FAQs about our services

Do you have a question about Coronavirus? Check out our FAQs.

Will my benefits be affected?
 

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has made arrangements for people who have to self-isolate because of the virus, or who have been diagnosed with the virus.

People currently claiming Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) will not be required to produce a fit note and will not be sanctioned if they let the DWP know in advance of their situation.

Mandatory work search and work availability requirements will no longer apply.

People who need to make a new claim for Universal Credit will be able to receive a month’s advance payment without going to a job centre.

ESA will be payable from day one, rather than after seven days.

People who are working or are self-employed will still be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are staying at home on Government advice, not only if they have been infected.

Statutory sick pay will be available from day one, rather than after four days.

There’s more information on the DWP website at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

We’re always here to help customers who are affected.

If customers need any help or advice to claim Universal Credit or other benefits, our experienced staff are available on the phone or on the Welfare Benefits section of our website.

I’ve been forced to self-isolate and can’t go to work. Will I still have to pay my rent?
 

We are urging customers whose income suffers as a result of Coronavirus to get in touch with us.

We will do absolutely everything we can to help you through any difficulties caused by the Coronavirus situation, including your ability to claim any relevant benefits.

We will support you according to your individual circumstances. We have a wide range of support available.

We wouldn’t evict people who are in rent arrears as a direct result of Coronavirus.

Remember, you can pay rent, check your account and book a repair from home by using our online self-services or by calling us.

The sooner you get in touch with us, the more we can do.

I’ve been forced to self-isolate, how do I pay my rent?
 

Are you affected by Coronavirus (due to illness or self-isolation) and worried about paying your rent?

Remember, you don't have to leave the house to keep on top of your rent.

You can pay by:

  • Direct Debit - It’s quick and easy to set up a Direct Debit to pay your rent. Once you have set up a Direct Debit, your payment will come out of your bank account on a date and at a frequency that suits you;
  • Online services - It’s free to register for an online account. You can make a rent payment, book repairs and more 24/7;
  • Call us - Call us for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to pay by debit or credit card to pay your rent.

Is there an impact on services?
 

We will do all we can to support our customers and their families through these extraordinary times.

But it is important to understand we will be providing a restricted range of services following the latest government guidance on tackling the Coronavirus crisis.

Our number-one priority will continue to be ensuring all tenants and their families remain safe and secure in their homes, whilst safeguarding the welfare and wellbeing of our staff.

Please be assured we are here for you and we will do everything we can to support you and your family through these difficult times.

Our new working arrangements are focused on providing essential services and in putting them in place.

How can I contact my housing officer
 

Our housing offices are now closed and our housing staff are fully-equipped to work from home.

Although home visits are suspended, your housing officer will remain in contact with you by telephone, email and text.

All appointments with welfare benefits and fuel advisors will be fulfilled by phone.

If the Eat Well service is available in your area, we will continue to deliver (for as long as we have access to food) support to our customers who are self-isolating and have a limited support network.

We are urging all our tenants to let us know if, through being ill or self-isolating, they will find it difficult to pay their rent. We are here to help.

Are your environmental teams still working?
 

We have prioritised the work of Neighbourhood Environmental Teams to focus on essential services, such as fire-safety patrols and cleaning in multi-storeys and bulk uplifts.

We have also created local Rapid Response teams to handle priority requests.

Are you still carrying out repairs?
 

As the Coronavirus crisis continues, we’ve unfortunately had to reduce the range of services we can provide in our communities.

Our focus is on doing everything we can to provide essential services while protecting the health and wellbeing of all our customers and colleagues.

This means that over the next few weeks we will be working hard to prioritise emergency repairs and will have to cancel non-essential appointments.

We’re really sorry but this means any repair you might have had scheduled will now be postponed. We will be back in touch to reschedule this as soon as we can.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Are you still carrying out investment work?
 

As the Coronavirus crisis continues, we’re doing everything we can to provide essential services to our communities while safeguarding the welfare and well-being of our customers and staff.

We are following all the latest government guidance on tackling Coronavirus and as a result we are providing a restricted range of services with many of our staff now working from home.

This means work on some of our improvement projects have had to be put on hold or delayed while we work through these exceptional times.

Unfortunately, work that we were due to start will now be delayed. As soon as the situation eases we will be back in touch with you to let you know when the work can begin.

If work has already started on kitchens and bathrooms, our contractors will finish the work. All other projects that have already started will be put on hold.

Please don’t worry, we are going to make the area completely safe and will leave it tidy for you and your neighbours.

Again, as soon as the situation eases we will be back in touch with you to let you know when the work can begin.

Are you still letting homes?
 

During the Coronavirus outbreak, we have had to stop letting our homes temporarily and customers will not be able to note interest in available homes on MyHousing.

During this time, our focus will be on helping those who are vulnerable and in greatest need, including homeless people.

Anyone who is homeless should contact their local authority for advice, support and temporary accommodation.

Are you still carrying out gas safety checks?
 

Gas safety checks are continuing as normal, as we have a duty under law to service and inspect gas appliances every 12 months.

All health and safety guidelines will be in place during visits to customers’ homes.