Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions 

 

We are reviewing the situation daily and will update our social media and website channels with the most up to date information. We would like to reassure all tenants that in this ever-changing situation, we will continue to act upon government announcements and will change our guidance and advice accordingly.

 

Please see the latest government advice at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

 

Are your phone lines open as normal?

Yes. However, we are having to manage increased demand so it is possible you may experience a delay in us responding to your call. In line with the government guidelines we are putting in place measures so staff can work from home wherever possible. This means we need to make some changes to our telephone system that may lead to some disruption.

 

We have extended our phone opening hours so you can contact us between 9am and 2:30pm.

 

Please consider avoiding calling during peak periods, first thing in the morning or over the lunch period. There are many services you can use online, such as paying your rent or requesting non-urgent repairs.

 

Are the housing team still working?

The vast majority of our housing team are working as normal, please contact them in the normal way. If for any reason they are not available, they will leave a message on their phone telling you who to contact in their absence. 

 

Can I visit the Office?

Our offices are now closed to tenants until further notice.

 

I am a cash payer- how do I pay my rent?

We offer a range of ways to pay rent which are advertised on our website. We will be contacting known cash payers to provide some guidance on alternative methods.

 

I’m self isolating what should I do?

If anyone in your household is in self-isolation, please notify us by emailing mailbox@epichousing.co.uk or call us on

 

Are you still completing repairs?

Following the Government’s announcement on Monday 23 March, we will only be carrying out emergency and any immediately dangerous repairs to tenants’ homes until further notice. Any non-emergency repairs will be suspended for the time being. We recognise this is disruptive, but we need to ensure we follow government guidelines to ensure the safety of both our tenants and colleagues and the need to prioritise our emergency services. We remain committed to supporting our vulnerable tenants at this time.

 

Will my new kitchen or bathroom replacement go ahead?

We have temporarily suspended all our planned improvement work to tenants’ homes to install things like new kitchens, bathrooms and boilers. We will reschedule this work once the coronavirus crisis is over.

 

 

 

Even though I am self-isolating my repair is urgent- will my repair be done?

If you are ill but your repair is an emergency, such as a major leak or boiler failure, we will put special measures in place to get your repair done. Where possible, our maintenance contractor will wear special protective clothing to be able to carry out the work urgently. If for any reason this is not possible, we will talk to you about whether there is another way we might be able to gain access and sort the issue.

 

What about Grounds Maintenance?

Our grounds maintenance is currently suspended.

 

Rent

We are always here to support tenants to sustain their tenancies, and we will provide support where we can to anyone that has concerns about paying their rent. If you are struggling to pay your rent because of coronavirus, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.   

 

We will work with tenants who are facing financial hardship due to coronavirus. Our aim is always to do everything possible to ensure our tenants can sustain their tenancies and remain in their homes. 

 

In order to continue to provide our services and to maintain your homes, we must still collect rent, but no customer will be evicted for being unable to pay their rent because of the impact of coronavirus.  We are unable to offer rent breaks however we will work with each customer on a case by case basis to agree an affordable repayment plan.

 

We are committed to help prevent our tenants falling into debt and we will continue to provide advice, support and guidance to tenants who may be experiencing difficulty in paying their rent. This can include putting payment plans in place or supporting tenants with Universal Credit, Housing Benefit claims and discretionary housing payment/hardship applications. We welcome the fact that statutory sick pay has been extended to people affected by coronavirus. However, if you’re not eligible for it, we’d urge you to claim Universal Credit or New Style Employment Support Allowance.

 

Details of the support offered by government can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

 

We also work closely with Citizens Advice, who offer help and support for our residents in financial difficulty. If you need their help with your finances, please contact them directly.

 

How are your services effected?

Unfortunately, the coronavirus situation will impact the level of service to you and we will not be able to meet all our customer service standards. We will be making changes to services in line with Government guidance to safeguard our tenants and our colleagues.

 

I believe I am more vulnerable to coronavirus.  

Government has said that people at a higher risk of illness will receive a letter from the NHS. If you receive one of these letters, please let your Housing Officer know. Contact numbers for all Housing Officers are on our website - please see the link at bottom of this page. We want to make sure that we are providing as much support to our tenants as possible, and it is important that we know who is most vulnerable so we can ensure we support you in the most effective way.

 

Our Housing Officers can continue to provide many of our services via telephone or video chatting (for example Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom). 

 

I am due to transfer between EPIC properties, will this still go ahead?

We have placed a hold on transfers currently due to the need to focus on other areas of work.

 

Are you currently letting properties?

We have currently placed a hold on letting properties. We are however reviewing this position and hope to be able to implement changes to ensure that we can let properties to those in housing need.