Cynon Taf Community Housing Group commits to equality and diversity accreditation

Social landlord Cynon Taf Community Housing Group (CTCHG) has committed to achieving the prestigious quality mark for the Welsh housing sector delivered by Tai Pawb.  

This quality mark provides a comprehensive framework that allows organisations like CTCHG to review and improve their equality and diversity impact across key areas such as governance, services, access, involvement, and culture.   

Auriol Miller, group chief executive, said, “The QED award is a commitment to creating a space that is equal, diverse, and inclusive for colleagues, as well as across our communities by improving their experiences and highlighting areas of good practice. For us, it is about making a positive difference to everyone who is part of #TeamCynonTaf.   

“This mark offers a real opportunity for us to measure and demonstrate progress through a clear framework that aims to transform our organisational thinking, services, and culture so that EDI becomes second nature to us all.”

Over the next year, CTCHG will be working with Tai Pawb to deliver on its commitment to ensure that it achieves the following outcomes: 

  • Outcome 1: A strategic approach is taken to achieving EDI in everything that the organisation does 
  • Outcome 2: Services delivered are fair, don’t discriminate and meet people’s needs, continually responding to changes and challenges as they develop 
  • Outcome 3: All people are aware of, can access and have positive experiences of services delivered  
  • Outcome 4: As a result of inclusive and meaningful involvement, the organisation is fairer and more responsive in how it works and what it does 
  • Outcome 5: The organisation is an inclusive workplace with a culture which values, promotes and embraces equality, diversity, and inclusion. 

Rob Milligan from Tai Pawb added, Here at Tai Pawb we are really looking forward to supporting Cynon Taf through the QED reaccreditation journey. We have been heartened to see the groundswell from staff around the award and EDI in general. Through the process we hope to shine a light on the good practice at Cynon Taf, all the great things that are already going on. We will also be able to point out room for improvement, and through this process we will guide Cynon Taf in taking its performance on EDI to the next level.  

“The QED Award is a robust framework for EDI performance that takes time and commitment, and Cynon Taf have achieved it once before in the past, showing they have what it takes! Get on board, the journey’s already begun.” 

The QED award is only available to social landlords and Cynon Taf Community Housing Group is one of ten organisations who have gained the prestigious equality and diversity accreditation.  

For more information about Cynon Taf Community Housing Group’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion, click here. 


Fading green to blue banner with our RAAC response wording to the left hand side, with the Cynon Taf logo to the right

Our RAAC response

Response to RAAC found in some Trivallis homes in Hirwaun 

You may have heard the news about the Trivallis homes in Hirwaun that have been identified as containing RAAC. We know that you may well know people whose homes are affected and may also be worried about your own home. We are getting in touch now to give you an update about Cynon Taf homes. 

What is RAAC?  

RAAC stands for Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete. It is a lightweight material that was used as an alternative to standard concrete between the 1950s and 1990s.  

In May 2019, an alert from an independent UK body specialising in structural safety highlighted significant concerns about the structural safety of properties with RAAC. 

Since March 2023, the Welsh Government has been working closely with local authorities, and many surveys of public sector buildings, including schools, have been undertaken so that any issues can be identified, and appropriate action taken. Registered Social Landlords were also asked to assess their stock and report back to Welsh Government. 

Is there RAAC in Cynon Taf homes? 

We reported on Cynon Taf stock in September 2023. As most of our properties were built much earlier than the period when RAAC was generally used, or after it ceased to be used, to our knowledge we have no properties that contain RAAC. However, we will continue to survey any properties that were built within the timeframe and do any work necessary to ensure they are safe and secure.  We will continue to work with other partner landlords who have homes close to ours to share information and provide solutions, where needed. 

What should I do? 

Your safety is our top priority. You do not need to do anything. We are confident that our stock does not contain RAAC, and we will continue to survey properties and do any work necessary to ensure they are safe and secure.  

However, if you are concerned about any element of your property in relation to RAAC, or any other safety issue, please do get in touch with us so we can discuss and reassure you. If we do suspect that your property needs a survey, then we will be in touch with you directly to arrange further access.  

