Helping you manage your home

Derby Homes provide a number of services aimed at helping tenants to understand what is needed to keep to their tenancy conditions and continue living in their homes.

Tenancy Sustainment - A service for new tenants

Derby Homes offers a service designed specifically to help new tenants settle into their home during the first year.

A tenancy sustainment officer can help you to:

  • Understand your tenancy agreement and how to keep to it
  • Sort out your claim for Housing benefit
  • Set up your gas, electric and water accounts
  • Help you make energy efficiency savings by switching gas or electric supply
  • Refer to agencies that can provide low cost furniture
  • Sort out any problems with extra repairs that might be needed in your new home
  • Make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to
  • Learn how to manage your money and any debts you may have
  • Help you access financial services and set up a bank account
  • Help you with any Welfare Reform issues by applying for Discretionary Housing payments
  • Help you to set up home contents insurance
  • Make referrals to get you into independent living and employment skills training
  • Get affordable loans
  • Deal with any problems you might have with neighbours or the area you live in
  • Arrange any additional help for you if you need it, such as help from Social Services
  • Set you up on the Derby Homes Dashboard, where you can see and manage your rent and repairs online

We provide this service to new tenants during their introductory tenancy, which is a minimum of 12 months. The Tenancy Sustainment team meets new tenants before they sign up for their property to discuss their needs and agree an action plan. They then keep in regular touch to support tenants with any problems they may have with their tenancy.

There is a weekly charge for the service, which is included in the rent. If the tenant is entitled to housing benefit, the cost will be covered as part of their benefits.

In return for the service Derby Homes provides, we expect new tenants to:

  • keep to their tenancy agreement
  • co-operate with the staff working with them to manage their tenancy
  • keep any appointments we make with them
  • tell us if there are any changes to their personal circumstances.

By working together, we hope to make it easier for tenants to succeed in securing their tenancy.

Intensive Housing Management Service

The Intensive Housing Management Service is a time limited, free service available to all Derby Homes tenants that need help to maintain their tenancy. Intensive Housing Management Officers are based in each of our Housing Offices and work closely with Housing Officers and Income Officers.

The service provides advice and assistance to tenants so that they are able to understand and comply with their tenancy conditions. For example, keeping your home and garden in good order or perhaps struggling to budget and maximise your income.

Feedback received from users of the Intensive Housing Management Service to date has shown that the vast majority are very happy with the help they have received.

Intensive Housing Management Case studies

Mr George was referred by his Housing Officer to the Intensive Housing Management Service as he had recently downsized from a 2 bedroom Derby Homes property to a one bedroom property in another area of the city.

The Housing Officer was concerned as Mr George had difficulties with alcohol misuse, debts, and re-charges due to damage at his previous property. He needed help with his welfare and housing benefits and also did not have the funds to purchase a washing machine or curtains.

The Intensive Housing Officer worked with Mr George and helped him to manage his debts and develop budgeting skills. A payment plan was set up to clear the recharges and welfare and housing benefits were informed of the change of address. A successful application was made to a charitable trust to obtain a washing machine. We were able to provide curtains free of charge from our recycling scheme.

After a 3 month period of assistance Mr George’s Intensive Housing Management case was closed as he was independently managing his tenancy and reducing his debts.

 

Miss Childs was referred to the service by her Housing Officer. Her disabled aunt had been living with her elderly grandparents. Following their deaths, Miss Childs moved to a larger property so that her disabled aunt could come to live with her and her baby daughter.

Miss Childs had been settled in her smaller property and found the changes difficult financially and emotionally. She was struggling to decorate and furnish her new home whilst caring for her aunt.

The Intensive Housing Officer worked with Miss Childs to make the property safer for her aunt. A successful application for carpeting for the stairs was applied for through a charitable trust fund. Adult Social Care were contacted and asked to complete a needs assessment with Miss Childs’ aunt and she was able to receive respite care for one day a week giving Miss Childs a regular break from her caring responsibilities. With assistance Miss Childs successfully applied for Carers Allowance and tackled her debts. There were outstanding repairs at the property and these were reported and addressed. In particular the kitchen was plastered allowing Miss Childs to clean, decorate and tidy the area.

After a short period of help Miss Childs was able to manage independently and the Intensive Housing Management case was closed.

Supporting people with mental health problems, physical & learning disabilities

We have small, dedicated and supportive team within Derby Homes who provide additional help to tenants with a wide range of complex needs including: mental health problems, physical and learning disabilities to enable them to set up and sustain their tenancies.

We develop good working relationship with parents, carers, social workers and all other professionals who are working with the tenant

We provide a coordinated approach to Housing Management and liaise with other housing professionals to ensure the need of clients are met, particularly around repairs and maintenance issues

We help the tenant to liaise with and arrange gas and electricity accounts.

We ensure furniture packs are discussed, and where agreed are delivered on time in conjunction with the Customer Services Centre.

We work alongside carers/care co-ordinators to ensure that the correct benefit payments are in place and provide assistance where necessary.

We also work alongside other professionals to resolve tenancy breaches.