Join Rochdale Mind for toast and a chat!

Tea and biscuits illustrationDid you know that the little things you do can make a big difference, like that chat over free toast and a cuppa?

Rochdale & District Mind are working with RBH to run a weekly event in Rochdale town centre. All local residents are welcome! Come along to meet and talk with others who have similar experiences, help us to reduce loneliness and social isolation, and find out about how to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Every conversation counts, so please come along! The sessions will run every Tuesday, starting on 2nd April, from 10am until 1pm at Mitchell Hey Community Rooms at College Bank.

Update for College Bank residents: 26th March 2019

Today (Tuesday 26th March), the RBH team has visited homes in the College Bank area that we expect to be affected by demolition. These face-to-face conversations have provided further information and formal notification of our plans to residents. We previously visited every home in these four blocks in February 2019 to let them know that we would soon be taking this step.

We want to stress again that demolition work is not about to start, but this means that residents in the Mitchell Hey, Dunkirk Rise, Tentercroft, and Town Mill Brow tower blocks have now been formally notified that their homes are likely to be demolished within the next seven years. This formal notification is in the form of a legal notice called an Initial Demolition Notice.

We know that this will be an unsettling time for our customers, and we are absolutely committed to looking after them, with dedicated support in place to help each and every resident with all aspects of their move to a new home and any additional support that they may need.

We want to reiterate that we have only taken this very difficult decision to ensure the long-term success of the local area, and firmly believe that our proposals for the College Bank and Lower Falinge area will provide a place that people are proud to call home for years to come.

Alongside homes to suit people at all stages of their life, we also want to provide more green spaces for everyone to enjoy, and better connections into a revitalised Rochdale town centre.

Since 2016, RBH has been working on detailed proposals to improve the quality and mix of homes available in the College Bank and Lower Falinge area, listening to local residents through a series of consultation events and carrying out detailed planning.

As part of our evaluation, we have again reviewed the investment needed to maintain the College Bank tower blocks over the short, medium, and long term.

The blocks require multi-million pound upgrades both internally and externally, including new heating systems, new modern windows and balconies, improved and more secure entrances, safer and brighter communal landings and stairwells, improvements to internal pipework and drainage systems, and new weather proofed block exteriors. In addition, improvements are needed to the concourses, garages and block basements.

The cost of this essential investment would be at least £10m per block. For a similar investment of £10m, we know that we could build more than 100 brand new homes that would be higher in quality, provide a better mix of size and type, and would better meet the needs of local people now and into the future. We know that RBH would never be able to raise the £70m needed for investing in all seven blocks. However, we have listened to those people in the community who have told us they do really value high rise living which is why we are looking at ways to invest £30m in the three blocks we are proposing to retain.

Since initial discussions with the local community began, we have been told by residents that they want more certainty on what is happening and when. We have always committed to provide at least one year’s notice to any RBH tenant who needs to move home – the conversations we have had with residents today and last month will provide more certainty for everyone who will be affected at College Bank. We have also made a firm promise that any resident who wishes to stay in the Rochdale town centre area will be able to do so.

We know we won’t have been able to catch everyone at home today. Residents can get in touch with us by a number of methods, including face to face, by email and over the telephone.

Bin chutes in Lower Falinge

Some people have commented about the new smaller rubbish chute covers in some of the blocks in Lower Falinge.

At our last inspection, our contractor told us that some of the bin chute covers needed replacing. We were not aware at the time that this would mean smaller covers. Our contractor has been clear to us that these new covers must be smaller in order to meet fire safety requirements. There is no option for us to fit larger covers.

We appreciate that this is a change for residents who have previously used the larger chute covers. Our caretaking team will ensure that any additional rubbish is cleared from outside the chutes, and we will make available some smaller bin bags for residents.

In the longer term rubbish disposal is one of the key things we are discussing with residents as part of improvements in the retained blocks at Lower Falinge.