You can call us on 0345 260 2633 and ask to speak to your Housing Officer or a member of the Housing team. We are here to help.  

The XL Bully Ban Explained

With the UK Government adding XL Bully types to the list of banned dangerous dogs in Wales and England from 31 December 2023, it is now illegal to breed, sell, rehome, abandon, exchange, gift or allow an XL Bully to stray. This means that dog owners with this breed type are required by law to follow a number of restrictions.

If you currently have an XL bully type, you are required to keep your dog on a lead and muzzled when they are walked in public, as well as in a vehicle such as your car. You’ll also need to apply for the government’s exemption scheme by midday on 31 January 2024 to get your dog exempted and comply with additional restrictions including having them neutered and have third party liability insurance.

From 1 February 2024 it will be illegal to own an XL bully type without a certificate of exemption.

How do I check if my dog is an XL Bully?

As XL Bullies are considered as crossbreeds, the Kennel Club breed standards do not exist. This is why the Government have created their own specifications for the breed, which you can find here. Please note that breed name, parentage and genetics are not considered within the specifications.

What do I need to do if own this type of dog?

You will need to apply to the Government’s exemption scheme, which you can access here and pay for a certificate of exemption. This will cost £92.40 and you must apply before midday on 31 January 2024.

You will also need to make sure:

  • your dog is microchipped and neutered (by the deadlines provided)
  • they are kept on a lead and muzzled in a public place, including in cars
  • they are kept in a secure place so they cannot escape
  • you have third party public liability insurance cover for your dog, which you can access through the Dogs Trust here

You also need to be at least 16 years old to own an XL bully type.

The Blue Cross have teamed up with the RSPCA and Battersea to offer support to neuter your XL bully type dog if you’re struggling financially. Your veterinary practice can apply for a financial contribution on your behalf which will help towards the costs of neutering.

Is my home at risk if I have this type of dog?

No, you're home is not at risk if you own an XL Bully type. We ask for our safety, your safety and for the dog, that they are removed into another room or garden area while we are in your home.

If you would like more information about the ban, you can stay updated through The Blue Cross and their dedicated newsletter around XL Bullies, as well as links to email your MP about allowing rescue centres, like The Blue Cross, to be able to rehome XL Bully types. Just follow this link.

Staying Safe This Bonfire Night

A black background with fireworks exploding in pink, purple, orange, green, blue and yellow.We all remember the smell and the sounds of a fireworks display when we were young. The smell of the giant bonfire burning, leaving a smoky scent to the air and your clothes, the joy of waving a sparkler in the air and trying to spell out your name, as well as the sight and sounds of fireworks whizzing into the night sky, with the bright colours exploding everywhere with a giant bang.

We want those memories to continue and why we have come up with these top tips to keep you safe this Bonfire Night.

So, let's start with staying safe with fireworks, these tips may seem obvious, but we want you to be able to enjoy the fun and not suffer any injuries... as a starter for ten, one person should be responsible for the bonfire, one for the fireworks and children should be supervised.

  1.  An organised display is the safest way to enjoy fireworks. Your local fire station may have a display (South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have a list of their displays here) or at your local rugby club.
  2. Fireworks are noisy which can upset very young or elderly people, people with PTSD, as well as pets. They can cause damage and serious injuries if not used properly. If you can, look to buy silent fireworks, which give you the colours but without the noise.
  3. It is an offence to buy fireworks by anyone under the age of 18. You can be fined or imprisoned for buying or using fireworks illegally.
  4. The cut off to fireworks off is midnight on 5 November and 1am on New Year's Eve or Chinese New Year. Any other time of the year, you must finish by 11pm. It is also an offence to set fireworks off in a public place like a playground or park.
  5. Avoid drinking alcohol whilst in charge of a bonfire or fireworks and particularly when supervising children.
  6. Make sure your fireworks conform to British Standards BS 7114, EN 14035 or EN 15947.
  7. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use/light them one at a time.
  8. Light the firework at arm’s length using a taper or fuse wick and stand well back - never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  9. Only children over the age of five are allowed to use sparklers and should be supervised by an adult at all times.

