Service updates - Covid-19
We are dealing with a high volume of calls at the moment about housing applications and allocations. This is putting additional pressure on our service. We would ask tenants and applicants to limit their contact with housing officers at the moment to essential queries only – for example, advice on homelessness.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, you should call 01595 744360 and ask to speak to a Housing Officer who will be able to advise you. If you are asked to visit the office at 8 North Ness, you will first be asked the appropriate screening questions. You should not attend the office unless you have been asked to as you will not be seen.
The spread of Covid 19 has meant it has not been possible to carry out our repairs service as normal. While adhering to the government legislation to ensure the safety of our staff and tenants, the pandemic has meant staff shortages at times, difficulties in sourcing materials and issues accessing properties due to tenants self isolating.
We have had to prioritise the repairs carried out by our staff. Before Christmas, we had to pause routine repairs, and while we are now carrying out all repairs, we have a backlog of repairs to deal with and cannot guarantee that non-essential repairs will be carried out to normal timescales. Our priority is to complete emergency and urgent repairs, as well as completing works to empty properties so these can be let.
We thank our tenants for their patience while we deal with the backlog.
Tenants can report any repairs through our Helpdesk on 01595 74 4399 or email any non-emergency repairs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the following link for Working Safely in your home during Covid 19.
Housing Applications are being processed in line with our Allocation Policy.
Allocations are being made at the moment, in line with Scottish Government guidance.
In line with the Scottish Government Guidance in place to deal with the Covid19 pandemic, mutual exchanges can now be considered. All applicants must adhere to the restrictions and no exchanges are to take place until formal agreements are in place.
Staff are carrying out regular contact with community housing support customers by telephone.
If you are facing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus outbreak and need help,
- You can claim Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions for your rent which includes support for housing costs, an income replacement element and child tax credits, where eligible. There are some temporary changes that have been put into effect which makes this easier at this time.
- You should apply for Statutory Sick Pay and Universal Credit, where eligible.
UK Government press release for employees, benefit claimants and businesses.
Housing and Finance staff are working closely together to support our tenants at this time and ask that if you are having financial difficulties and/or unable to pay your rent on time, please get in touch with us.
Contact Details -
- Housing Service - 01595 74 4360
- Finance (Rents) – 01595 74 4648
- Finance (Benefits) - 01595 744682
- Finance (Arrears) - 01595 744623
- Finance (Crisis / Community Care Grants) - 01595 744629
The Scottish Government has made an announcement about financial support for communities during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes:
- Additional funds for the Council Tax Reduction scheme if necessary
- Additional money for Community Care and Crisis Grants
- More money for Social security benefits
- A Food fund for those experiencing an income drop or self-isolation, including elderly people and those receiving free school meals
- Help for those experiencing fuel poverty
Help for Community groups for example to enable free food and essential supplies
The risk to vulnerable people, including victims of domestic abuse, will unfortunately continue during the Coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, with restrictions on movement, there may be an increased risk with more time spent in the home.
However, support is still available and we would like to sign-post you to some specialist agencies who can help:
Shetland Womens' Aid
Telephone: 01595 692070
Mobiles: 07867 300565 and 07810 796556
Phone calls/texts will be answered as soon as possible – generally staff will be available 9-12 every weekday.
Shetland Rape Crisis
Centre Hours: Mon-Thurs 9am-1.30pm
Centre Number: 01595 747174
RCS Helpline: 08088 010302 (6pm-midnight)
Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage
Helpline 24 hour: 0800 027 1234
Freephone – 0808 801 0327
01744 743 200
www.safershetland.com offers an excellent resource of local numbers and information relating to adult protection, child protection and Domestic Abuse and gender-based violence.
Police Scotland continue to deal with Domestic Abuse incidents, which is a criminal offence. In an emergency please call 999 and in a non-emergency please call 101.