Sunday, August 31, 2014

ANDIUM HOMES - rents still going up even when the lifts do not...aspects of Jersey "social housing" ....

This is a picture of the Lifts at Ground Floor level in a Le Marais High Rise block now administered by ANDIUM HOMES with a UK based Chairman who takes £40,000  for just 30 hours work per annum.
There are others on the  board who takes similarly inflated payments for very few hours too...

Only one of the two lifts here is currently working.

As we all know, ANDIUM have taken over the so called "social housing"  portfolio from the States Housing Department and plan to turn this into a money generating asset as part of the Ozouf Master Plan with the one dominant objective of USER PAYS....all rents are being increased across the board to achieve 90% parity with "Private sector" rents although we all know that there can be no such parity...

These lifts are essential in a high-rise building of 14 floors and it is inevitable that they will be out of action briefly on occasions for repair etc.

However, due to long term lack of maintenance under the late Housing Department, the lifts are now undergoing major rebuilds over several months.

Here the "odd floors" lift has been sealed off for about two months and is not now expected to be back in service until 8 September.
The "even floors" lift is therefore having to carry all passenger and goods traffic until it too is taken out of service for repairs which will probably take several months too.

Obviously this activity causes  inconvenience to residents - especially those with disabilities or their disabled visitors who are currently forced to use the stairs if their floor is an "odd " one.

Deliveries  and removals of large items of furniture have also been disrupted... YET... ANDIUM have just announced a 2.35% increase in rents for the flats at Le Marais (and presumably other properties in its care) from 6 October.
Service charges are also being increased  (heating, hot water and water) in line with utility company rises.

It seems that the interruption of lifts provision is not considered a SERVICE by ANDIUM .

Would a private landlord be able to increase rents in such circumstances? Does inconvenience to tenants have no price?

In theory, Jersey still has a Housing Minister in Deputy Green - but he has already declared his plan to become a Senator and seeks the Health Department Ministry after the election.

It is very likely that the Housing Ministry will be scrapped in the near future too (and absorbed into the Population office under the CM) with ANDIUM being given almost total control over the 3,500 "publicly owned" social housing units of accommodation entrusted to it...


  1. All the work of Minister for Housing - Andrew Green.

    He now wants to be re-elected, and take over as Minister for Health.

    Does anyone trust him, he will probably want to sell that off as well.

    This man is a liability to the decent working middle and lower earners. Protect yourselves, do not re-elect him come October, he just passes the buck to business people like Frank Walker sitting on well paid boards, that politicians cannot get information from as its mostly labled commercially sensitive. Do you think they give a toss about you, NO just how much more money they can squeeze out of you.

    1. Totally agree, there should be a vote of no confidence against this man!!

  2. Tom. A brand new blog is launched. Coming soon = a story on the importance of Reform Day! September 28th 1769

  3. Here is the response from Deputy Green to my email to all States Members and the attachment from Andium that Deputy Green refers to. Strangely he appears only to have sent the reply to some Deputies (excluding Deputies Le Cornu and Mezec) and no Senators or Constables...and he has not circulated the new £40,000 pa annum Chairman of the Board...

    Dear Deputy

    As we approach the final weeks of the current States Assembly I have posted a short comment on the policies of ANDIUM HOMES regarding rent increases and services offered etc.
    There is still time to ask questions about this.


    Mike Dun
    Good Evening All
    As most of you will know I rarely respond to all States Members or in this case all States Deputies emails but on this occasion I considered that a response was required to the totally one sided blog to which neither I as Minister for Housing or Andium were given the opportunity to reply to. There are always two sides to a story and I requested that Andium respond to the comments to set the record straight. Attached is a letter which does just that.

    Best wishes


    Because the Andium response is too wordy it will appear in a comment below - with a bit of luck...


