Most of the frequently asked questions and the services that we provide can be found in the Residents Handbook, however below are the three pertinent questions about living in our Sheltered Housing.

FAQs

What type of Agreement will I have and how secure is it?

The Charity  cannot grant tenancies to the residents living in our flats because the property is protected by a trust, like all Almshouses. The trust is there to make sure that the properties cannot be used for anything other than providing housing. Our resident have a license to occupy their homes; that makes them legal beneficiaries of the Charity and therefore entitled to live in our trust protected flats.

We issue a Letter of Appointment that sets out the rights and obligations of a resident.

We cannot ask a resident to leave unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as when they cease to be an eligible beneficiary of the charity or do not comply with the terms of the Letter of Appointment

 

Do I pay rent?

Instead of paying rent, residents are asked to make a weekly maintenance contribution which has to be paid monthly in advance.

 

What does the weekly maintenance contribution charge cover?

  • Contribution towards central staff and administration costs
  • Heating and hot water of communal areas
  • Maintenance and redecoration of buildings
  • Cleaning of communal areas
  • Lighting in communal areas
  • Upkeep of the gardens
  • External cleaning of windows
  • Building insurance of the schemes
  • Maintenance of lift, entry phone system, TV aerial system, fire system and appliances
  • Laundry facility
  • Scheme Manager’s time in administering these services

Heating Charge

A Heating Charge is charged to cover the heating and hot water that is provided in the flats.

In addition, residents pay their own domestic electricity (lighting, cooking and other appliances), the cost of their telephone, their council tax and other living expenses.

 

Can I claim housing benefit?

Residents can claim Housing Benefit, subject to status. It can either be paid to the residents or directly to the Charity.

The weekly maintenance contribution is eligible for Housing Benefit however the Heating Charge is not.

 

 

 

Hammersmith Reflections – Award Winning Secret Gardens Open Saturday 9 June

Hammersmith United Charities is thrilled to announce the charity has won two awards at the London Gardens Society Competition for each of its two sheltered housing schemes for older people.  Sycamore House won third place for the large community gardens at the awards ceremony. (more…)

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Enigma Event – Polish Heritage Day

We were up against the Royal wedding, the FA cup final (featuring Chelsea), battery powered technology and Ikea flat pack garden furniture…it didn’t feel promising! But the sun shone, we viewed “the dress” on our mobile phones and we were enchanted by the hospitality of the organisers of Polish Heritage day in Ravenscourt Park.

This Enigma lunch took place in a tent on a drop in basis. The revelation was how to make people laugh – genuinely surprised, proper laughs – directly ask them to sit at a (slightly wobbly, bilious orange) table, eat bread and cheese and talk to someone they don’t know. For those who dared, this was everything we wanted from an Enigma event; people sharing their stories, their languages and their experiences.

We focused the lunch around the republication of “Passport to Exile”, memories of Polish migrants in the 1980s. And around an artist in residence who shared his art with us during the day. Technology failure denied us a Polish musician but instead we enjoyed – for the first time in this series of events – the conversation and enthusiasm of some delightful children.

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Irish Enigma Event

Serenaded by footstompingly enjoyable traditional Irish musicians, we enjoyed the hospitality of the new Irish Cultural Centre for our third Enigma lunch.

The hall was full for the occasion with guests drawn from the Cultural Centre, our residents, friends of the charity and neighbours who found out about the event from Next Door.

As hoped, the conversation flowed, sparked to some extent by responses to our republication of the reminiscences of Irish migrants first published in the 1980s. Guests were delighted to read the stories; some remembered the original project and, for others, the stories newly discovered, very much tuned in to their own memories.

We ended the event with a riveting and entertaining story by a professional story teller who had the whole hall enthralled and entertained with her tale of her life as the daughter of a small town shopkeeper  – and more seriously with her thoughts about “community”  – very much the theme of our Enigma lunches.

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Hammersmith Reflections – People who aren’t like us

I was sitting in the sunshine on a bench in Ravenscourt Park having a coffee when I noticed people waving from another bench on the far side of the Tea House. It was Diane, who lives locally near Hammersmith Grove, and a couple of other people.

Diane comes over. We haven’t seen each other for a while. She’s pleased to see me and shrieks in delight.  I am delighted to bump in to her too. Diane smiles. You should see that smile; (more…)

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