Coronavirus (Lockdown) Housing Update: Thursday 7th January 2021
On 04th January 2021, the Prime Minister announced a further national lockdown until mid-February at the earliest.
We have looked at how the specific rules in this lockdown will affect our work and agreed on the following arrangements for our services to ensure we keep you, our staff and contractors safe.
A copy of the full Government lockdown guidance is available here.
The Government has been specific about the work allowed to continue during this lockdown. Much of the work we do as a social housing provider falls into these categories including:
- People who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, manufacturing.
- Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education.
- Where it is necessary for you to work in other people's homes - for example, nannies, cleaners or tradespeople
- Letting, renting and sales of properties.
Given the guidance outlined above, to reduce the need to visit residents in their homes, whilst continuing to provide essential services for our residents, the following temporary changes to our services will be made until at least mid-February:
- We will revert to essential repairs in your homes during the lockdown, but we will continue to do external repairs wherever possible.
- You will still be able to request a future non-essential repair.
- Any new non-essential repairs inside your homes will be booked after lockdown.
- If you already have a routine repair booked to take place in your home during lockdown, we will call you if we need to rearrange it.
If you are due to be visited by a member of our staff, please remember the following:
- We ask our staff to observe two-metre social distancing with residents where possible.
- We ask our staff to wear a suitable face covering when entering a resident's home.
- We will ask you if you or anyone in your home is suffering from Covid-19 symptoms before we arrive.
- When a repair is being carried out at your home please move to a different room and allow our operatives to complete the repair.
Please don’t be offended by any of the actions above – we’ve asked staff do this to help keep them and you safe, and to try to limit the spread of the virus.
You can still report a repair to us at any time via email to; Housing@scilly.gov.uk or by calling 0300 1234105 followed by option 3.
Housing officer visits
- Essential visits only – contact to be over the phone or virtual wherever possible.
Home safety checks
Safety and statutory compliance checks in residents’ homes and buildings will continue.
Our contractors will be following social distancing and health and safety rules and guidance whilst they are carrying out these works to protect themselves and you, and to make sure we’re doing our bit to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
It is important that you all follow these rules and keep a least 1m+ away from visiting staff or contractors.
- Home allocations and property movements can continue as confirmed by government. All necessary precautions must be in place to do this safely.
Reporting Domestic Abuse and/or Sexual Violence
Support for those living with domestic abuse -
Covid-19 restrictions will continue to have serious impacts on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.
We want to reassure communities that vital services are still available to support adults and children during this time.
If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 200 0247.
Did you know you can report domestic abuse and sexual violence in confidence and safety to your local Housing Team. We work closely with our local police and other service to put a stop to domestic abuse and sexual violence on the islands.
The Council of the Isles of Scilly Housing Department will;
- Never tell anyone your personal details without your permission*
- Offer support and advice
- Offer a safe place or meet you somewhere where you feel comfortable for interviews
- Discuss what help from other organisations is also available to you that provide long-term support if and when you may require it
- Be sensitive and understanding when discussing your housing options
- React quickly and effectively to make sure you are safe
- Give you advice and practicable help with your tenancy and other issues
- Provide additional security measures to your property if you need them or if it is appropriate to do so
*Please note we might be required to make a disclosure in order to safeguard you and other family members.
If things are getting too much, don’t suffer in silence.
Reporting anti-social behaviour
We’re still working with our local Police team and will act on any reports of ASB (anti-social behaviour), which you can report to us on 0300 1234 105 followed by option 3 or email to Housing@scilly.gov.uk .
Please remember that lots of people are staying indoors at the moment so please be considerate to your neighbours.
Rent and payment changes
We’re committed to making sure that we can help you so it’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you have any money worries. We’d like to reassure our residents that we will not evict anyone due to a loss of income as a result of Coronavirus. If you are concerned about paying your rent please contact us as soon as possible on 0300 1234105 followed by option 3, alternatively you can contact the housing department directly on 01720 424440 or by email to Housing@scilly.gov.uk.
We can discuss all options available to you such as affordable payment plans or provide assistance with Universal Credit or housing benefit claims.
Council of the Isles of Scilly tenants –
We’d like to reassure our residents that we will not evict anyone due to a loss of income as a result of coronavirus. Call us on 0300 1234105 followed by option 3, alternatively you can contact the housing department directly on 01720 424440 or email Housing@scilly.gov.uk.
Private rentals –
If you receive a section 21 eviction notice from your landlord, they must legally give you a 6-month notice period. This rule was set by government and is in place until at least 31st March 2021, apart from in cases involving things like domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour.
Please be assured that we will continue to do whatever we can to support our residents, especially those who are older or vulnerable.
You can contact us any time on 0300 1234105 followed by option 3, alternatively you can contact the housing department directly on 01720 424440 or by email to Housing@scilly.gov.uk.
The coming weeks and months will continue to be filled with more change and challenge. We are thankful of the supportive response we’ve had from all our residents as we work to continue our essential services and provide support to you, our residents.
As always, your safety and that of our staff and contractors will be foremost in our minds when we’re making decisions about how to restore our services in the future.
Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and co-operation.