• Financial/rent & property queries

    How do I pay my rent now 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 Team please click here and it will take you to a form.

    You are earning less because you can’t work

    We would advise you to contact us by phone or chatbot to discuss your situation.  The advisor can help you set up a payment agreements where necessary, but we always recommend that you pay as much as you can and we can help you work out a payment plan. We have a team of Welfare advisors who can assist you, if you would like to contact them please click here and it will take you to a form.

    You are self employed and now earning less

    Please follow the guidance on the Government website for the self employed grant scheme
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme  
    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 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/
    Turn2Us https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Get-Support
    Entitledto https://www.entitledto.co.uk/
    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 3 month 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

    Naturally all face to face meetings have been suspended.  The Department for Work and Pensions has said alternative arrangements could involve telephone or paper-based assessments.  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 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.  Construction sites are slowly opening again, so we’ll be in touch with you to agree a delayed completion date.

    Why are mutual exchanges on hold?

    Unfortunately we  are unable to undertake property inspections yet because (a) they require tenant and officer to be in close proximity (b) we don't have staff capacity to do them at the moment.  Once the Government downgrades the national safety level to 2 we can start property inspections again.

     

     

     

  • 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 advice please call the Police on 101.  If you would like to speak to a Housing Officer please complete this form. 

    Contact Your TNO

    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.  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.

    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:                                    

    1. Call to check that the appointment can still go ahead
    2. Wash our hands with soap and water
    3. Put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before entering the property              
    4. Respect the 2 meters social distancing    
    5. At no time eat or drink in your home
    6. Only remove PPE when we have left

    You will:

    1. Once you receive a gas check letter, call us to make a suitable appointment
    2. Inform us if you are self isolating or have Covid -19 symptoms
    3. When our operative attends the appointment, open windows and ventilate the room he is working in
    4. Respect the 2 meters social distancing
    5. Sit 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
    Mencap
    Mental Health
    Mind
    Samaritans
    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.  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.  We are well connected 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;
    Foodbank
    Next Door Local Voluntary Service
    Olio Foodshare
    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

  • 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