ALL CHANGE!! – BENEFITS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN

Earlier this year the government passed a bill in parliament to dramatically change the way welfare works.  It is the biggest reform to the way the system works in many years.  The changes will affect almost everyone.  Most of them do not come into effect until April 2013 but we want to make sure that you have a basic understanding of what is changing, how and why its changing and when its changing. We also want to let you know if there is anything that you should be doing now to get ready for these changes.

Universal Credit

This is the biggest single change. The government is doing away with income based Income Support, income based Job Seekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit.  All of these benefits will be replaced by one single Universal Credit.  Your Universal Credit will be worked out on a computer system that will take into account all your circumstances and come up with what the government believes to be a fair amount for you to receive.  It should be similar to any money that you are currently receiving.  It will be paid monthly, probably in arrears.  If you are used to getting Housing Benefit paid directly to your landlord you will have to make new arrangements to make sure that your rent is paid.

We strongly encourage our tenant’s to consider opening an account with Hammersmith & Fulham Credit Union. They can help you manage paying your rent to us, help you to save and offer manageable loans.

They are a not-for-profit financial co-operative serving anyone who lives or works in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. They also serve employees of Hammersmith & Fulham council (LBHF), Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT) and Shepherd’s Bush housing Group (SBHG).

They can be contacted on

Tel: 0207 471 2620

Branch:  274 North End Road, London SW16 1NJ

Opening Times:

Monday          10am – 4pm

Tuesday          10am – 4pm

Wednesday     10am – 4pm

Thursday         10am – 4pm

Friday              10am – 4pm

Saturday          10am – 4pm

Opening an Account with Hammersmith & Fulham Credit Union

The government is doing away with income based Income Support, income based Job Seekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit.  All of these benefits will be replaced by one single Universal Credit. It will be paid monthly, probably in arrears.  If you are used to getting Housing Benefit paid directly to your landlord you will have to make new arrangements to make sure that your rent is paid.

Joining the Hammersmith & Fulham Credit Union is a great way for you to manage r your money.

To become a member you must:

–       Live or work in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Part-time work and volunteering is OK as long as you spend a minimum of 16.5 hours in the borough each week.   

–       Show proof of your identity by providing at least 2 documents to prove your identity and address, such as: Passport / Driving Licence/DWP, Benefits confirmation letter/tax credit award.

–       Show proof of your address  by providing a recent utility bill/bank statement/mortgage statement/council tax demand/benefits letter.

–       Pay a one-off £3 joining fee to cover the initial cost of membership. This fee will be deducted from your first lodgement to the credit union. Unlike high street banks, we do not charge monthly or annual fees.

Benefits of Membership

Membership has many benefits…

Social Security Benefits: Why not have benefits such as Universal Credit or Children’s Allowance paid directly to your local credit union. It is a great way to build up your savings for a rainy day!

Standing Order:  You can set up a standing order between your bank account and your HFCU account. This is an easy way to grow your savings at a pace you control.

PayPoint: All our HFCU Member cards allow our members to pay directly into their HFCU account at any PayPoint outlet throughout the country. There are over 70 PayPoint outlets in Hammersmith and Fulham alone.

Payroll Deduction: In 2008, staff from Notting Hill Housing saved over £90,000 through a Christmas Savings Scheme run by HFCU via payroll deduction.

Flexible & convenient loans: Members can take out flexible loans at competitive rates and repay at tailor-made schedules. All our loans are fully insured (for free) against death.

Attractive dividend on savings: As every member of the credit union is a part-owner of the credit union, we give the profits back to you at the end of the year. We aim to pay an attractive dividend on members savings. At the end of our financial year we will write to all our members outlining our profits and let you know what the dividend will be for the year. Our aim is to grow to be able to pay a dividend of 4% – the maximum we’re allowed to pay out as a dividend is 8%.

Quality service, no fees: You can be assured of friendly and professional service from H&F Credit Union at all times. And you do not pay a transaction fee for saving with us, or borrowing money.

Easy and friendly:
There are many ways that you can pay safely and conveniently into your credit union savings or loan accounts.

Online Services:
As a member of HFCU, you can now view your balance online, download useful information and loan application forms and make enquiries directly to our friendly.

And remember: It’s your money, your credit union and your choice!

What our members say:

I had not had any experience of credit unions as such. So when I first visited the branch on the North End Road I was delighted, amazed and so please at the way my affairs were handled. I took out a loan to buy my new glasses – it could not have been easier! Cheryl, Krisstal and Evette are all absolutely wonderful and charming.

