Reducing the risk of coronavirus is a priority for everyone at YHN. As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, we are putting all our efforts into looking after the health and safety of our customers and staff, while continuing to maintain our essential services.
We are working closely with our colleagues at Newcastle City Council and in partnership with Public Health England, the NHS and Government to manage the situation and our response to it.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is of the utmost importance and there is more information below on how we are adapting our service through these difficult times.
Please make sure you follow the guidance coming from the Government and Public Health England, and keep yourself and your families safe at all times.
What are we doing?
Following the Government’s stringent advice on social distancing we closed our Customer Service Hubs last week and YHN House closed to the public this week. We have also taken the decision to deliver only emergency repairs, which is also in line with Government advice.
We have set up a special project group who are working around the clock to monitor and react to the latest news and we will continue to follow all guidance about how we can deal with the impact the outbreak is having on our customers and staff.
Most of our staff are now working from home and those teams who do need to come into the office, such as our contact centre staff, have been given advice and support on following the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
Continuing YHN services
We will continue to deliver critical services to our customers and have plans in place to ensure support continues for our most vulnerable customers. However, you will notice that some of the ways we do things may change as we adapt to the developing situation.
Please also help us to keep our staff safe and inform us in advance if your household is self-isolating so nobody is put at risk.
We are able to deliver these services through the hard work and dedication of our fantastic YHN teams.
Registering and bidding for properties
The four local authorities that make up the Tyne and Wear Homes partnership (Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside) have jointly suspended the Tyne and Wear Homes choice based lettings programme. This will be reviewed on 14th April 2020. Until then:
If you think you are in urgent and immediate need of housing and have nowhere to stay you can contact Newcastle City Council’s Housing Advice Centre. Please do not attend the Housing Advice Centre in person as the building will be closed. Instead, please phone 0191 277 1712 or 0191 277 1716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rent and financial advice
We understand that finances are a concern for many of our customers following the measures the government have put in place to manage the coronavirus outbreak.
To help you, we’ve published an advice page on rent, finances and benefits which includes information on how to get in touch if you need support. We will be keeping this page up to date with the latest official guidance.
Support for customers
We are more than just a landlord, if you need support during this extremely difficult time, please contact us. We work closely with Newcastle City Council and are in a position to advise, guide and signpost you wherever and however we can.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for help with anything you feel we can support you with by calling 0191 278 8600.
Extra care, sheltered accommodation and specialist schemes
We are exploring any and all means to keep families and loved ones in contact. However, in order to protect some of our most vulnerable residents, we are asking friends and family not to make visits to our schemes unless it is absolutely necessary. We know this is an extremely difficult ask, but self-isolation is the most important way to keep these customers safe. In addition, scheme communal areas have been closed to help with social distancing measures.
Staff will still be on hand in schemes to support with customers’ day-to-day needs and residents will still be able to contact us for help and support the same way. All our sheltered scheme residents will also continue to receive daily check in phone calls from our team.
Keep up to date
As you know, the situation is changing daily and we are working hard to ensure we can continue to deliver our services to you.
Our website will be updated regularly with any important announcements and you can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates.
You can still call our Contact Centre, but please be aware that our phone lines are extremely busy at the minute and it may take longer to answer your call. To enable us to prioritise emergency calls please contact us by email if you are able to. You can find these by visiting: https://www.yhn.org.uk/contact-us/key-contacts/
You can still contact our Housing Officers, preferably by email if you can. You can find email addresses for our housing offices at www.yhn.org.uk/contact-us/key-contacts/yhn-housing-services
We would like to be able to keep in touch with you as best we can throughout these challenging times, so if you feel that we may not have your most recent contact email address or phone number please get in touch and let us know so we can update our systems.
You can let us know by emailing email@example.com or ringing us on 0191 278 8600. Our contact centre lines are extremely busy at the moment, so please email us if you are able to.
Finally, these are worrying and uncertain times for us all and I thank you for your support and patience as we deal with the situation. Please can I encourage all of our customers to follow the guidance coming from the Government and Public Health England, to keep yourself and your families safe at all times.
If you have any questions about the services we provide to you, please email our project team on Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org or call our contact centre on 0191 278 8600