Neighbourhoods Together - Birch Community

Homes

Birch View provides 290 homes, of which over 200 are houses. There are 70 flats throughout the neighbourhood and 19 bungalows on the edge of neighbourhood

People

Birch View has a mixed age makeup. There is a below average proportion of 16-24 year olds living in the neighbourhood, however there is an above average proportion of both the 25-34 and 35-45 age groups in the neighbourhood, possibly due to the large amount of family housing in the neighbourhood. Despite the presence of a sheltered scheme in the neighbourhood, the 61+ age group is lower than expected

Access Transport and Facilities

Birch View is located in the Pennine Township of Rochdale, running from the main route from Littleborough to Rochdale back toward the rural green belt of Wardle Village. There is a small circular bus that connects the upper part of the neighbourhood into Rochdale Town Centre. Households living in the lower part of the neighbourhood can walk to the main route to catch a wide range of buses to Rochdale Town Centre.

There are no general shops within the neighbourhood. A small number of convenience stores can be found on the main route into Rochdale, which is only within walking distance of the lower part of the neighbourhood.

Birch View has an newly formed Community Association, and the Community Base there hosts:

  • Children’s Activity Sessions
  • IT Digital Hub
  • Social meeting room

There is a large play area at the centre of the neighbourhood which is owned and managed by RBH

Birch View in depth

Home & environment

Levels of satisfaction with the home are good in all neighbourhoods. However satisfaction with the appearance of the neighbourhood is less positive in all areas. The Birch View neighbourhood includes  a high percentage of open communal green space, pathways and shrub beds.  Fly tipping and litter in open spaces is an issue in Birch View

So Far

  • A number of properties on Birch View benefitted from kitchen and/or bathroom replacement work in 2016/17.
  • A painting programme is planned for 2017/18.
  • Caretaking continue to respond to fly tipping and dumping including enforcement action where appropriate
  • The Birch View Community Group have arranged clean ups across the neighbourhood

     

Future Action

  • RBH Grounds Maintenance will undertake a study of treatments to paths and shrub areas in Birch View neighbourhood
  • Quarterly neighbourhood inspection will be used to identify an environmental issues in communal open spaces

Community

Satisfaction with living in this neighbourhoods appears good and people feel their neighbourhood is inclusive and friendly. Anti social behaviour rates are slightly  higher in Birch View. Households in Birch View report less satisfaction with their health and sense of well being. Membership levels are relatively high in the neighbourhood and people value opportunities to participate for people living in Birch View.

So far

  • RBH is working in partnership with Police, Rochdale Council and support agencies to reduce and resolve anti social behaviour including taking enforcement action where appropriate.
  • RBH continues to support vulnerable households through our Better Living Team and joint work between our Neighbourhood Housing Officers and support agencies
  • RBH has worked with Adult Care and partner agencies to provide our tenants with aids and adaptations
  • RBH has funded community projects aimed at healthier lifestyles and reducing isolation
  • RBH will continue to offer members options to participate in the decisions RBH makes

Future Action

  • RBH will develop further work with Police and support agencies to develop early intervention in relation to juvenile anti social behaviour and incidents arising from alcohol and drug misuse
  • RBH is working in partnership with MIND, Life4life and Better Life  to improve access to local counselling, well being and support services
  • Working with local tenant members RBH will investigate new ways that our members can get involved in RBH Mutual
  • The RBH Community Fund will seek to fund community organisations to deliver activities which improve well being and reduce feelings of isolation.

Money

 

Birch View is a neighbourhood with relatively high benefit dependency. As such, welfare benefit changes and the roll out of Universal Credit continues to affect people living in these neighbourhoods. There are a higher number of people on health related welfare benefits across the neighbourhoods, who may need a high level of support to access the work market. Levels of households experiencing debt may show a need for support around budget and money management and well as improving access to quality employment and skills training

So Far

  • RBH Rent & Payments Team have been assisting households to apply for Discretionary Hardship Payments where appropriate
  • RBH has contacted and supported households affected by the Welfare Benefits cap
  • RBH specialist debt team has assisted households in managing and reducing debt

Further Action

  • RBH will continue with local outreach campaigns to contact those households needing money advice
  • RBH will work with new employment and skills programmes such as Working Well and Motiv8 to improve people’s access to work and skills support.
  • RBH will offer a one to one mentoring support to tenant members who are looking to improve employment opportunities
  • RBH will offer additional advice targeted at new tenants, tenants on receipt of health related benefits and younger households.
  • The RBH Community Fund will seek to fund community organisations to deliver activities which reduce poverty and assist money management.

Decide Together: Birch View

Decide Together can offer funding to any RBH member or group who has an idea for an activity which addresses a priority or action within a Neighbourhoods Together area.

Birch View Priorities

  • Improvements to green spaces
  • Improving well being and reducing isolation
  • Activities for young people
  • Money management & debt
  • Employment & skills

How does it work

  • Complete and submit a Decide Together Form with your idea
  • Your idea will then be placed on the RBH website
  • All RBH members living in the 16 neighbourhoods will be invited to vote online for projects in their neighbourhood
  • Projects that receive the most member votes receive the funding to try out their idea
  • But MEMBERS need to vote for the projects they want to see happen.

Download Decide Together Guidance and Decide Together Ideas Form