A Playle on words

UKHA 2017 finalist

bpha shortlisted for UK Housing Award

Red Nose Day Call Centre

bpha ring in the fundraising for Red Nose Day

Spring clean your street with community grant

25 January, 2017

Residents in Bedfordshire are encouraged to give their communities a spring clean with help from a £250 grant from bpha.

We are getting involved with The Big Tidy Up – a national campaign this Spring to encourage people to tidy-up their streets and help make a difference in their community.

Staff will be volunteering their time in March to take part in litter picks in neighbourhoods that are in need of a clean-up and also offering the chance for people to get involved and give their local streets a spring clean.

bpha residents can apply for up to a £250 grant from bpha to purchase litter picking equipment and give their communities a boost.

Kim Burrows, Community Development Officer at bpha, said: “The Big Tidy Up campaign offers residents the chance to make a real difference to their communities.

“Our staff will be volunteering their time to get involved and to encourage residents to join in we are offering some grants of up to £250 to purchase some litter picking equipment for use in their neighbourhoods.

“Also if residents have any suggestions about where they think we should focus our efforts in this campaign, please let us know and we can look at it.”

To apply for a grant or for more information about the initiative please contact Kim Burrows at CommunityDevelopmentTeam@bpha.org.uk.

For more information about the Big Tidy Up go to www.thebigtidyup.org.

Latest phase of affordable housing released for sale in Cambridge

Latest phase of affordable housing released for sale in Cambridge

13 January, 2017

The second phase of apartments on the Abode development has been released for shared ownership sale.

The Abode development on Hobson Road in the Trumpington area of Cambridge has seen the second phase of its affordable housing released for sale this month. Launched in early December, 13 apartments on the development are now available for shared ownership purchase.

Buyers can purchase a minimum share of 25%, and the apartments start at £325,000 for a one-bedroom home up to £427,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

Clare Andrews, Marketing Co-ordinator, responsible for selling the apartments on behalf of bpha Options to Buy, said: “With prices reaching almost half a million for a two bedroom apartment, shared ownership really does offer the average person the opportunity to own their own home in the city that they already live or work in.

“Great Kneighton is the ultimate urban village just three miles from Cambridge city centre, and adjacent to a new 120-acre Country Park. Offering excellent transport links to the city centre, Stansted, London and beyond, these new homes really couldn’t be better placed.”

They are available now to reserve off-plan with an expected completion date of March next year. The scheme also offers a number of two-bedroom houses which will be available for purchase early next year.

All apartments are built to a high specification and come with modern, fitted kitchens and bathrooms as well as high-spec flooring throughout.

For more information, contact the sales team or visit the Options to Buy website.

 

Christmas Hampers

bpha provides Christmas dinner to over 50 families in need

23 December, 2016

Christmas Hamper delivery

Christmas Hamper delivery

Christmas can be a difficult time for people who are struggling financially, so we joined forces with Tesco in Riverfield Drive, Bedford to deliver 52 Christmas Food Hampers, providing support to residents nominated by their front-line employees as being most in need. The hampers include everything a family needs to cook a traditional Christmas roast dinner and tea.

Thirty bpha employee volunteers, including Chief Executive Kevin Bolt, headed out to spread Christmas cheer to bpha homes across Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Kettering.

bpha Community Development Officer, Jim Playle, who co-ordinated the deliveries said:

“To know that close to 200 people including 105 children will sit down to eat a healthy Christmas dinner because of this initiative, and wouldn’t have otherwise, is really powerful stuff. Many of the families I have spoken to had cancelled Christmas as they just couldn’t afford to do it. We are very pleased that we are making a real difference to these families at this time.”

 

Christmas present donations for Bedfordshire children

14 December, 2016

Over 170 presents have been donated by staff at bpha to help give children in Bedfordshire a better Christmas this year.

bpha has teamed up with the Harpur Centre and Heart Radio to take part in their Wishing Tree campaign.

Members of staff took a tag from the bpha Christmas tree showing the name and age of a child to buy a gift for in Bedfordshire.

Scores of presents were donated and have been delivered to the Harpur Centre for them to give to the children in time for Christmas.

Kevin Bolt, Chief Executive at bpha, said: “We were delighted to team up with the Harpur Centre and Heart Radio on their Wishing Tree campaign for children in Bedfordshire.

“Our staff have been very keen to support the campaign and have donated well over 170 fantastic presents that we hope will help the children have a better Christmas.”

Samantha Laycock from the Harpur Centre, said: “We would like to thank the team at bpha for supporting our Wishing Tree appeal this year.

“Due to an overwhelmingly generous response by our shoppers, Heart Radio listeners and bpha staff, we are proud to announce that thousands of gifts for underprivileged children and families in Bedfordshire will be delivered in time for Christmas.”

Our staff have also donated over 31kg in food donations to the ‘Christmas in a Box’ initiative organised by All Nationas Church in Bedford.

On Tuesday, 13 December, some bpha staff joined volunteers from the church and Bedford Foodbank to deliver 150 boxes of food that had been donated by students at Sharnbrook Middle School and our staff.

Jim Playle, Community Development Officer at bpha, said: “The Christmas in a Box initiative is a fantastic activity which last year saw over 650 boxes of food distributed to people in need, many of who are our tenants.

“The food we collected will be checked, sorted and then distributed across Bedford Borough over the next few days.”

Access required for stock surveys

Social housing cheat to pay back £35,000

28 November, 2016

A bpha tenant has been ordered to pay back almost £35,000 after being prosecuted for lying to obtain low cost social housing.

Omid Hashemi, of Alamein Avenue, Bedford, has also been sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years after claiming that he, his wife and his younger brother were living in overcrowded conditions.

However, after a referral by bpha to Bedford Borough Council, it was revealed that Mr Hashemi owned a three bed house, purchased just three months before applying for housing, which he rented out for profit.

In February this year, Mr Hashemi, was prosecuted at Luton Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.

Following the conviction an application was made to seize Mr Hashemi’s assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The Court heard evidence that Mr Hashemi benefited from his crime and ordered him to pay almost £35,000, which represented all of his available assets. The amount must be paid within three months or Mr Hashemi will face nine months in prison.

George Parkinson, Head of Housing Management at bpha, said: “Tenancy fraud is a crime and takes away housing from those people who need it the most.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case and will continue to work closely with Bedford Borough Council and other partners to ensure that suspicions are fully investigated.”

If you suspect that someone may have lied on their application for housing, may have abandoned their property, or may be subletting their home please report any suspicions to bpha in confidence on 0330 100 0272 or email info@bpha.org.uk.