News & Events

On the 7th November 2018 South Western Housing Society hosted a Chartered Institute of Housing training event covering the Introduction to Social Housing.


The day was opened by Jill Allcoat the CIH South West Regional Manager and the training was  provided by Sharon Nandoo.


The event was attended by 17 people from 7 Housing organisations throughout the South West and provided a very good introduction and knowledge base covering all aspects of the Social Housing Sector.

Parents and children living in Ambrosia Close, Lapford have come together to organise a street litter pick and clean up with the help of the Society.


Steve Austen (SWHS Housing Officer) organised safety equipment and suitable tools for the residents and children,  the parents are now organising a weekly litter pick to keep the surrounding areas where they live clean and tidy.


The photograph shows some of the children getting to grips with their tongs to collect litter.


South Western Housing Society are pleased to be sponsoring one of the historic "cast iron" finger posts located in the Parish of Mark, Somerset. Mark Parish Council are seeking organisations to “Sponsor” a finger post of which there are 14 within the Parish.

Donna Johnson, CEO of the Society presented a cheque for £300.00 to Geoff Francis of Mark Parish Council along with Martin Carney, SWHS Operations Director and Jan Horn from Mark Parish Council.

The Society recent reviewed the first year of it’s contract with Gregor Heating who provide the service contract for gas, renewables and oil heating/hot water systems across the portfolio. All agreed at the July contract meeting, that there is a good team working by all those involved with the delivery of this contract and we are sure that our tenants are getting to know the Gregor engineers. The Society holds regular meetings with their service contractors to monitor progress and customer satisfaction responses.


Pictured from left to right:

Martin Carney, SWHS Operations Director

Lee Belcher, Gregor Heating Renewable Technical Manager

Scott Northcott, Gregor Heating Senior Operations Director

Dean Haines, Gregor Heating Operations Manager

Steve Gregor, Gregor Heating Managing Director

Matt Parker, Gregor Heating Contract Administrator

Toni Nash, SWHS Business Support Apprentice

Neil Buckland, SWHS Asset Manager

Rob Newton-Allen, Gregor Heating Gas Service Manager

Alex Smith, SWHS Housing Assistant.

The Housing Market in the South West

The National Housing Federation produces the publication South West Home Truths each year which is very popular with MPs and local stakeholders.

It is a snapshot of the housing market in the South West of England, and there are nine reports in total covering each region. Please click here for further information



SWHS former tenants, Martyn Desborough & Catherine Wookey who lived in one of our 2 bedroom chalet style houses at Josephs Pound, Rooksbridge, Somerset have recently purchased their own home in Burnham-on-Sea as first time buyers.

Martyn & Catherine became tenants of the Society on the 16th June 2014 having previously living with a parent along with their 6 month old daughter Lilly; they now have a son called Archie who will be 2 in September.

Martyn & Catherine said that “ being able to rent the Society’s property at an affordable rent, helped us to save the money required for the deposit on our new home. We will always be thankful for the help and assistance provided by the Society over the last 3 years”

The National Housing Federation have posted a blog on their website regarding SWHS celebrating working with local communities. Please click here to read Chloe McLaren Webb's blog






We are pleased to announce that DALE BUILDING MAINTENANCE LTD has been awarded the Repairs and Maintenance Contract for the Society.

Dale operates throughout the South West of England and South Wales with operational offices in Bristol, South Brent (near Plymouth), Southampton as well as Cardiff and Swansea.  They have been in business for nearly 30 years and celebrate this achievement in October this year.  Dale are very proud of the high standards they provide to their customers and are committed to delivering an efficient and reliable service to our tenants.  They look forward to building a strong relationship with the tenants and management of the Society and their focus will be to deliver a high quality responsive repair service to include day to day repairs, empty property repairs and emergency call outs outside office hours.

South Western Housing Society wins New Apprentice Employer of the Year Award 2016

South Western Housing Society won the New Apprentice Employer of the Year award at the Weston College Business Awards evening held on Thursday 9th June 2016. Employers, apprentices, key college partners and Governors attended the glittering awards evening  hosted by Weston College’s Principal and Chief Executive Dr Paul Phillips, OBE, held at Cadbury House Hotel in Congresbury. The Society employs 2 apprentices Will Lloyd - Jones who is in his 2nd year and Alex Smith who joined in September 2015.


The keynote speaker for the evening was, Sally Gunnell OBE (Olympic gold medallist) and Dr Phillips, OBE said “It was a fantastic evening and I feel very proud of all our apprentices and business partners. Congratulations to all award winners!”

Martin Carney the Operations Director and Sally Williams the Finance Director represented the Society and jointly collected the award on the Society’s behalf.

The Society's Finance Apprentice Will Lloyd-Jones and Housing / Business Apprentice Alex Smith holding the presentation that the Society was awarded.

Benefit changes - how they could affect you?

You will probably have heard in the news or read in the papers about the proposed changes to the benefit system. If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit you need to know how these changes will affect you and know what choices are available to you, otherwise you may find it difficult to pay your rent. You need to think through the impact of the changes and plan for the future. Please follow the link to the government website below for detailed information about the proposed changes.


In July last year the Government announced in the Budget that with effect from April 2016 housing association tenants would receive a 1% cut in their rents each year until 2020 (after the next expected general election)


This rent reduction will apply to all the Society’s tenants with the exception of shared owners – their rents will increase in line with inflation.


Letters notifying tenants of their new rent plus service charge (where applicable) went out during the first week in March with the change taking effect from 4th April 2016.


Tenants paying by direct debt will be notified of their new payments in time for the first deduction in April.


For more information on the rent reduction will affect you please contact the Society


If you don’t pay by direct debit at the moment and would like to or get information about paying your rent by direct debit please contact us you can make payments to suit you e.g. weekly or monthly payments and you can decide which day you direct debit goes out.

Universal Credit is a new benefit and it currently only applies to working age people claiming job seekers’ allowance. It’s being rolled out in stages across the country between now and 2017 and will eventually affect everyone claiming certain benefits.

Universal Credit Digital Roll-Out will be expanded during 2016 with Sedgemoor District Council area changing over during May 2016 and the Mendip District Council area changing over during July 2016. The remainder of Local Authority areas where the Society has housing will be changed over during 2017.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new simpler, single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits which you might be getting now.

Universal Credit replaces the following six benefits:

·         Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance

·         Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

·         Income support

·         Child Tax Credit

·         Working Tax Credit

·         Housing Benefit

If you are already claiming one or more of these benefits, you should carry on claiming as normal. You will be told when you need to do anything differently.

Will it affect me?

People claiming all other benefits, such as those listed below, will remain outside of Universal Credit and will not be affected by these changes:

·         Attendance carers’ and disability living allowances

·         Pension Credits

·         Personal Independence Payments

·         State Retirement Pensions

·         Contributory Job Seekers’ Allowance or Employment Support Allowances

·         Bereavement benefits

·         Maternity allowances

·         Statutory sick, maternity, paternity or adoption pay.

If you and your partner are above Pension Credit age you will not be affected. People living in supported housing or sheltered housing are also not affected.

What’s different about Universal Credit?

Here are the main differences:

·         You claim Online

·         You can update your circumstances online every month

·         You receive one Universal Credit payment instead of six different benefits

·         If you live with your partner and you both get Universal Credit, you’ll get one monthly payment between you.


Other items to be aware of