So, what if you want to feel the warmth of a bonfire?

  1. Keep bonfires small and manageable and build them away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees, bushes and vehicles.
  2. Never use flammable liquids – paraffin or petrol – to light the fire.
  3. In case of an emergency, keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
  4. Avoid loose clothing and tie back long hair
  5. After the party, pour water on the fire, rather than leaving it to burn out.

If the fire does spread or gets out of control, do your best to put it out, or someone is injured ring 999 and ask for the fire service and/or the ambulance service and they will be able to keep you, your loved ones and your home safe.

Banner with fading green to blue background, the words corporate news and the Cynon Taf logo

Cynon Taf Community Housing Group appoints Auriol Miller as chief executive

Photo of Auriol who is wearing a pink blazer, with a black top and has black rimmed glasses, with a short pixie cut and grey hair
Auriol Miller, our new chief executive

Social landlord, Cynon Taf Community Housing Group (CTCHG), following an extensive recruitment process has appointed Auriol Miller as its new chief executive.

Working with executive search recruitment agency, Goodson Thomas, CTCHG received more than 60 expressions of interest in the role and the Group is delighted to welcome Auriol into the organisation.

Ms. Miller joins CTCHG from the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA), where she led Wales’ leading independent thinktank for seven years.

She said of her appointment, “I’m delighted to be joining Cynon Taf Community Housing Group as CEO. It will be a privilege to lead such a strong values-based anchor organisation doing vital work in the local community.

“Housing is one of the key issues of our time and tackling the huge challenges and impacts of climate change, as well as inequalities, can only be done hand-in-hand with the community whom we serve. A safe, warm, affordable home is a basic human right, and I look forward to enabling and supporting #TeamCynonTaf to continue their fantastic work supporting resilient communities.”

Cynon Taf Community Housing Group is responsible for more than 1900 homes across the valley and consists of three organisations – Cynon Taf Housing, Cwm Taf Care & Repair and Down To Zero.

John Chown, chair of the Group Board added, “As a Board, we are absolutely delighted to welcome Auriol to the organisation. Her experience, leadership skills and extensive network will not only bring stability to the Group, but we will look forward to working with her and the senior leadership team once in post to explore new opportunities, as well as continue to deliver against our corporate priorities.

“We would also like to extend our thanks to Kath Palmer, who stepped in as interim chief executive since last year to provide the Group with consistency and strategic leadership while we worked to recruit a permanent position and wish her the best of luck with her new role as Vice Chair to Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board”.

Ms. Miller will lead the Group structure, which employs more than 100 people who are looking to deliver excellent services and support resilient communities; whether through providing affordable homes, delivering adaptations to enable residents to live more independently in their homes, or exploring how the Group can deliver on its target to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Kath Palmer, interim chief executive commented, “It has been a pleasure to lead Cynon Taf Community Housing Group over the last year. There has been some significant change in that time, including the implementation of Renting Homes (Wales) Act, and the ongoing commitment of the staff has been incredible. They continue to deliver excellent services and support our communities to reach their potential. I wish Auriol the best of luck in taking on the role as chief executive.”

Following a handover period, Ms. Miller will join Cynon Taf Community Housing Group in February 2024.

Have Your Say... On Our Spending Priorities

Have Your Say...

Every year, we review our rents and, how we make sure we are spending that money on things our tenants and our communities really need. It is why we are asking you to have your say, as your views will help shape what is to come over the next year and into the future.

We know that the cost-of-living crisis continues to have a huge impact on so many of us and our Have Your Say Survey is all about making sure that we are able to help support you in whatever way possible. You could also be in with the chance of winning a £25 Amazon voucher by just sharing your views.

So why are we doing this now?

