As we complete week 3 of lockdown with the strong possibility of more to come, please find an update on the services being provided during the lockdown. We are adhering to nationally issued guidance regarding the way we work and we would urge you stay at home.
Due to the availability of contractors and social distancing rules, we are currently only able to complete emergency repairs. If you contact our offices the staff will advise you if the repair is an emergency and if so it will be passed to a contractor who will be in contact with you to arrange access. If the repair is not urgent then we can log it and issue it to our contractors when they are back up and running. When this happens we will copy the works order to you so you can see that the repair has been issued.
At the moment, Kingdom Gas who do our repairs and servicing are still working to get the gas servicing done. We will contact you as normal regarding this but you let us know if you are self isolating and that Kingdom won’t be able to access your home. We will regularly give you a call to see if this situation has changed. The Association adheres to strict legislation regarding tenant safety and servicing gas appliances annually. These requirements have not been relaxed despite the COVID19 outbreak so where you are happy for us to gain access to your home, we will for the moment be working to complete the service. Our contractors will take the appropriate safety precautions in your home to keep you and themselves safe.
We understand that these are tough times for many of our tenants and we are sympathetic to those who are concerned about or are dealing with the impact of COVID19. It is crucial that tenants who are able to pay their rent continue to do so. Unlike homeowners, we are not being offered “payment holidays” from our banks and lenders. We are also a local employer of staff and we continue to fulfil our payment obligations to our local contractors as well as our staff. Help is available to help you pay your rent. Your Housing Officer and our Financial Inclusion Team are able to assist with advice about making Universal Credit applications and to make payment arrangements if you are behind with your rent. If you are applying for Universal Credit the DWP have asked landlords to let tenants know that the number they call you from may come up as on 0800 number withheld or private number but their staff will verify who they on at the start of the call.
Our staff have been contacting tenants who may be vulnerable due to health or age. We are just checking in and seeing if there is any help you might need. We have details of local agencies that can help. If we haven’t contacted you and you have any concerns, please call the usual 0345 177 2244 number and our Customer Services staff will put you through to the right person.
The sun is starting to shine and the grass is starting to grow. Right now our contractors are also adhering to social distancing rules so we are not able to provide this service for you right now. As soon as we possibly can, we will get this service up and running again. We appreciate that you may be at home watching things get more untidy and we understand this is frustrating but right now it’s not something we can do.
if your block is currently looked after by our Caretaker, Denis, we are providing a paired down service three days a week where common areas will be cleaned and we will try to keep on top of the bin stores. We will review the charges and make some refunds when the lockdown is over.
In a time when most people are pulling together there are still people who are trying to exploit the current situation and in particular are targeting those who are vulnerable or who live alone. As many of us are relying on the kindness of strangers, it’s easier for fraudsters to take advantage. All our staff and contractors have ID badges and their identity can be verified by calling us or our contractor direct. As a reminder, don’t give anyone your bank or card details even if they are doing your shopping for you. You can use internet or telephone banking to pay them. Don’t keep large amounts of money at home (at any time not just during COVID19). Never be afraid to say “no thank you” and close the door. Never make a decision because you feel pressurised. If you have a concern get advice from a friend or family member.
Domestic Abuse is not just physical or sexual abuse, it includes abusive behaviours including verbal, sexual, psychological or financial. It is about power and control with the aim of frightening, humiliating and isolating victims. If you have any concerns personally or about someone you know, please call 999 to contact Police Scotland in an emergency or contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234 where help is available 24/7. Domestic abuse is everyone’s business. Domestic abuse is not acceptable. Please make sure you are safe.
We are here to help. Our staff are all still working from home (due to some recent investment in improving our IT services staff are able to work remotely) and we are working hard to provide tenants with as normal a service as we can, without putting our tenants and staff at unnecessary risk. We will continue to update you regularly. Take care, stay home, stay well.
As a result of the restrictions being put in place by both the Scottish and UK Governments, the Association has been forced to make some changes to the services we provide. For your information we have detailed these for you below. The staff are still working from home and our main 0345 177 2244 number is taking calls as usual. If you need to speak to staff then please call this number and your call will be dealt with or passed to the relevant member of staff.