– Denis (Fulham)

I’ve found H&F Credit Union a great experience. I got a small loan and paid it back in less than 6 months. I’m saving some of my benefits and I am really surprised how quickly it adds up! The loans are easy to understand and the staff make everything simple and straightforward. I’m really glad I have the credit union because in the past it cost me so much to borrow and now I know I can get the amounts I need in a way that doesn’t affect me negatively. I really recommend it.  

Janet (Shepherd’s Bush)

I like the staff, they are such a lovely , friendly bunch. Forms are explained properly and a lot of time is taken with customers. Customer care means a lot to me and they have got it 100%….I’m telling all my friends as I feel they have helped me a lot financially. – Suzanne (Fulham)

They can be contacted on

Tel: 0207 471 2620

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.hfcu.co.uk

Branch:  274 North End Road, London SW16 1NJ

Opening Times: 

Monday            10am – 4pm

Tuesday          10am – 4pm

Wednesday     10am – 4pm

Thursday         10am – 4pm

Friday              10am – 4pm

Saturday          10am – 4pm

Waste not, on our plot!

Family Mosaic and Accuro – one of our Grounds & Maintenance contractors – have provisional plans to create a Green Waste Facility on a disused plot of land in the Old Oak Estate The Facility will be located on the corner of Wulfstan Street and Old Oak Lane, and members of the community will be able to bring in their organic waste and convert it into compost and wood chip. The development of the site will include removing invasive species, soil and debris, tidying the pre-existing car park area and replacing broken fencing and erecting bays within the area for varying green waste.

We’re really excited about the community engagement and regeneration potential of this project, not to mention the awareness of sustainability and recycling it will generate. We are securing planning permission and raising awareness of the works amongst residents in the next couple of weeks, before development can begin.

 

Feedback – Old Oak Apprenticeship Open Day 31 July 2012

Family Mosaic and Old Oak Housing Association are committed to supporting 1000 people into jobs within the next 3 years and part of this drive includes maximising the opportunities for apprenticeships. We intend to broker a diverse range of apprenticeship opportunities for residents and customers. We will offer internal apprenticeships within Family Mosaic and Old Oak Housing Association in various departments. We will use our purchasing power as a lever to ensure as many contractors as possible agree to employ apprentices and will work with external employers to capture apprenticeship opportunities we can fill using our direct link to suitable candidates.

An apprenticeship open day was recently held at Old Oak community centre on the 31st July (11:30am – 3:30pm). 3000 flyers were sent out targeting Old Oak residents and surrounding Boroughs. On the day 45 people turned up actively looking for an apprenticeship opportunity which is slightly above the attendance rate for similar events. The event had a number of contractors attending with live vacancies so that those attending were able to speak directly with prospective employers and discuss the types of roles available.

Employment advisers were on hand throughout the day to answer questions and explain the next steps.

Statistics Breakdown

• 31 FM tenants attended
• 14 Old Oak tenants attended
• 4 employers attended
• 2 colleges attended

Next Steps

The 45 people who attended the open day have been put onto our apprenticeship database and are being matched with employment opportunities in their area. They are currently being screened for suitability in their chosen field. We aim to place 58 individuals into construction opportunities between September and December and will notify management of all residents placed into an apprenticeship. Alongside construction opportunities we are matching people against vacancies in finance, customer’s service and business administration.

Old Oak Shortlisted for NATFED Community Impact Award 2012

We are delighted to announce that Old Oak Housing Association has gone through to the next round of a national competition that highlights our important community work.

The Community Impact Awards, organised by the National Housing Federation, recognise the vast range of neighbourhood projects – from anti-social behaviour initiatives to support for older people – run by housing associations.

For the London region awards Old Oak Housing Association, was shortlisted by a panel of tenant judges for turning the Old Oak Community and Children’s Centre into a thriving community ‘hub’ with resident led services and activities.

Family Mosaic’s employment team (formerly known as Pathways2work) was also shortlisted in the Building Futures category for their creative efforts to tackle unemployment, using a combination of coaching, advice, training and work placements, to help 140 people into work last year;

Additionally, Family Mosaic’s Greening Communities project was shortlisted for the South East region awards in the Improving Neighbourhoods category for its work with residents across London and Essex to transform communal outside spaces into sustainable green areas.

The winners will be announced during October.