Did you know that rents are regulated by Welsh Government? It means that each year, they issue guidance on the level of rent increase they will allow and also, what they expect from landlords like us to consider when setting our rents for the year ahead including affordability for our tenants and communities. This year, they told us that the maximum increase they will allow is 6.5% which is well below inflation. We must now balance an increase with your needs - which is why we're asking you to Have Your Say - as well as the costs of running our business, providing services and planning for a sustainable future.

We know that the decisions we make about your rent, and how we spend the money we collect, are extremely important, particularly because things remain a little uncertain. We want you to have your say and influence the decisions we make.

Things we need to consider

When setting our rent, we consider a number of factors that have had an impact over the course of the last year, things like fuel price increases or the costs of building materials. All of these things have to covered through the money receive, while also ensuring that you have affordably warm homes that are secure and safe, so you can keep on living your life. It is about the investment that we can make into our services so that you have the right services in the right areas, at the right time for the right people. We truly want you to be able to find your potential - whatever that looks like.

However, we are also now focused on reducing our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment; it is why we are working to improve the energy efficiency of our existing homes and also, building homes that are that way from the first time we (or you) open the front door.

Take our Have Your Say Survey and be in with that chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher?

Our affordable rent policy

We aim to ensure that our rents provide value for money, while balancing affordability for the rents and service charges being paid by our tenants, along with making sure that as a landlord, we are able to maintain our duties in the long term. This policy also helps support our corporate ambition to build more affordably warm, energy efficient homes.

It is about making sure that our rents and service charges are within reach of those in lower paid jobs and meet the definition of providing Living Rent. We are still working towards this approach with the aim of our rents not exceeding 28% of average workplace earnings within our communities.

Don't forget that you can click here to access our survey.

Climate Change Project

Climate change focused community project receives more than £330,000 in National Lottery funding.

Cynon Taf Community Housing Association have received more than £330,000 of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. The aim of this Funding is to develop and deliver the Down To Zero project create positive societal change through its environmental activities.

The funding will enable the project to work with communities to explore carbon friendly practices across sites in Llantrisant and Mountain ash as well as explore other land based opportunities. The project will see the development of native trees and orchards, as well as the planting of shrubs and vegetables to develop a net zero veg box subscription scheme that will support community food security. The site will also look to offer volunteering opportunities for residents to learn green skills, keep bees and develop climate friendly knowledge and behaviours.

Since receiving the funding, Down To Zero have employed a green development officer, who will support the project with its planting schedule, as well as manage and support volunteers across sites. The project has also supported volunteers to build a number of beehives as an additional source of income and produce available to the local community.

Tom Addiscott, project manager for Down To Zero said, “The funding from The Welsh Government and National Lottery’s Sustainable Steps Programme will make such a huge impact to what we want to achieve as a project – it means that we can develop further carbon friendly activities, plant more trees, expand our orchards, get bees on site to help with pollination, as well as ensure that we have the skills and equipment to drive forward carbon friendly practices and behaviour change’.

“Down To Zero is more than just a project about being carbon neutral, it is a chance to get outside, learn new skills, help overcome community food challenges and support the foundational economy. It is about demonstrating that we can enjoy locally grown produce that hasn’t travelled miles; a from tree to fork ethos. I am excited to see what the future holds for Down To Zero and what we can achieve together.”

The project is supported by Cynon Taf Community Housing Group, who are committed to working with its tenants, staff, and local communities to reduce the impact of climate change.

Kath Palmer, interim CEO at Cynon Taf Community Housing Group added, “We are absolutely delighted to have received this investment from The National Lottery Community Fund. The money will make a significant difference to what the project is looking to achieve with its plans to support our organisation to become carbon neutral by 2030, but also the positive impact the two sites will have on the surrounding communities in terms of food security, skills development and climate knowledge.”

The project has already started to make a difference in its surrounding communities, with the Llantrisant site offering opportunities for volunteers to develop skills and holiday activities for families to get out into nature and get their hands messy. Through the funding, Down To Zero will continue to develop more climate friendly community activities that offer something for everyone.

For more information about Down To Zero and the work that is delivering, visit