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Coronavirus: Housing, housing maintenance and homelessness

Our Housing Services is continuing to provide key services to our tenants who require housing related assistance and we are prioritising essential work.

 

Paying your rent

Please continue to pay rent on your council property if your circumstances have not changed.  If you are concerned about making rent payments due to loss of earnings or illness please check out our advice here You can also seek advice by emailing the rents team rents@nfdc.gov.uk (or calling 02380 285 222 option 2 if you have no access to email.)

 

Homelessness

We are continuing to provide advice and assistance to households facing homelessness.

If you are about to become homeless because you are losing your home or you are at risk of homelessness because you have been asked to leave your accommodation complete this form: Homelessness form . If you are homeless today, please submit the online form and call the team on 023 8028 5234

We have accommodated all known rough sleepers who have accepted accommodation. 

 

Repairs and housing maintenance

Only essential repairs to council homes are being carried out; emergency repairs and work necessary to prevent danger to life or extensive damage to property, or if the problem will have an adverse effect on a medical need and urgent repairs that are essential to prevent undue inconvenience or further damage to property.

All non-essential work programmes (kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors, roofs etc.) will cease until further notice. Housing maintenance staff and contractors will be following social distancing guidance when visiting tenants' homes and will continue observing good hygiene standards in accordance with the national guidance.

All disabled adaptation works in private homes have now halted. We are continuing to respond to urgent property safety incidents or hazards in private rented properties.

 

Gas safety inspections

Landlords still have a duty to carry out annual gas safety inspections on private rented properties, whilst observing social distancing guidance. Advice for:

Tenants, if your annual inspection is due, please allow access for this to happen. If you are self-isolating, please make your landlord aware of this, so that they can make appropriate arrangements for the inspection to be carried out at a suitable time once you have stopped self-isolation.  See latest government advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

Landlords, you are encouraged to arrange your annual gas safety checks as early as possible. In the event you are unable to gain access to the property, e.g., refusal of access due to tenants self-isolating, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to comply with the law. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant and details of your engineers attempts to gain access. You should seek to arrange the safety check as soon as all parties are available. For further information please follow the latest advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

 


25.03.20: Housing

Our Housing Services is continuing to provide key services to our tenants who require housing related assistance. So that we can continue to provide these key services, at the moment we are only carrying out essential repairs to council homes.

These include:

  • Emergency repairs and work - work necessary to prevent danger to life or extensive damage to property, or if the problem will have an adverse effect on a medical need
  • Urgent repairs and work - essential repairs to prevent undue inconvenience or further damage to property

All Planned work (kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors, roofs etc.) will cease until further notice.

Our Housing Maintenance staff and contractors will be following social distancing guidance when visiting tenants' homes and will continue observing good hygiene standards in accordance with the national guidance.

Tenants who find themselves in difficulty with paying their rent due to loss of earnings because of self- isolation or illness can seek advice by emailing the Rents Team at rents@nfdc.gov.uk

We will continue to provide advice and assistance to households facing homelessness, and advice and practical assistance to vulnerable households where appropriate.


24.03.20: Homelessness and council home rent

Homelessness: If you are about to become homeless because you are losing your home or you are at risk of homelessness because you have been asked to leave your accommodation please complete this form: Homelessness Form If you are homeless today please submit the online form and call the team on 023 8028 5234

Rent for council homes: Please continue to pay rent if your circumstances have not changed.  If you are concerned about making rent payments due to loss of earnings or illness you can seek advice by emailing the rents team rents@nfdc.gov.uk (or calling 02380 285 222 option 2 if you have no access to email.)


20.03.20: Energy suppliers & council tax reduction scheme

The government has agreed measures with the energy industry to support the most vulnerable.  For information about the support available see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19

If you are self-employed and temporarily unable to work, or your hours have reduced, contact our Benefits Team on 01590 646121 between 8.45 and 1pm for advice and information.  You may be entitled to help with your Council Tax through the Council Tax Reduction scheme.  You can claim online at newforest.gov.uk/benefits If you are claiming Universal Credit or other state benefits visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ for some important information.


19.03.20: Housing, benefits and rent payments

We are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and emails due to COVID-19.

Tenants who are concerned about making their rent payments due to loss of earning because of illness or self-isolation are advised to check the DWP website https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

If you need advice on how to make a claim please contact Citizen's Advice, or speak to a member of the Revenues & Benefits team or Rents team.

If you need to claim Universal Credit please apply on line at www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim or call the helpline on 0800 328 6455.

To claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must inform your employer, if employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get it from the NHS 111 online instead of having to get a fit note from their doctor - this is currently under development and will be made available soon.

If you are claiming Housing Benefit and it has stopped or have a query you will need to speak to the Revenues & Benefits team on 01590 646121.


18.03.20: Housing

Our Housing Services continue to provide key services to our tenants who require housing related assistance. So that we can continue to provide key services, from today (18.03.20) only essential repairs to council homes will be carried out. These include:

  1. Emergency repairs and work - work necessary to prevent danger to life or extensive damage to property, or if the problem will have an adverse effect on a medical need
  2. Urgent - essential repairs to prevent undue inconvenience or further damage to property

Major property improvements will continue to be offered as normal subject to tenants being happy to have contractors in their homes. Tenants who are vulnerable or self- isolating will have their housing works re-scheduled.

Our Housing Maintenance staff and contractors will be following social distancing guidance when visiting tenants' homes and will continue observing good hygiene standards in accordance with the national guidance.

Tenants that find themselves in difficulty with paying their rent due to loss of earnings because of self- isolation or illness can seek advice by emailing the Rents Team rents@nfdc.gov.uk

We will continue to provide our support for homelessness, and to re-let Council properties that become vacant.


17.03.20: Advice for council tenants suffering loss of earnings due to Coronavirus

Council tenants who are worried about making their rent payments to NFDC due to loss of earnings because of self-isolation or illness can seek advice by emailing our rents team on rents@nfdc.gov.uk (or calling 02380 285 222 option 2 if no access to email).   

 

Updated: 4 Apr 2020
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