Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Coronavirus Advice

In line with government advice on the management of the coronavirus outbreak, it has become necessary to make changes in the way we deliver our services. 

These changes are intended to protect you and our staff while ensuring that we continue to provide key essential services.

Please continue to refer to this FAQs page and the latest official advice and guidance from the Public Health Agency (PHA).

Information and Support

For the latest information on coronavirus you should refer to the advice published by the Public Health Agency.

Here you will find:

  • Health advice
  • Precautions you can take to stop the spread of infection
  • Information on social distancing
  • Information on self-isolation

There are a number of services that you can access from your home including paying your bills and reporting repairs. You can find a list of our online services here.

All public reception areas in our local offices are closed until further notice. You can contact us online or on the following telephone numbers:

Please note that staff will not be carrying out home visits until further notice.

*Mon – Fri after 5pm, weekends and bank holidays

You can call our general enquiries line on 03448 920 900 and we can put you in touch with your Patch Manager.

Please note that due to the current COVID19 pandemic the Housing Executive is
operating emergency contingency arrangements. 


We are focused on trying to ensure resources are targeted to those in greatest need
and we are working closely with the Department for Communities, Public Health
Agency, Department for Health and local homeless providers to ensure the
protection of the most vulnerable.


You should seek, where it is possible and safe to do so, to continue to reside in your
current accommodation, even in the short term. 


If this is not possible and you are already homeless or worried about becoming
homeless please ring our dedicated Homelessness line on 03448 920 908 as soon
as possible. 


During normal working hours you will be referred to one of our Housing Advisors and
we also provide an emergency out-of-hours service after 5pm, at the weekend and
on bank holidays.  

We are doing all that we can to ensure you can access the necessary advice and support and to ensure temporary accommodation is made available if required.

However, in these very challenging circumstances, we may only have access to a limited supply of accommodation and this may not be in your current area.

We will continue to explore a number of potential alternatives for temporary accommodation. 

Plans are also being put in place to support those experiencing homelessness to self-isolate, if necessary. 

If you are suffering from a loss of income and are worried about paying your rent during this worrying time please be reassured that we will not be taking legal action to evict tenants where financial hardship is suffered as a result of coronavirus.

We are here to support you and if you have any concerns about your ability to pay your rent, please contact us as soon as possible. Our staff can talk you through your situation and the options available to you, including benefits and other help and support you can access.

Please call our General Enquiries Line 03448 920 900  to chat to someone about your financial situation.

We have now implemented a contingency plan for all maintenance services for the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

With immediate effect, the following approach applies:

We will only undertake emergency repairs.

We have identified the following as what we would deem to be an emergency:

  • Heating systems that have failed or if a household cannot heat water
  • Unsafe gas supplies/installation
  • Burst water pipes
  • Lack of electrical supply or unsafe electrics
  • People who have become stuck in an elevator
  • Blocked drains
  • Shower or bath not working (if it is the only one in the property)

If you have a repair which is not deemed to be an emergency, you can still report online, text and by telephone, however, these will held until such time as normal service resumes.

External work and change of tenancy work will no longer be carried out until further notice.

Heating installations have stopped, but essential annual servicing will continue.

Before repair teams attend at a property, a risk assessment will be carried out.

Where a major adaptation has commenced and a property is occupied, work will continue while it’s safe to do so and new work will only commence in vacant properties.

Where planned maintenance work has been scheduled to take place inside a home, this work is now suspended until further notice.

Repairs can be reported:

  • Online
  • By calling us on 03448 920 901.
  • By text to 66644 starting your message with the word “Repair” and remembering to include your address.

Find out more on emergency repairs here

If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit, payments will continue as normal.

If you wish to inform us of a change in circumstances please contact us via one of the following methods:

  • Email your local Housing Benefit Unit using the contact details below OR
  • Call the Housing Benefit Unit on 03448 920 902

We would prefer that you do not post any documentation to us at this time, but you can:

  • Scan any documentation and email it to your local Housing Benefit Unit OR
  • Photograph your document on a mobile phone or tablet device and email it through to your local Housing Benefit Unit.

Housing Benefit offices

South HB

Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Newry and Mourne

southarea.hb@nihe.gov.uk

Omagh

Cookstown, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Omagh

omagh.housingbenefit@nihe.gov.uk

Belfast

Belfast

belfasthb@nihe.gov.uk

South East

Ards, Bangor, Castlereagh, Downpatrick, Lisburn

southeast.housingbenefit@nihe.gov.uk

North East

Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Larne, Newtownabbey, Moyle

northeast.housingbenefit@nihe.gov.uk

West

Derry, Limavady, Magherafelt, Strabane

westarea.housingbenefit@nihe.gov.uk

Universal Credit

If you need assistance with paying rent and are of working age you must make an application for Universal Credit.

You can apply for Universal Credit here.

Please do not delay making an application for Universal Credit.

Housing Benefit

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if:

  • You have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Housing Executive
  • You live in supported accommodation (including sheltered housing for older people)
  • You are getting Severe Disability Premium as part of a benefit you are claiming
  • You are of pensionable age (if you have a partner you both need to be of pensionable age to apply)

If you want to make a new claim or report a change in circumstances you can do this online or call our Housing Benefit number on 03448 920 902

We are doing all we can to keep essential services running.  However, we have streamlined services to provide essential assistance and prioritise payments for grant-aid work which has been carried out.

In line with social distancing measures we have suspended technical inspections and many members of staff are now working from home.  

For more information on how Private Sector Improvement Services is operating during the ongoing COVID-19 situation please click on the relevant link:

We are currently trying to manage the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

Like many other organisations, this is impacting on our ability to provide our full normal service.

We therefore may not be able to fully investigate your complaint at this time and may have to hold it until normal service resumes.

We are currently not carrying out home visits and are only able to carry out emergency repairs, i.e. where there is a risk to property or life.

If your complaint is about a non-emergency repair or will require a home visit, please consider not submitting it at this time and waiting until normal service has resumed.

If you do need to make a complaint, you can do so here

If you have any further concerns, you can get in touch with us here or by contacting your Patch Manager.


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