiries. We’ll have more to update you on in the next email bulletin.
What can you do online? | Request a Repair | Make a Payment | Apply for Housing | We Care, Please Share | Report Antisocial Behaviour | Contact Us |
Sovereign House, Academy Road,
Irvine, Ayrshire, KA12 8RL
Mon: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Tue: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Wed: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Thu: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Fri: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014
Scottish Housing Regulator
Recognised as a Scottish Charity
Registered property factor