COVID-19 Coronavirus

OFFICE CLOSURE - Update 24th March 2020 - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

I am writing to advise you that in order to minimise Coronavirus risk to staff and visitors, it has become necessary that the Association close the Dundee and Arbroath offices.
The office will be closed until further notice.

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.

Housing Management
Allocations

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.

Mutual Exchanges

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.

Terminations

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.

Rent Payments

Please refer to the Association’s website for information on how to pay your rent.

Payments can be made

Rent Arrears

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.

Pre-Payment Meters

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.

Caretaker Duties – Ormiston Crescent, Whitfield

Unfortunately during this difficult time and to reduce the risks associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have suspended delivery of the following services:

  • Caretaker Service - Ormiston Crescent
  • Special Uplift Service – Ormiston Crescent
Repairs

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.

Emergency Repairs
  • Escape of gas which cannot be controlled  -  phone 0800 111 999 immediately then call AH
  • Escape of water which cannot be controlled
  • No water supply
  • WC not flushing (only if there is no other functioning WC in the house)
  • Escape of flue products into the living area
  • Loss of gas pressure / complete loss of supply
  • Danger of fire from central heating boiler
  • Blocked / leaking foul water drain or WC
  • Blocked bath, shower tray and / or WHB
  • Insecure external window, door or lock (Including defective safety catch)
  • Loss of electric power
  • Loss of lighting (this includes communal stair lighting)
  • Unsafe electrical fitment (this does not include your own fridge, cooker or other appliances)
  • Unsafe power / lighting socket
  • Smoke alarm sounding with no apparent sign of smoke
  • Any defect which creates a danger to life and limb

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:

Urgent Repairs
  • Loss or partial loss of heating / hot water
  • WC not flushing (see note where another WC exists in the house)
  • Partial loss of water supply
  • Loose banister / handrail or faulty bathroom lock(s)
  • Loose flooring or stair treads (not squeaky flooring)
  • Partial loss of electric power
  • Noisy central heating
  • Overflow running
  • Defective external light
  • Faulty extract fan
  • Water penetration at door / window / wall
Gas Servicing

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.

Gail Robertson
Director
 

Additional Information

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses?utm_source=37472ed5-c0b4-4625-8801-549259dc908d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Kerry Brown
Welfare Reform Officer

Dundee City Council

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

https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

Please feel free to share this with your networks across the City.

Dundee Partnership Team
Chief Executive's Services
Dundee City Council
 

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Scottish Housing Regulator
Contact Angus Housing Association

Angus Housing Association Limited
93 High Street
Arbroath
Angus, DD11 1DP

Phone Angus Housing Association

0345 177 22 44

Angus Housing Association Limited
Registration Nos: FSA 1665R(S)    Communities Scotland HAL 65    Scottish Charity SC020981    Property Factor ID PF000129

Opening Times

Monday - 9.00am to 4.30pm *
Tuesday - 9.00am to 4.30pm *
Wednesday - 9.00am to 4.30pm *
Thursday - 10.00am to 4.30pm *
Friday - 9.00am to 4.00pm

* Monday to Thursday
phone calls are answered to 5.00pm