We know many of you will be worried and as your landlord we want to help as best we can in these difficult times. We need to keep both you and our staff safe, so we are changing our approach to respond to Government guidance.
Our council offices are now closed to all visitors. Our team is very busy but if your enquiry is urgent you can phone 01530 454545 or email us at email@example.com
You may find that you’re able to deal with your enquiry online. Log into or register for a My Account here. Here you can request, report, apply and pay for services online!
Now that we’re moving from the emergency phase to the recovery phase of the Covid-19 crisis, we have developed risk assessments and safe systems of work to enable our workforce to carry out all responsive repairs to our tenants homes in a ‘Covid-Secure’ manner.
As we anticipate that there may be a backlog of repairs that couldn’t be reported when we were only dealing with emergency repairs, we’ve posted a repairs survey to all tenants. Those surveys should have arrived between the 22nd and 30th June. It is important to follow the instructions on that survey form as it will help us to manage our workload and, hopefully, meet your expectations.
Please use that survey if you wish to report repairs that you couldn’t when we restricted our service due to the crisis. Please let us know if you can’t find that survey form and we will send another in the post.
Please remember, we will not be able to arrange an appointment if you or anyone living at your address is self-isolating due to having Covid-19 symptoms or shielding as they are in the ‘at risk’ group. If you fall in to any of those groups and have a repair to report that is not putting you or the property at risk we ask you wait to report that repair until you have completed your isolation period. We will undertake a risk assessment if you are in an isolation period and if your repair can’t wait prior to arranging the work.
If your repair is new, and did not occur during the Covid-19 crisis, and if you are not isolating for any reason, please contact the repairs team in the usual way.
We prefer to receive repair requests by:
Or by post
Council Offices, Whitwick Road
As a last resort, you can give us a call on:
Telephone: 01530 454635
Work to our empty homes
The repairs team are also prioritising work on the homes that become empty each week. We are currently turning those properties around to a safe, clean and functional standard rather than our full Empty Homes Standard. This is so we can make them available to let again with the limited staff we have at work now that the government has lifted restrictions on people moving house.
Home Improvement Program
We have started to restore our planned home improvement work, starting with reroofing and boiler replacements. We are also reviewing our ability to work safely to restart the replacement bathroom, doors and windows and kitchens. Towards the end of July we will be restarting other Home Improvement work such as replacement central heating systems and rewires. You will be contacted, over the next few months, if your home is due to have any of that work undertaken this year.
Working safely in people's homes
Reducing the possible spread of the coronavirus and reducing those risks, as far as we can, to our tenants and workers has been at the forefront of thinking. Therefore, in accordance with government guidance, when undertaking repair or improvement work our workers may ask tenants if they, or anyone else in their household, have symptoms before they visit, they will ask tenants to clear and clean the area to be repaired before they arrive, they may ask to use the washing facilities to wash their hands during their visit, or they will use hand sanitiser, they will ask that everyone in the tenants household maintain a 2 metre distance from the worker, and the worker will wipe down the area repaired before they leave. As this is for the tenant’s safety as well as our workers safety, we are sure that tenants will cooperate with us.
Please also note that apart from the usual use of face masks as Personal Protective Equipment when undertaking particular types of work, such as dusty work, the government isn’t advising tradespersons to wear face masks to protect from the coronavirus when working in people’s homes. However, the government have said that workers can decide to use a face covering if they choose. Please do not be concerned if you see some workers wearing face coverings and some that are not. It is their choice and again, in accordance with government guidance, we are supporting them to make that choice.
All home visits in relation to property adaptations are currently suspended to comply with social distancing guidelines. As soon as restrictions are relaxed, the service will be back up and running.
The government guidance is that we need to continue to undertake safety checks, specifically in relation to gas and solid fuel servicing where it is safe to do so which is why you may still be contacted by our contractor, Sure Group.
We are also continuing to undertake regular fire alarm checks at our sheltered schemes although these may be undertaken on different days depending on staff availability.
You can continue to pay your rent by all the usual methods. However, we would encourage you to look at paying your rent via our online option, the automated telephone line (01530 454 730), or by setting up a paperless direct debit. This reduces the need for you to make non urgent trips from your house.
If you would like to request an arrangement for paying your rent, please fill out this form.
We know that during this time, you may be anxious about your rent if your income has changed as a result of the measures introduced. We encourage you to contact your housing officer without delay so we can help you and talk through what options there are. You can contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out our online form, which will be sent directly to your housing officer who can call you back.
At this time, we will not evict anybody who falls into rent difficulties as a result of COVID 19 and their income changing.
As we don’t have an in-house money advice service, there are other sources of help you can access:
The Money Advice Service offers advice and guides to help people manage their finances. They have tools and calculators to help keep track and plan ahead and also offer support over the phone and online.
Step Change offers a free debt advice and counselling service.
Citizens Advice offers free, confidential information and advice to help people with money, legal, consumer and other problems.
The National Debt Line offers a useful online tool.
If you would like to look at what benefits you may be entitled to, you can go here.
Choice Based Lettings Update
We are only advertising social housing through our Choice Based Lettings Scheme on a limited basis. If any properties do become available and cannot be matched to someone in urgent need then they will be advertised on a Thursday as per normal.
We advise that people seeking housing check the website regularly to see if properties have become available. Please note that it may take longer than normal for bids to be processed and an offer to be made. Property viewings and tenancy start dates are also affected by the current situation.
New applications to join the Council’s Choice Based Lettings Scheme are still being taken although it is taking longer than 10 working days to process applications and review supporting evidence.
Housing Advice and Homelessness
Housing advice is being undertaken by phone only. If you have nowhere safe to stay or are worried that you may be at risk of becoming homeless you can speak to us by calling freephone 0800 9520079 during working hours. You can also email email@example.com and we will call you back.
Please also see our webpages for useful information that may help with your housing situation.
Please note that we are not able to issue food bank vouchers at this time but you can contact local food banks direct to ask for support.
For out of hours emergencies only please call 01530 454789
Supported and Sheltered Properties
We have taken the decision to stop our support officers from visiting. If you used to receive a visit, you will now be contacted by telephone instead. Our 24/7 control centre is still operating so if you have a genuine emergency, you can still press your pendant or pull the cord.
We are still able to provide a lifeline unit or other assistive technology which will link through to our control centre. This may be particularly helpful if you are vulnerable and are concerned about how to call for help in an emergency. To find out more, contact Safe and Well at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01530 454817.
Grounds maintenance has not been identified as a critical service and some of our parks team are helping to keep waste services going during this time, therefore the grass will not be cut in communal areas or at individual gardens that are on the programme.
We are reviewing government guidance regularly which may result in changes, so keep an eye on this page and our Facebook and Twitter Pages for the most up to date information. Please like and follow:
Last updated: Wed 24 June, 2020 @ 14:44