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How the Coronavirus is affecting Housing and Property services

We are currently running a reduced phone line service for our Housing and Property services.

We are prioritising resources to ensure essential services for vulnerable people remain accessible.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, but hope you will understand that health & wellbeing is our priority.

We ask that you also follow all advice from NHS and GOV.UK to protect yourself and others.

Check back regularly for updates to our frequently asked questions and service updates.

Service updates, changes or closures

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The Housing Minister has written to all social housing tenants with the latest government guidance.

Tick icon3 Over 70's and vulnerable residents will be contacted to check on their welfare.
Tick icon3 The Housing Portal allows you to manage your council home and leaseholder services online.
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Housing and Property services are running a reduced phone line service.

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There will be a reduced caretaking service focusing on urgent health and safety tasks.

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The repairs team will only offer a 'priority 1 emergency' service. For more information please see our housing services update.

Priority housing services

We will be focusing our resources over the coming weeks on certain repairs and maintenance services.

For tenants who have a domestic gas boiler within their property and you wish to report:

  • no heating
  • no hot water
  • radiator defects
  • central heating-hot water pipe leaks
  • boiler not firing up

For the above issues please call Quality Heating Services on 01494 795 000.

From 23rd March 2020 our repairs team will only be offering a priority 1 emergency service for the following issues:

  • Lost keys
  • Blocked toilets/drains
  • Major leaks
  • No power to one or more rooms
  • Essential repairs following adverse weather such as storms
  • Communal repairs such as broken communal door/window, hanging roof tiles, burst pipes causing major flooding
  • Any repair that represents an essential health and safety concern to the well- being of a resident or major property damage                                                               

Council surveyors will no longer be able to visit you but if a survey is required they will contact you by telephone.

At the first instance if you have an emergency repair please contact us on: 020 8901 2630 or 0800 614 456 or online via our Request a repair to my council home page.

Home visits

You will be asked if anyone in the household is showing flu-like symptoms and if you do we will not be able to send a contractor out unless they wear protective equipment.

In such cases the contractor will carry out a door-step risk assessment to protect their and your safety. They may ask you to move to a different part of your home.

We will ask residents to report non-urgent repairs at a later date once we are able to so.

Aids and adaptations

Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) applicants: If we are in receipt of a request from social services for an adaptation one of our HIA advisers will be in touch to carry out a telephone preliminary means test if applicable, and then allocate it to a surveyor.

Unfortunately however it cannot proceed further than this as the surveyor will need to carry out a survey prior to preparing a scheme.

When the crisis is over the surveyor will contact you to arrange a survey.

Non DFG applicants: If we are in receipt of a request from social services for an adaptation, your case will be allocated to a surveyor, unfortunately however it cannot proceed further than this as the surveyor will need to carry out a survey prior to preparing a scheme.

When the crisis is over the surveyor will contact you to arrange a survey. A surveyor will only visit if a case is urgent and involves works to facilitate hospital discharge.

If any person in the home is self isolating or showing symptoms of Coronavirus we will be unable to proceed further.

Any cases which have already been surveyed will be processed through to approval stage ready for works commencing when the crisis is over.

Tenancy management

  1. You can still contact your housing officer if you have any questions about your tenancy or worries about paying your rent and to report anti-social behaviour. They are working remotely but they can pick up emails and take phone calls. We may ask you to email details or photos and speak to you over the phone instead of visiting you in person.
  2. Keeping rental and service charge payments going via the All-Pay system for telephone and internet payments. If you have difficulty paying your rent during this period it is important you contact your Housing Officer. They will be able to advise and guide you in making the necessary applications for benefit.
  3. Meeting statutory deadlines for Leaseholders.
  4. Our gas servicing is still taking place; we ask residents to provide access as requested for this vital health and safety work.

Estate services

  1. We’re running a reduced caretaking service which will focus on urgent health and safety tasks, checking corridors are clear, bulk removal, only. If you are requested to remove items from the communal areas please do so immediately. This is to keep you and other residents safe.
  2. For your safety, staff are checking that the corridors in our blocks are clear. Some of them are quite narrow so please keep corridors clear and remember the social distancing rules to remain 2 metre/6 feet away from our staff who are checking them.
  3. Do not allow your children to congregate in communal areas on or around our estates.
  4. Please follow the social-distancing guidance with our staff. If it is urgent you speak to them on the estate please ensure you remain at least two metres/six feet away from them.
  5. We understand residents are at home and taking the time to clear out their belongings but please do not leave them on the estate. Please dispose of rubbish responsibly. If it does not need to be removed urgently please keep it in your home/garden/shed etc until COVID-19 is over.
  6. For information the recycling site at Forward Drive is closed to the public.

Sheltered Housing Schemes

  1. It is vital that we maintain our social distancing. This means being two metres/six feet away from one another. To encourage this to happen we have now closed all communal kitchens within sheltered housing schemes.
  2. To limit the spread of the Coronavirus residents must either stay at home within the scheme or stay with family/friends. We must insist residents do not spend time travelling between the two locations. Please decide where it is best for you to stay and remain there.

Housing Needs services

  1. Providing a service to homeless households and those at risk of homelessness within 56 days. Please email us on: [email protected]  
  2. Providing advice to and exploring housing options  for those in urgent housing need and/or risk of homelessness.  Please email us on: [email protected]
  3. Continuing to allocate any available social housing and general fund properties (council and housing association). Harrow Council properties won’t be advertised or allocated at this time but Housing Association properties will be advertised.
  4. Work closely with private landlords/temporary accommodation providers to assist with statutory homelessness duty. Landlords/providers should email: [email protected]

Major repairs and building programme

We will respond to any urgent issues on site, particularly if bad weather makes a site unsafe or there is loss of power/water to existing homes in immediate vicinity.

Regeneration work at Grange Farm estate recommenced at the end April 2020

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions that you have been asking. We will aim to update these regularly.

Will I be able to get hold of my housing officer?

Yes, you can phone then or email them.

What should I do if I'm made homeless during this period?

During office hours (9am - 5pm) please ring 0208 416 8738 or e-mail [email protected]. After hours you should ring 0208 863 5611.

Will I still be able to be added onto the waiting list?

Yes, although the assessment process may take longer than usual.

Will I still be able to go view properties?

No, due to government guidance we will not be offering accompanied viewings, but as soon as we are able to they will be re-introduced.

Harrow is my landlord but I'm unable to pay rent at the moment?

Please contact your housing officer by e-mail or phone to discuss this.

Will I still be able to apply for a transfer?

Yes, although the assessment process may take longer than usual.

Do you have any measures in place for people who have been made redundant due to the Coronavirus and can’t afford their Council Tax or Rent?

Council Tax enquiries need to be directed to the Council Tax team.

For rent enquiries, if Harrow Council is your landlord you should contact your housing officer. If you have a private landlord we would urge you to discuss rent problems with them.

For further advice please contact our Housing Advice Team on  – 020 8416 8738 or e-mail us on [email protected].