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Housing services move to critical business only to protect vulnerable

Published on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Aerial view of houses in Leicester

THE city council’s housing service has moved to critical business only, so that support for Leicester’s most vulnerable residents can still be provided.

Priority is being given to homeless prevention services and providing support for people who are already homeless. And ensuring that elderly tenants are getting the support they need in their homes is a key focus for neighbourhood housing teams.

The council has secured an additional 52 one-bedroom flats from a private provider which will give the council extra capacity to meet urgent need including accommodating rough sleepers.

They will also be offered to families who become homeless in order to limit numbers using the council’s Border House hostel.

The following changes now apply:

  • Leicester HomeChoice is no longer advertising council properties for people on the housing register to bid for. People who have already bid for, and secured a property will still get the property, although it may take longer for it to be made ready for them.
  • Face to face appointments for advice on preventing homelessness are no longer available, but advice is continuing to be offered over the telephone, and this service will continue to be a priority. People wanting to make an appointment for advice should call the customer service helpline on 454 1008. Some staff have been redeployed to work on the helpline to help with these calls.
  • The housing repairs service is handling emergency repairs only. This will enable them to ensure that workers can be available for critical issues such as major electrical failure
  • The Dawn Centre is operating as usual apart from the relocation of the emergency beds, and the closure of the day centre which previously ran from there each morning.

The income collection team is continuing to provide advice to tenants worried about debt and paying their rent.

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, asst city mayor for housing said: “Our housing workforce is being hit hard by Coronavirus as are many others, so it’s vital we prioritise our work to protect those most in need of our help.

“Our staff are working hard to meet the needs of our tenants and we would appreciate people’s support with this by only contacting us if absolutely necessary.”

The council has around 21,000 properties in its stock.

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