- Financial/rent & property queries
- Neighbourhood Complaints and Customer Service Enquiries
- Health & Well-being
- Ways in which we have been supporting our customers
Financial/rent & property queries
How do I pay my rent whilst the Pay Kiosk in reception is closed?
You can pay your rent via the online portal https://www.housingsolutions.co.uk/portal-home
Or if you phone 01628 543101 you can pay over the phone using your rent card. You can also use Pay Points in local shops and petrol stations. We have added another layer of security to our phonelines so you can be sure that your information is totally safe.
I do not have a rent card to pay over the phone
Please phone 01628 543101 and we can help you set up a rent card and talk you through how to pay your rent.
You are unable to work as you have coronavirus or you are self isolating
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made temporary arrangements for benefit claimants and the self employed impacted by coronavirus. More information can be found here https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ We would always recommend that you pay as much rent as you can and we can work out a payment plan. We have a team of Welfare advisors who can assist you, if you need to contact our Welfare and Benefit Team please click here and it will take you to a form.
You have lost your job due to coranavirus (layoffs, business has closed etc)
We are very sorry to hear that. We have a team of Welfare advisors who can assist you with benefit advice and other support suggestions. To contact our Welfare Team please click here and it will take you to a form
You are worried you will be evicted because you can't pay your rent
Please be assured that during this time, we will not commence eviction proceedings to recover possession of your home if you are unable to pay rent due to coronavirus. However, we would always recommend that you pay as much rent as you can and we can work out a payment plan. If you need to speak to our Housing Team please click here and it will take you to a form
Will we offer a rent holiday?
Housing associations are not able to offer rent holidays. The rent you pay goes directly to fund essential services linked to your tenancy, so if your circumstances have not changed please continue to pay what you should. If you are struggling to cover your rent, we would always recommend that you pay as much rent as you can and we can work out a payment plan. We have a team of Welfare advisors who can assist you, if you need to contact our Welfare Team please click here and it will take you to a form
You are struggling with debts
You should let your creditors know as soon as possible as they may be able to offer payment holidays or debt repayment plans. There are some helpful advice lines listed below:
National Debtline https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/
Step Change https://www.stepchange.org/
Gov.UK Benefits Advice https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
Money Saving Expert https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/
Better off Calculator - Benefits advice https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free
I have a mortgage
Please contact your mortgage provider as some lenders are allowing a mortgage payment holiday period. You can usually apply on line.
I claim disability benefits already but I am worried as I cannot attend face to face meetings
For more information you please contact the Disability Service Centre on: Telephone: 0800 121 4433 Textphone: 0800 121 4493
You want help with claiming benefits or Universal Credit
The Government have some helpful benefit advice pages here Gov.UK Benefits Advice https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits However, we also have a helpful Welfare Team who can assist you. Please complete the form here and it will be sent to our Welfare Team who will contact you.
You are worried about your utility bills
We can confirm that disconnections are suspended by all providers and some utility companies are pushing back bill dates. Please call your energy provider for more information.
You want to know if you should be paying the Service Charge
Yes, we would ask that you continue to pay the service charges. We are maintaining as many services as possible, but understandably we are having to reduce some of the services that we usually offer. Please be assured that the change in services will be reflected in your annual service charge statements. If you are concerned about paying your rent or service charge due to a reduced income, please contact our Housing Team via this form, who will be able to advise you on any help that is available.
You are unable to pay your Council Tax
Unfortunately, there are no grace periods. Please contact your local authority for advice and to discuss how you can set up a payment plan.
I am due to exchange on my shared ownership home, will this still go ahead?
In line with government advice, we’re continuing to progress exchanges on completed new build homes. We will be talking to your solicitor and your financial advisor every day to progress your purchase.
I’m due to complete on my shared ownership home, will this still go ahead so I can move in?
If your home is build complete and your solicitor and mortgage lender are happy to complete your purchase then we're more than happy for you to move into your new home. However, we’re encouraging everyone to following the government’s guidelines on moving home during social distancing restrictions.
Are mutual exchanges on hold?
No, however, we will require social distancing measures are adhered to.
Repairs during the Pandemic
We want to assure our residents that Housing Solutions will continue working for you within the new Government lockdown rules.
However, the health and safety of our staff and residents is vitally important. As the infection rate continues to rise and more virulent strains are being reported, we recognise the ongoing need to limit contact and help reduce any danger of contamination.
We are pleased to confirm that from 1st March we are returning to a full repair service.
We adhere strictly to all Government Covid-19 guidance which includes wearing PPE when we visit your home. Please ensure that rooms are well ventilated and that you respect social distancing measures. If this is not possible, the tradesperson will ask you to stay in another room, whilst the repair takes place.
Please note that if you or any family members in your home have Covid 19, are self-isolating or feel that you have symptoms, we will not be able to attend your repair appointment. We understand that this is inconvenient, but it is our duty of care to protect our staff and residents.
We would like to remind you that if you falsely declare that you and other occupants are Covid free or self- isolating when we attend to fulfill an appointment, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement and could face eviction. Please check here
We will be happy to arrange another appointment once it is safe to do so, however, in the meantime if you have an emergency that you do not know how to resolve, please contact us for advice.
How can I report a repair?
The fastest way to report a repair and arrange an appointment is via the Customer Portal
If you do not have an account you only need an email address and your tenancy number (you can find this on your rent statement) to set up an account and it takes no more than two minutes!
