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Coronavirus Update

FYNE HOMES – CLOSURE OF OFFICES

In line with the guidance issued by the Government on COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, we are making changes to our service.

Following the latest Government advice our offices are currently closed to the public, however we will continue to answer telephone calls and emails and our website and social media pages will be updated regularly with the latest information. 

As of 5pm on Friday 20th March 2020, Fyne Homes Housing Association will no longer be able to operate “business as usual”.

In the interests of protecting staff, tenants and the wider public, we will be significantly limiting face to face contact and cancelling all non-essential face to face meetings and appointments in tenants’ homes apart from the provision of necessary emergency services. This will mean that routine repairs and planned maintenance in homes will temporarily stop and any necessary visits will only take place if strict rules are followed. Any non-emergency repairs will be logged and we will re-schedule them whenever possible.  Our overall aim is to keep essential services running whilst maintaining the safety of our staff, tenants and clients as best we can. We will also only make housing offers to priority applicants during this time.

If we have to arrange a visit to your property, we will ask you several questions prior to the visit to make sure that you are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.  If you or anyone else in your household is self-isolating, you will be asked to tell us.

The questions we will ask are:

  1. Have you or any member of this household been to a Coronavirus affected area in the past 14 days?
  2. Have you had contact with anyone who may be infected with the Coronavirus?
  3.  Do you have any of these symptoms?
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

We will retain this information on the basis that as a Registered Social Landlord we have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our staff and contractors in compliance with General Data Protection Regulations.

Given that we will all face challenges in maintaining good communications over the coming months, please make sure that we have a note of your current email address and phone numbers.  You can contact us on:

General enquiries:  call 0345 607 7117 or email postmaster@fynehomes.co.uk

Housing Enquiries: call 0345 607 7117 or email housing@fynehomes.co.uk

Repairs Mon – Fri 9am to 5pm call 0345 052 0039 or email repairs@fynehomes.co.uk. Outwith these hours call 0800 592 276. 

We will do everything we can during this time to manage any disruption and will continue to follow Government guidance. 

We would be very grateful for your patience and support while we all get used to this new way of working.

Paying your rent

You should continue to pay your rent as normal, however we are aware that some of our tenants may need to work on a reduced income over the coming weeks and months and face struggles with rent and other bills.  If you are affected in this way, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can advise and support you with access to benefits and other relevant information.

Argyll & Bute Council have also provided the following information:

CORONAVIRUS WHAT SHOULD I CLAIM?

Have you been made redundant or laid off?

You may be entitled to the new benefit Universal Credit.  This will cover your living costs and your rent.

  • How much you will get depends on your circumstances, i.e. whether you have children, your partners income, or any other income and savings you have.
  • Make a claim online at: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit or phone 0800 328 5644.
  • You normally need to attend an appointment at the jobcentre to provide proof of ID and proof of rent and any income or savings.
  • Claiming as a jobseeker usually means looking for work and signing on, but follow the advice provided by the DWP/your work coach as Government advice about social distancing may change in the future.

Exceptions!

If you have worked without too many gaps for the last 2 or 3 years, you are likely to have enough NI contributions to qualify for contributions-based (new Style) Jobseeker’s Allowance.  You can make a claim for this by phone: 0800 055 6688.  You may also qualify for a top-up of Universal Credit, for example for your rent (unless you already claim housing benefit).

Are you self-isolating or ill due to COVID-19 (or caring for someone who is?)

Case1: If you are employed

  • Claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer. 
  • You will be paid from Day1.
  • Your employer may also provide additional contractual sick pay.

Phone NHS 111 for a fit note (instead of your GP) to give to your employer.

Once SSP comes to an end after 28 weeks (not before), see Case2

Case2: If you have been laid off

  • If you have enough NI contributions, you may be able to claim contributions, you may be able to claim contributory (new style) Employment Support Allowance (ESA).  You can make a claim by phoning 0800 055 6688.
  • If you don’t have enough NI contributions or if you also have rent costs, claim Universal Credit.  Apply online www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit or phone 0800 328 5644.

You won’t have to attend any appointments at the JobCentre to start your claim, and won’t have to attend any medicals to prove you are unfit for work if you are affected by the coronavirus.

Are you waiting for a medical for ESA/PIP?

All face to face assessments for sickness and disability benefits have been suspended for 3 months with effect from 17 March 2020.

You will be notified by the DWP about any alternative arrangements which may involve either telephone or paper based assessments.

If you claimed ESA because you are affected by the coronavirus because you have symptoms or are self-isolating (or need to care someone who is), you won’t have to attend any medical to prove you are unfit for work.

You can get a fit note from NHS 111.

Are you Self-Employed?

  • Claim Universal Credit.
  • Make a claim online at: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit or phone 0800 328 5644.
  • If you claim Universal Credit and you are directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating, the Minimum Income Floor won’t apply to you for the duration of the outbreak.  This means your actual self-employment earnings will be taken into account each month.                    

We also recommend reading this useful link: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

 

 

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