Everything is coming up Roses…

Everything is Coming up Roses.

Guest Blog: Dave Bainbridge.
Group Manager – Enabling Customers Wigan and Leigh Housing

The power and benefits that come from volunteering and helping others can not be underestimated. Its value to the giver, receiver and community is priceless.

The public perception of social housing and council tenants as portrayed in the media is often negative and does not reflect the often vibrant communities and significant contribution made to those local communities by residents . Thanks can be given to the repeat sensationalisation of bad news stories by Television and Papers.

The positive contribution most tenants and residents give far out weigh the negative minority that can disrupt estates

We have many examples of the great things going on in our communities but I would like to talk about just one brilliant example of this. As I write this BLOG @DIYSOS are busy improving a property in the Hindley area of Wigan, This isn’t a Council or Housing Association property its not a private rented or RTB it’s a privately owned property not even on one of our estates.

So you may well rightly ask what is this to do with @CouncilHomesChat …..

Well some of our tenants heard that @DIYSOS where in town and THEY OFFERED THEIR HELP.

They arranged for plants to be donated free from a local Nursery (Mossbank) and are now busy helping the crew to plant them.

Look out for the programme which will be broadcast later in the year




Rural Housing – “the cheapest home available in the village nearest to the farm is £450k”..

Mared Elenid Williams was born and brought up in a village near Aberystwyth. She moved to Cardiff to complete an MSc in Strategic Marketing in 2006 and following a few years of working in the charity sector began working as  Marketing Coordinator for Newydd Housing Association in 2010, a position she thoroughly enjoys. Mared currently lives in Llantwit Major with her partner who is a farmer.


At the moment my life revolves around Zoopla and Rightmove. Then back to Zoopla again. I change the price bracket, hoping that something may just pop up that needs a bit of work….we could negotiate the price down? Negative. Each morning I reach for my phone, click open the app, adjust the price bracket and….yes it’s become an obsession!

Back in February this obsession had not begun, instead my day consisted of filling in reams of paperwork, calculating our monthly spend, printing evidence of our savings accounts and most importantly proving our links to the local area. I was getting excited, we were applying for a low cost home ownership property in Cowbridge. However I soon found out that managing expectation was key, I knew many many people would be applying for this single property. So 6 weeks later we found out…negative.

My boyfriend works on the family farm but earns very little. On the other hand I earn a decent wage but despite working for a housing association; promoting affordable homes in the Vale of Glamorgan, we just can’t seem to purchase an affordable home ourselves anywhere near the farm.

We have been together for 2 years and privately rent a home…but its 5 miles away from the farm. Depending on the time of year, my boyfriend moves in with his parents during lambing, harvest or when the horses are foaling. Not a prospect that fills me with excitement. I would like to add that we also have a decent deposit, but we still can’t find an affordable home within 5 miles of the farm. The cheapest home available in the nearest village is £450,000. Totally out of our reach. This makes our house search the most frustrating activity of the day.

So what is the solution? There isn’t one at the moment….a farm can’t be moved.  I continue to hope that low cost affordable homes will be built near the farm. Likelihood? Negative. There was recent talk of a new housing development in the neighbouring village, but looks like these will be executive homes. The frustration continues.