How do I get help when I need an emergency repair?
To report an emergency repair please telephone 01628 543101 at any time. We run a 24 hour emergency telephone service so you are never alone in a crisis.
What is classed as an emergency repair?
The definition of an emergency repair is an emergency that has the potential to cause damage or immediate injury to people or major damage to property. Please click here to see a list of what we define as emergency repairs.
What should I do if I smell gas?
Call Gas Emergency Services on the Gas Emergency Freephone 0800 111 999
Turn off the gas supply and all appliances and ventilate the room
If I have an appointment booked but I am unwell what should I do?
If you are reporting a repair we will ask you if you or a member of your household are displaying Covid-19 symptoms, please let us know and we will be happy to rebook the appointment. If you have an appointment booked already and you begin to feel unwell, please let us know and we will rearrange your appointment.
What repairs are my responsibility as a tenant?
Please follow this link to a list of repair responsibilities
Neighbourhood Complaints and Customer Service Enquiries
I have complaints about my neighbours
We would recommend that you speak to your neighbour in the first instance as sometimes a conversation can clarify the situation. However, if you feel that they are flouting the Government’s Covid advice please call the Police on 101. If you would like to speak to a Housing Officer please complete this form.
Why are Housing Solutions not providing hand sanitisers?
The NHS recommend hand washing as a preventative measure. Hand sanitising gel is only for situations where no soap and water is available.
Are you still servicing the communal areas?
We have increased the cleaning in our communal areas, in some properties we are cleaning high touch areas twice a day. Unfortunately fly tipping has increased significantly and we are diligently clearing some 2/3 tonnes of rubbish a week.
How are you supporting people in sheltered schemes?
Our elderly and vulnerable customers are one of our priorities. Please be assured that we have put a number of preventative measures in place to protect and care for them. Please click here for information about what we have done for our sheltered and vulnerable customers.
Can I visit a sheltered scheme?
Please follow the Government advice around social distancing and bubbles. We ask that all visitors wear a face mask in the public areas within our schemes.
You have received a gas/electrical testing request
To ensure the ongoing safety of you and your family we have been instructed by the Government and the Regulator of Social Housing to ensure we continue to carry out gas, electrical and fire safety compliance work in your home. Please watch what happens at a gas safety check here
As a result, our Maintenance Staff have been officially designated as key workers meaning that the job they do is essential during the COVID-19 crisis. It is important that we protect the health and safety of our employees while carrying out our statutory obligation to keep you safe. Please allow Housing Solutions access to carry out essential works, under the following simple guidelines: -
Housing Solutions will:
- Call to check that the appointment can still go ahead
- Wash our hands with soap and water
- Put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before entering the property
- Respect the 2 meters social distancing
- At no time eat or drink in your home
- Only remove PPE when we have left
- Once you receive a gas check letter, call us to make a suitable appointment
- Inform us if you are self isolating or have Covid -19 symptoms
- When our operative attends the appointment, open windows and ventilate the room he is working in
- Respect the 2 meters social distancing
- Remain in another room whilst we are carrying out the checks
How can I find out about what Housing Solutions is doing during the crisis?
We are providing regular updates via our social media pages and website. We are providing signage in our public areas and we regularly update our sheltered community via personal letters and a monthly newsletter.
Health & Well-being
You think you have symptoms
Your best option to is follow advice from the experts. Please click here to see advice from the NHS.
You are feeling lonely/sad/anxious/depressed and would like help
During these difficult times, you definitely won't be alone in feeling lonely or worried, there's some helpful advice available on the web about keeping connected whilst in isolation please check out this helpful article here.
Here are some links to some professional agencies who are providing help guides and support
Self Help Resources for Mental Health
Every Mind Matters
Children and adolescent mental health
You are grieving
We are so sorry that you are dealing with loss. Please click here to take you to Cruse bereavement counseling
You are worried about family/friends/neighbours
Please click here on advice on how you can support people from afar
You need help keeping your children occupied and happy
It can be a real challenge keeping children occupied, here is an excellent link to resources for people worried about occupying their children please click here The BBC also have some fantastic ideas as well click here
You need help with getting food/medicine as you are self isolating
During this difficult time, we know many people are struggling to get access to the things they need, Housing Solutions have connections with organisations that can offer you help. Please use this form to contact our Welfare Team click here Here are some links to some helpful organisations that can also assist you;
Next Door Local Voluntary Service
Reading Community Hub
You are coping with domestic abuse or threat
Please be reassured that there are agencies and organisations that will help you. You do not have to suffer. Please see the Government's advice here
- Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- Ask For ANI Codeword scheme that you can use when you visit a pharmacy https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help
- The Dash Charity 01753 549865 (RBWM)
- Berkshire Women’s Aid (BWA) 0118 950 4003 (Bracknell)
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
- Respect helpline: 0808 802 4040 (for anyone worries that they may be harming someone else)
- Galop: 0800 999 5428 (national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse)
- RBWM www.rbwm.gov.uk
- Bracknell Forest Support for DV www.itsneverok.co.uk
- FLAGDV Free Telephone legal advice 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10am – 7pm)
Ways in which we have been supporting our customers
Take a look at some of the ways we have been supporting the community along with help from various charities and the local authorities - please click here