  4. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
    It is of course always regrettable that lift modernisation cause’s unwelcome disruption for our high-rise clients however; such scheduled maintenance is part of a comprehensive programme of works, it is essential and improves future reliability for all. Individual lifts require a period of works between 6 to 8 weeks and efforts are maintained to ensure that an alternate lift remains in operation during this time. We are pleased to confirm that both blocks G & H at Le Marais will be complete before the end of November.
    Andium Homes works hard to keep residents updated of such works and ensures that they are consulted well in advance of any project commencement. We liaise with other agencies, such as the Ambulance Service, and those who need additional assistance are encouraged to contact us. Our Independent Living Team supports those with poor mobility who rely on the lifts to access their homes. Two such cases have been identified at Le Marais and are receiving regular welfare visits and additional support from Andium Homes and the Parish of St Clement. These visits also identified a need for an additional service to be provided in clearing heavy items from communal areas whilst lift improvement works are being carried out. This is due to commence shortly.
    We note the challenge in respect of the rent increase. As you know, the implementation of the rents policy agreed by the States last year at 90% of market applies to new tenancies created after 1st April, 2014. Adjustments to existing rentals are made in October each year at R.P.I. plus 0.75%, subject to not exceeding the 90% of market value. The increase this year was 2.35% which on an average rental of £170 per week equates to an increase of just under £4 per week.
    As you are also aware, the increases will not adversely affect those clients unable to afford it and who are in receipt of Income Support, they will be fully protected.
    Such rental increases are crucial to ensure our ability to deliver further maintenance and our onward commitment to achieving 100% compliance with the Decent Homes Standard within 10 years. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Andium Homes and the Minister of Treasury and Resources controls, amongst other things, the rent policy applied by Andium Homes and its implementation.
    Andium Homes is already bringing about significant improvement to the homes in its charge and delivering much needed new homes, as described in the table below. However, in addition to what is described in the table, there is also a huge amount of general planned maintenance being undertaken across the stock, such as:-
    • Window and door replacements
    • Thermal upgrades – loft insulation, cavity wall fill and secondary glazing
    • Kitchen and Bathroom replacements
    • Decorations
    • Plant & equipment (including lifts) improvements
    • Emergency communal lighting and smoke detector upgrades
    • Resurfacing works
    • Landscaping
    • Playground refurbishments
    • Fence replacement
    • Communal flooring replacement

    Andium Homes will spend some £6M on maintenance in 2014 (1st July – 31st Dec) and plans to spend £62M over the next 5 years.
    In addition to that, we have a capital programme which will see us investing £175M to provide major refurbishment for over 500 units and also deliver over 450 new homes by 2021. As part of this, we have tendered 3 major projects this year and intend to go out to tender to the local construction industry on another 2 projects before the year end – with a cumulative contract value in excess of £22M.
    As part of our “Andium Estate Standard” initiative, all 4,500 of our homes have recently been visited by colleagues from Andium Homes, with further visits to be carried out in October. We are committed to engaging more regularly with residents about the communities they live in, the challenges they face and the improvements we can bring.
    Andium Homes is delivering on its commitment to improving the homes in its charge and the additional services offered to residents.

  5. The above response had to be trimmed minimally to comply with the word count ...but it was written by;
    Dominique Caunce
    Tel 01534 500713

  6. Andium Homes will spend some £6M on maintenance in 2014 (1st July – 31st Dec) and plans to spend £62M over the next 5 years.

    For the year 2013 housing were robbed of approximately £25 million of rent income transfered to the revenue. Why are they bragging abut spending £6 million on maintenance, if They told Ozouf to leave them with " all the rental income " they could spend far more on improving housing and not follow the private sector by increasing rents, and not borrow £250 million putting the island in debt.

    Another example, all the thousands of company registration fees paid to JFSC at £150 a time each year, the JFSC keep about £38 the rest £112 grabbed by the tax department,


  7. i responded to the white paper debating housing i said the non stop increase of rents will result in loss of jobs . loss of shops. loss in tax revenue ect . its the working class that keeps jersey ticking over the rich just spend money off shore yes thats a fact. i said the town centre would struggle we can all see thats happened pubs struggle restaurants cafes .high rents are killing this island. yes those on income support will be covered but we are all being dragged into parity with those.this island will face a massive delema in the next 10 to 20 years when old age and lack of saved income for the hundreds hit hard .high rents=no planned pension due to lack of money= live for today attitude.any there are hundreds thinking this.