Queen’s Speech 2015

Outlook: It’s clear from yesterday’s Queen Speech that much of the Conservative Party manifesto was well-represented. Big ticket policies such as the extension of right to buy to housing associations, reducing the welfare cap, removing housing benefit eligibility from 18 to 21 year old job seekers and doubling the entitlement to free childcare were all there. Read more

Smarterbuys and Consortium Procurement offer discount broadband for tenants and staff

Smarterbuys and Consortium Procurement are pleased to announce the launch of a new discount broadband service exclusively for the tenants and staff of NHC member organisations.

As the national rollout of Universal Credit continues, access to the internet is becoming increasingly important for your customers. We have now teamed up with TalkTalk and Happus in order to offer discounted unlimited broadband deals which start at £10.85 per month for the first six months.

All packages come with free installation, a free router, and inclusive line rental, making them the best value broadband deals on the market. Customers also have the option to add on an optional landline call package, or even upgrade to fibre broadband if they are in an eligible area.

Martin Adams, Smarterbuys Vendor Manager, said:

“This new offer will help tenants to get online for an affordable price, and also access one of the country’s leading broadband suppliers.

“Households without the internet miss out on £560 of savings each year, and between 60 and 70% of education and work-related opportunities are only advertised on the internet, so it’s more important than ever to have online access.”

The announcement of the new broadband deal strengthens the relationship between Smarterbuys and Happus, who are already working together to offer tenants access to technology including tablets from £69.99.

To take advantage of this offer call 03300 10 33 00 and quote SMART1185 and let them know which housing association you’re calling from.

For more information on Smarterbuys and Consortium Procurement please call 0191 566 1000. To see the full range of products offered by Smarterbuys visit the Smarterbuys website. Terms and conditions apply. Full information on the broadband offer is available here.

How the Conservative manifesto affects housing

Ahead of last week’s general election we published a round-up of all of the party manifestos, along with what each meant for five key areas: devolution and local government, economy, health and social care, housing, and welfare and work.

Following the Conservative party’s victory, we thought we would revisit the manifesto and condense it down to the current government. The full matrix is available to view below, and you can download it as a pdf here.

Conservative manifesto pledges

Designed for Life winners announced

The winners of the Northern Housing Consortium and University of Northumbria’s Designed for Life competition have been announced.

Bookcase Memories, a service which was created to be accessed from the point of diagnosis of dementia, was chosen by the judging panel after weeks of deliberation.

Conceived by second year students at the university’s design school, Bookcase Memories was chosen because of its accessibility as well as the fact it provided supportive and practical advice for families as well as those affected by the condition.

The expert reference group and judging panel were both impressed by the design of the product, which was both visually appealing and tactile. The group’s considerable research on dementia was evident, and it was deemed to be a low cost service which provided great value.

Second placed Illic – meaning ‘therapy’ in Latin – also received plaudits from the panel, who liked the idea of developing a series of products which promoted awareness of time, routines, and helped create a sense of independence.

The judging panel for the competition consisted of Alive!, Dames Esther Rantzen and Clare Tickell, Jim Coulter, and Jo Moriarty from King’s College London. Designed for Life was sponsored by Appello, who were also part of the judging panel.

Both presentations are available to download – you can access Bookcase Memories here, and Illic is available here.

You can read our CEO Jo Boaden’s thoughts on dementia and the impact it could have on housing on the Inside Housing website (subscription required).