We will continue to review the government guidance and update you as and when we can. Please follow the lockdown guidance and stay safe. We appreciate your patience and understanding at such a difficult time for all of us.
If you would like to apply for a property with Angus Housing Association please complete the online Application Form on our website which will be available from Friday 27th March 2020.
If you have been pre allocated a property by the Association a member of the Housing Management Department will contact to discuss your allocation.
The Association is working hard to deliver critical services. To reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the decision to suspend Mutual Exchanges during this time.
It you have already contacted the Association to advise you are terminating your tenancy a member of the Housing Management Department will contact you to discuss your termination and if required extend your termination date.
Please refer to the Association’s website for information on how to pay your rent.
Payments can be made
If you need any help or advice with your rent account or if you are worried about a change in circumstances due to loss of earnings please contact your Housing Officer on 03451 772244 immediately. We can also assist with income maximisation and tenancy sustainment issues. It is important you keep in touch with your Housing Officer if you are experiencing problems.
If you are worried about the short term impact of COVID-19 on your employment then you can contact the PACE helpline on 0800 917 800.
Further advice can also be found on the Money Advice Services website: https://www.moneyadviseservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you
Should you find yourself with no income due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), if you do not already claim benefits you may be eligible to apply for Universal Credit to help you pay your rent. You can find more about Universal Credit and eligibility at: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus If you require additional advice or support please contact a member of the Association Financial and Welfare Team on 03451 772244.
There is also further information for people affected by Coronavirus (COVID -19), including information about eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay on the UK Government website: https://www/gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businessess.
The Scottish Government have indicated that rent holidays may be available but have not issued any further guidance to landlords regarding this. When we have more information we will be in touch with tenants to provide further advice on this. For the moment, if you can pay your rent then you should and if you can apply for benefits you should start this process. Whilst the requirement to pay your rent may be delayed, it is unlikely to be removed completely.
If you are self-isolating or recovering from Coronavirus (COVID-19), this will mean you may not be able to leave your home. If you have a pre-payment meter then this may be a problem as you will not be able to leave your home in order to top-up your card. Different energy suppliers will have their own way of dealing with this. If you or anyone in your household has any underlying health conditions, you should also contact your energy supplier to let them know. They will add you to the Priority Service Register, which will give you extra support should you need it. If you are self-isolating, you should contact your energy company as soon as you become aware of any issues to do with your prepay meter, as some of the solutions can take a few days.
If you are experiencing difficulties paying you energy bills please contact your energy supplier immediately. If you required additional assistance with energy bills during this time please contact the Association as our Financial and Welfare Team may be able to provide assistance.
Unfortunately during this difficult time and to reduce the risks associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have suspended delivery of the following services:
We have taken an unprecedented step to reduce the number of repairs that we are responding to. This is to take account of the restrictions on travel and to take account of the reduced availability of our local contractors. We will only be carrying out repairs that are classified as emergency. These are repairs detailed within our existing policies and are detailed below.
Please continue to report other repairs. When the restrictions are lifted we will try as soon as we can to get these carried out. If our contractors are taking repair requests, we will try to get urgent repairs completed. These are:
At the moment these should be continuing as normal however this may change if we are advised that Kingdom Gas is unable to undertake these. Please ensure that you let them know if you have a service pending and you or any member of your household is unwell of you suspect that you might have symptoms.
We want to help our tenants with any money worries they may have as a result of the Coronavirus. We have three dedicated workers within our Money Advice Team and they can provide a full benefit check to make sure you’re getting all the help available to you.
They can also provide money advice if you feel you may have difficulty paying your rent and/or other household bills. Simply call the office on 0345 177 2244 and ask to speak to our Money Advice Team.
Please note the DWP are making temporary arrangements to help those impacted by Coronavirus. Please see the following links for more information about the changes:
Welfare Reform Officer
Dundee City Council has set up a webpage with useful information and guidance in relation to COVID-19 and will be updating this regularly - see link below
Please feel free to share this with your networks across the City.
Dundee Partnership Team
Chief Executive's Services
Dundee City Council
Angus Housing Association Limited
Registration Nos: FSA 1665R(S) Communities Scotland HAL 65 Scottish Charity SC020981 Property Factor ID PF000129
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