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Housing services – Coronavirus Update

Updated Wednesday 9th September 14:00

We are doing all we can to provide ‘business as usual’ although please be patient with us if this does not go as smoothly as normal. We will continue to answer phone calls, however you may find things take a little longer – if possible please contact us on Livechat between 9.00 and 5.00 on weekdays (accessed by the popup box at the bottom right of this screen) or email us at info@chsgroup.org.uk. We will reply to e-mails as quickly as possible. If you are a ‘myCHS‘ subscriber you can contact us, for example to report a new repair. We have continued to suspend home visits, although we may occasionally be able to meet at a social distance outdoors in the case of new tenancies. 

During the lock-down period we suspended mutual exchanges to comply with government guidance and for the safety of both customers and staff. Since the government guidelines around moving home were relaxed, we have continued to monitor the situation and to review our processes. We are pleased to say we can now consider mutual exchange applications again – although we cannot guarantee that another landlord involved with an exchange will be considering mutual exchanges. In order for CHS to consider a mutual exchange application, you would need to be able to:

  • Take your Housing Officer on a live video ‘tour’ of your home using an App such as WhatsApp;
  • Work with us to ensure a remote or socially distant signing of the final paperwork.

We will try to provide our normal services by phone, Live chat and e-mail. (See our separate page on repairs and maintenance services). We are conscious that self-isolation and the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic can make it far more difficult for you if you are in an abusive relationship. You can still seek help, all agencies including the police are still available for you. CHS can advise you, you can phone the national helpline on 0808 2000247 and there is a lot of information here

We understand you may also be worried about paying your rent.

CHS is backing the approach taken by our trade body, the National Housing Federation. This means that:

  • We will not evict you from your home if you are in financial hardship caused by coronavirus, where you are working with us to get your payments back on track.
  • We will help you to access benefits and provide other support to relieve hardship (see our separate page on money advice).
  • While you are struggling, we will work with you to find arrangements to pay rent that are manageable for you. Legal action will only be taken in serious circumstances, for example if you will not agree a plan with us to help pay your rent, or where it is urgently needed in cases of domestic abuse or of anti-social behaviour.

As always, we are keen to hear from you if you are going to struggle to make your normal rent payments. Our Housing Officers and Money Matters team can talk you through what help there may be (and we’ll monitor what extra help the government might announce). If you need more time while you catch up on your payments, we’ll listen and agree a plan with you, and ask you to pay whatever you can while things are sorted out, for example while you wait for benefits to be sorted out.

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