Thursday drop-in sessions return to College Bank TRA

We’re pleased to announce that the College Bank TRA Office in Town Mill Brow is now available again to host our Thursday drop-in sessions for local residents. As from 28th February, the drop-in sessions will now be held as follows:

  • Every Tuesday, 10am until 12 noon, at Lower Falinge Housing Office, Newstead
  • Every Thursday, 10am until 12 noon, at College Bank TRA Office, Town Mill Brow

All local residents are welcome to pop along and speak to our team about any aspect of our proposals.

Speaking to residents in College Bank – 26th February 2019

Today (Tuesday, 26th February), the RBH team has been visiting homes in the College Bank area; providing information to residents face-to-face and explaining our intention to demolish the Mitchell Hey, Dunkirk Rise, Tentercroft, and Town Mill Brow tower blocks over the coming years.

We want to stress that demolition work is not about to start, but all affected residents will shortly be formally informed that their homes are likely to be demolished within the next seven years. We have dedicated support in place to help each resident with all aspects of their move to a new home and any additional support they may need.

We are absolutely committed to looking after our customers in what we know will be an unsettling time for them.

We have only taken this difficult decision to ensure the long-term success of the local area, and firmly believe that our proposals for the College Bank and Lower Falinge area will provide a place that people are proud to call home for years to come.

Alongside homes to suit people at all stages of their life, we also want to provide more green spaces for everyone to enjoy, and better connections into a revitalised Rochdale town centre.

Since 2016, RBH has been working on detailed proposals to improve the quality and mix of homes available in the College Bank and Lower Falinge area, listening to local residents through a series of consultation events and carrying out detailed planning.

As part of our evaluation, we have again reviewed the investment needed to maintain the College Bank tower blocks over the short, medium, and long term.

The blocks require multi-million pound upgrades both internally and externally, including new heating systems, new modern windows and balconies, improved and more secure entrances, safer and brighter communal landings and stairwells, improvements to internal pipework and drainage systems, and new weather proofed block exteriors. In addition, improvements are needed to the concourses, garages and block basements.

The cost of this essential investment would be at least £10m per block. For a similar investment of £10m, we know that we could build more than 100 brand new homes that would be higher in quality, provide a better mix of size and type, and would better meet the needs of local people now and into the future. We know that RBH would never be able to raise the £70m needed for investing in all seven blocks.  However, we have listened to those people in the community who have told us they do really value high rise living which is why we are looking at ways to invest £30m in the three blocks we are proposing to retain.

Since initial discussions with the local community began, we have been told by residents that they want more certainty on what is happening and when. We have always committed to provide at least one year’s notice to any RBH tenant who needs to move home – today’s activity is intended to provide more certainty for everyone who will be affected at College Bank.

The next key step will be to issue a legal notice (called an Initial Demolition Notice) to all homes we expect to be affected by demolition in the next seven years. We plan to issue the Initial Demolition Notices in College Bank over the coming weeks, so we wanted to provide plenty of notice that this will be happening.

We know we won’t have been able to catch everyone at home today, so we have posted a calling card providing information on how residents can get in touch with us, including face to face, by email and over the telephone.

RBH pledge to be an early adopter for “Together with Tenants”

NHF Together with TenantsRBH is proud to support Together with Tenants – a project organised by the National Housing Federation to strengthen the relationship between housing associations and their tenants and residents.

The Federation has been working with tenants, residents, tenant representative groups, our members and others to understand what practical change is needed to address this. To drive action, they’ve created a four-point plan for delivering change across the sector.

This plan is currently out for consultation, and we’ve agreed to be one of 44 housing associations across the country who will be early adopters of the plan, once feedback from the consultation has been received.

More information on the plan and how to respond to the consultation is available online at: https://www.housing.org.uk/topics/together-with-tenants/.

We’d love to hear any feedback on the plan and we hope that residents will respond to the consultation with their views!