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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

New ASB advisors to support housing sector

01/04/2010


The first members of the national action squad who will work with social housing landlords in England to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) will take up their posts on 6 April 2010.

Three ASB Action Team Advisors have been recruited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) as part of a planned national team of four which has been commissioned by the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) and funded by Communities and Local Government (CLG).

The announcement was made today (1 April) by the Housing Minister John Healey when he also published new guidance developed by CIH for council and housing association landlords, outlining how they can use the powers available to them to crack-down on anti-social behaviour and improve the lives of their tenants.

The three new recruits, Tess Ash, Chris Grose and Vanessa Maginley, will work on a regional basis with housing providers who need most support to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour, improve the fabric of their communities and bring about lasting change for their tenants.

Based within CIH, the team will seek to share existing best practice, help landlords make the best use of existing resources and ultimately help secure improvements in services delivered to tenants. The team forms part of a £10 million initiative, announced last November by the Government, to tackle ASB in 130 authorities across England, with a strong focus on capacity building amongst practitioners and supporting the delivery of locally agreed standards.

CIH Head of Practice, Debbie Larner, said: "This team will pull together the best work that is already happening in tackling anti-social behaviour in the sector. It can play an incredibly important role in helping landlords and tenants prevent and stop behaviour that is causing disruption in communities. We think this is an excellent opportunity for sector-led improvement to make a real difference in practice."

TSA Executive Director Tenant Services Phil Morgan, said, "Tenants have told us that dealing with anti-social behaviour is a top priority for them and we have recognised this in our new neighbourhood and community standard. The team will play in crucial role in tackling ASB which causes so many problems for communities up and down the country."

John Healey said: "Our homes and communities should be places where people like living and feel safe. But in some areas a small number of people are ruining that and where this happens we need to take action.

"Council and housing association landlords are not just responsible for the bricks and mortar – they also have a duty to act when tenants’ lives are made a misery by anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood. Today’s guidance will help them to use the range of powers at their disposal to do just that.

"And the new national standards for both council and housing association landlords which come into force today, mean tenants should have increased confidence that quick and effective action will be taken."

*ENDS*

News release issued on behalf of the CIH by Jill Dwyer, CIH Press Office, Octavia House, Westwood Way, Coventry CV4 8JP. Telephone: 02476 851780 or 07786 716961. Email:

press@cih.org . Alternatively, contact the TSA press office on 020 7393 2094/2118/2115.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the professional body for people involved in housing and communities. We are a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. We have a diverse and growing membership of over 22,000 – both in the public and private sectors – living and working in over 20 countries on five continents across the world. Our members work for local authorities, housing associations, Arms Length Management Organisations, Government bodies, educational establishments and the private sector. Many tenants and residents are also members. We exist to maximise the contribution that housing professionals make to the wellbeing of communities. Further information is available at: www.cih.org

2. Three Anti-Social Behaviour Action Team Advisors will be in post from 6 April 2010. A further member of the national team is yet to be recruited. They are seconded to the Tenant Services Authority for two years and will be based within the Chartered Institute of Housing.

3. The TSA is the independent regulator for social housing in England. It was set up on 1 December 2008 and currently regulates housing associations. When the TSA switches on its new powers on 1 April, it will also start regulating local authority landlords and other providers of social housing.

4. Biographies of ASB Advisors:

Tess Ash - Since graduating as a mature student from Manchester university in 1988, Tess has worked in the public sector, initially with Oldham Borough Council, as a homelessness caseworker, and then with Manchester City Council managing hostels for young homeless people providing support and move on accommodation for some of the most vulnerable groups in society. Tess then widened her housing experience by moving into Estate Management and took up management responsibility for two large housing estates in Manchester. Since 2000 Tess has specialised as an ASB practitioner with the nationally recognised Anti Social Behaviour Action Team, and has extensive experience in managing ASB casework at an operational level as well as being involved in the development and implementation of the wider ASB strategy in Manchester. Tess will cover the north of England including Yorkshire and Humberside, north east and north west.

Chris Grose - Chris has 10 years of social housing experience. He works for Carrick Housing Ltd, a 3 star ALMO as the Neighbourhood Enforcement Manager. He has extensive experience in Community Engagement and tackling anti-social behaviour. He has a keen interest in working with young people and communities. Prevention and early intervention is an area that he has worked closely on. Chris was one of the first to achieve a Premises Closure Order and has managed some high profile legal cases. He has built some excellent partnerships with local and national partner agencies and firmly believes in working together to achieve results. Chris will cover the south west of England.

Vanessa Maginley - For the last four years, Vanessa has worked with Birmingham Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (BASBU), as a frontline practitioner working in partnership to tackle issues of anti-social behaviour throughout the city. Prior to this, she worked for the Connexions Service seeking to encourage young people to achieve and make positive contributions to society. Other roles she has held have involved working in the third sector developing services aimed at tackling social exclusion. She has a longstanding commitment to promoting community cohesion and working for better outcomes for residents. Vanessa will cover the east and west midlands and the east of England.

Please contact the ASB Team at: http://www.cih.org/asbactionteam

5. Good Practice Guidance for Social Landlords: Tools and Powers to Tackle ASB was written by CIH and is published by CLG on 1 April. It can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/toolspowersguide


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