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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay at home to stop Coronavirus spreading. Get service updates, information and advice for the public, communities and businesses.

Coronavirus information and advice

A service by service guide and FAQs

We’re here to support you during the coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 is a national health emergency and profoundly affecting the whole country.

We are supporting the collective effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and maintain essential services for our communities, particularly the most vulnerable, by working closely with our partners across local authorities, emergency services, health services and local charities.

View the latest Government Guidance for Landlords and Tenants.

Set out below are the steps being taken by Housing Services in response to the Government’s announcement to significantly restrict people’s movement, including the closure of all non-essential business.

The offices at Riverside House are now closed and most staff are working from home. We have suspended all routine work to ensure that our essential services remain in place.

To protect the vital services we deliver, our teams are working around the clock to ensure we continue to operate through these difficult times. The measures we have put in place include the following:

  • We are delivering emergency repairs only, including essential safety work. All routine repairs will be put on hold until the current government measures have eased sufficiently for our contractors to carry them out.
  • Our contractors have contingency plans in place and are equipped with suitable equipment.
  • We are restricting the activity of our estate and tenancy teams in order to meet latest government guidance.
  • Daily inspections of our high rise living units are still taking place.
  • Our Lifeline service continues as normal, however, we are changing the way we respond to callers by remaining on the phone until a carer or ambulance arrives.
  • Staff continue to visit our Sheltered Living schemes on a much reduced basis.  They will check on customers’ wellbeing by telephone, including the response if there is no answer to our daily call. We are also carrying out the routine health and safety checks for fire safety, alarms and Legionella. The communal areas are still being cleaned regularly but we ask customers not to use them other than for access.
  • We would like to reiterate that until the crisis has passed no one will face eviction as a direct result of coronavirus, although we will continue to manage our rent arrears processes if customers do not get in touch with us.
  • HomeChoice adverts will be reinstated from Thursday 21 May and appropriate measures are in place to ensure social distancing when viewing or letting properties.
  • Homeless staff are providing a minimum service to ensure that our statutory duties continue.
  • Our website is being regularly updated to ensure that customers receive up to date information and support. This includes guidance around paying rent and utility bills.

Finally, although there are still challenges for us ahead, I want to reassure you that Housing Services is in a strong position, we have good working relationships with our partners and are well placed to manage this unprecedented event.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update you accordingly.

Lisa Barker
Head of Housing