Coronavirus – some answers about our services

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Posts.

New national restrictions from 5 November

There’s full information on the new national restrictions at gov.uk.

This information includes what the restrictions mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced, and the financial support available. 

Changes to Gateshead Council’s services

Find out about the changes to council services, including libraries and recycling centres, at Gateshead Council’s website.


Our services

We are continuing to follow advice from Public Health England, and the safety and wellbeing of our customers and employees remains at the heart of what we do.

Find details below of our current working practices and safety procedures, the services that are running, and any restrictions in place. We’ve also listed some ways we can help if you are experiencing any difficulties.

You can find multi-language information on the help available from Gateshead Council on their website. There are videos in Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, Kurdish, Hindi, French, Bengali, and Farsi.

Getting in touch

Our offices are currently closed to the public. However, you can still contact us by phone or email between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

For free Wi-Fi and phone calls the nearest inlink terminals to the civic centre can be found outside Argos and Barclays Bank.

Rent enquiries: rent@gatesheadhousing.co.uk; 0191 433 6150.

Finding a home: tyneandwearhomes@gatesheadhousing.co.uk

Report a repair: repairs@gatesheadhousing.co.uk; 0800 408 6008

General enquiries: 0191 433 5353.

Safety measures

For any service involving a home visit, we will get in touch shortly before your appointment to make sure you have no COVID-19 symptoms. If you, or someone in your household, becomes ill with suspected COVID-19, please let us know straight away.

We have carried out a thorough risk assessment of all the work we do to make sure it is safe for you and our colleagues. We may wear appropriate protective clothing depending on the type of work we are doing.

To help keep everyone safe, we ask that you maintain a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from our employees. If possible, you should stay in a different room while our repairs team is working in your home.

HomeRepairs

From Monday 23 November we will be carrying out emergency, essential (health and safety) and urgent works only.

This is due to the rise in COVID cases, and it is something we need to do to keep you and our employees safe. If we do need to come to your home to make an urgent repair, we will continue to follow the stringent safety rules listed above. Please let us know in advance if you, or someone in your household, becomes ill with suspected COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate.

We will be pausing all non-essential works and will contact all affected customers to update them. Once safe to deliver these works, we will contact customers to re-book the appointments for a time that suits.

Services running

Services running with restrictions

Moving home

We are advertising weekly on Tyne and Wear Homes as usual. Please only bid if you are in a position to move.

We are still carrying out viewings, but we will wait outside while you have a look around. We will be fully sanitising the property in between viewings. Please limit the number of people you bring with you.

Sheltered accommodation and supported housing schemes

Communal lounges remain closed, and no social activities are taking place.

To protect residents, we are asking friends and family to follow Government guidance for households.

Employees are on hand in schemes to support with customers’ day-to-day needs, and residents can still contact us for help and support. All our sheltered scheme residents continue to receive daily check-in phone calls from our team. 

Help available

The coronavirus pandemic has affected people’s lives in many ways. We can help with some of the issues you might be facing.

Financial advice

We want to help you manage your tenancy and remain in your home. If your income is reduced, please call us on 0191 433 6150 and we will look at how we can help. We can help you apply for benefits, grants and help towards paying your rent. We can also help you with any debts.

Antisocial behaviour

We will respond to all reports of antisocial behaviour. However, we are prioritising the most serious incidents.

We will only carry out home visits or face–to–face interviews in exceptional circumstances, with safe working practices in place.

Domestic abuse

We’re here to help if you are experiencing domestic abuse. If you don’t feel safe in your home please contact us.

Other services that can help:

Housing Domestic Abuse Outreach Team on 0191 433 3174 for advice. Or you can visit our website for further information about how we can help.

Gateshead Council’s 24-hour Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0191 433 3333 or visit their website.

In an emergency call 999 – if you are unable to speak, you can confirm you need help by pressing 55 when prompted.

Homelessness

If you have nowhere to stay, have been asked to leave your accommodation or are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments, email the Housing Options team or call 0191 433 3174. If you are currently homeless and need support outside of office hours, please phone 0191 477 0844.

Leaseholders

Email Leasehold Services if Coronavirus has left you struggling financially. We will work with you to discuss payment terms and the potential to postpone payment of service charges and major works bills.

Any restriction of services will be taken into account when we issue the actual service charge invoices in June 2021.