Coronavirus information and advice
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Advice
UPDATED | Tuesday 5 January 2021
We are now under national lockdown restrictions, which means we must all stay home except for essential reasons. The health and safety of our customers, staff and partners is always our priority. We will prioritise our resources to ensure that we can attend to all essential/urgent repairs. As we move forward, it may become necessary to prioritise other areas of our work. We will publish details on social media and on our website if this becomes the case.
We will call you in advance where we need to physically visit or meet to carry out a service and ensure appropriate measures are in place to keep everyone safe. If we are unable to make contact, we may not be able to continue with an appointment at the arranged time.
Impact on Housing Services
Repairs and Maintenance
All repair visits will follow COVID-secure guidelines. We will contact you beforehand to check whether any member of your household has symptoms or if there are any other risks or concerns. If anyone is showing symptoms, we will rearrange the repair.
If there is any other significant work due to take place inside your home from Monday 9 November, we will contact you to let you know if this work has to be rescheduled.
We will take all reasonable precautions to work safely whilst we are in your home. This may include:
- Cleaning the area we work in before we start and when we finish
- Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), where appropriate
- Asking you to stay in another room whilst we carry out our work
Emergency repairs should be reported by phone on 01332 888777.
Offices and buildings
All physical housing office locations and reception services are closed to the public. This includes:
- Allenton Housing Office
- Stockbrook Street Housing Office
- Sussex Circus Housing Office
- London Road reception
Most services will have alternative arrangements in place to reduce the need for face to face contact. If you are unsure you should get in touch before you travel or try to access the service in another way, such as online or by calling us. We may use some locations where it is necessary for a visit to take place or where a service cannot take place remotely, however this will be by appointment only and if you are asked to visit an office, you will be given clear instructions on what you need to do when you arrive.
Housing management services
Our staff are prioritising those who are vulnerable and most in need of support. Most work will be carried out remotely, with visits taking place safely only when necessary. If we need to visit your home, we will tell you in advance how we will carry out the visit. Measures may include:
- Speaking to you at your door, rather than entering your house
- Limiting time in your home
- Not sitting down in your home
- Not accepting a drink
- Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), where appropriate
- You may need to sign documents at a distance and with your own pen
Door entry fobs
Contact us at Key.Fob@derbyhomes.org to order a key fob or if you need further information. Fobs can be collected on Tuesdays and Fridays from our London Road site through an appointment-based system.
Grounds Maintenance and Communal Cleaning
We have increased cleaning in some higher risk areas such as the council's Category 2 sheltered schemes, Parkland View and Rose Homes.
All residents should be mindful of the risks that are present in all communal areas. Wear a face covering, practice social distancing whilst in communal areas and thoroughly wash your hands each time you return home. Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space’. Cleaning communal areas will improve the overall appearance but will offer little protection from the virus. Signage regarding handwashing and social distancing is in place in all blocks of flats as a reminder.
Report anti-social behaviour online or by phone. The service is running as normal. Much work will be carried out remotely, with visits taking place safely when necessary.
We strongly encourage everyone to adhere to the guidance on any current restrictions.
We are unable to carry out any enforcement action against people who are not following government restrictions. If you are concerned and witness clear and serious breaches of the national restrictions they should be passed to the Derbyshire Constabulary using their online form: Tell Derbyshire Constabulary about a possible breach of coronavirus (Covid-19) measures.
Allocation of council properties
The Derby Homefinder website remains open and registered users are able to bid on properties as normal.
The Council updated the Allocations Policy for the city in September 2020, which means your application may been reprioritised. If you have an active application on Derby Homefinder, you should contact our Housing Options team on 01332 888777 (option 4) to ensure your information is up-to-date.
Any mutual exchange requests already in progress with us will proceed as normal, however we will temporarily suspend any requests made during the restriction period. If you requested an exchange, we will contact you. We will keep customers informed when we are able to begin exchanges again.
Signing-up for a new tenancy
Where we can allocate a property, most of the sign-up process will be carried out over the phone and should take around 40 mins. The physical signing of the tenancy agreement will be carried out in person and will be adapted to follow social distancing guidance. This should take just 5 mins and will take place at our Stockbrook Street Office. Applicants will be given specific instruction on how this will take place.
Payment of rent and service charges
We recognise that you may have concerns around paying your rent and service charges and wonder why they are continuing to be charged. The rent you pay goes directly to fund essential services linked to your tenancy. If your circumstances have not changed you must continue to pay your rent as normal.
Most payment methods are still appropriate and safe during this period (direct debits, standing order, online payments, telephone payments and local PayPoint outlets) and we recommend that these options are used.
If you are concerned about paying your rent or service charges because of a reduced income, please contact our Income Team on 01332 888777 (option 3) who will be able to advise you on any help that is available.
Our Money Advice team provides free, confidential and independent advice around budgeting, money and debt problems. You can contact them on 01332 643394 (option 2) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need advice on benefits, contact the Welfare Rights team on the same number but select option 3.
We will continue to support people who find themselves homeless or at threat of becoming homeless during lockdowns and over the winter period. Our homeless outreach service (REST) regularly carry out a mixture of outreach and in-reach work. Priority will be given to households who are most vulnerable.
If you are homeless, or at risk of losing your home, phone us on 01332 888777 (option 5) to speak with one of our team.
We have restricted access to all 22 community rooms we manage across the city to reduce risk of COVID-19 to residents and the public. This includes all communal facilities, such as lounges, kitchens, toilets and bathrooms. We aim to re-open these in a COVID secure manner when we believe it is appropriate to do so. We have informed all residents who have been affected by community room closures.
Derby City Council's services and Coronavirus
Read about the current restrictions and wider services across the city at: www.derby.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19
Help for vulnerable people
The Council, together with Community Action Derby and Derby Homes have created the Derby Community Hub to coordinate help and support for people who need it during this national crisis.
Through the Hub, we can assist anyone in the community who is vulnerable, self-isolating, or needs support. We prioritise those with no family, friends or neighbours who can help them.
- Those who need support can call Derby Direct on 01332 640000
- Text service for the deaf community: 07774 333412
- The phone line is open between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
- There’s also a dedicated email address: email@example.com
Please remember this offer of support is for the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Find out more: derby.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19/how-you-can-help