We have updated this page January 2021 following the recent updated national lockdown guidance from the Government.
We have made some changes to the options you will hear when you call us on 0300 1234 161.
If you want to speak with a member of our customer service team, you will be able to choose from the following 3 options:
- Automated service to make a rent payment, please press 2
- For repairs and maintenance, please press 3
- For all other Housing enquires please press 4
We have some restrictions to our service in line with current government guidelines, but we will try to help you. Our opening hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays.
You can also contact us by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that many of you have questions about how our housing service has changed in response to coronavirus. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We have continued to re-introduce our services in a staged approach under Government guidelines. We have also updated our Risk Assessments and Safe Working Practices to keep pace with the latest advice via our Health and Safety teams to keep you and our teams safe.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued a letter to all Social Housing tenants in July. This was about works starting again. You can read the letter using the following link: Letter from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Throughout the response to coronavirus, our vital services have been and will continue to be in place for you:
- Help if you are currently or at risk of being homeless – contact the Prevention and Engagement team
- Help if you are worried about paying rent - contact your Rent Management Officer
- Urgent property repairs – call 0300 1234 161 option 3 to report any urgent repairs
- Gas and other servicing – we’ll continue to service your boiler
- Looking after our supported housing residents
You can continue to call 0300 1234 161 for all these services.
You may have seen our teams working in some communal areas. We are continuing to carry out various non-urgent repairs and are continuing the process to deliver our planned upgrade programmes to improve your homes during this lockdown period. Our teams are fully equipped to make sure that both they and you are protected when they visit your home during this lockdown. We ask that you please continue to keep a suitable distance to allow them to work safely.
Please contact us if you have an appointment for one of our team to visit your home and you are uneasy about the visit, are feeling unwell or self-isolating.
Our workers will be following the Government guidance carefully. We will not enter your home if you are unwell or self-isolating unless it is an emergency.
Questions and answers
Repairs and maintenance
When will a repair be made to my home?
We will continue to prioritise urgent and emergency work in your home but you are now also able to book appointments for non-urgent repairs. If your repair is not urgent, there may still be a waiting time due to the need to prioritise emergency works.
We will keep you updated of when we can resume full service delivery.
What are urgent and emergency repairs?
We ask you to remember that we only consider an emergency or urgent works to be:
- A serious threat to your health and safety, such as a gas leak or dangerous electrical fault;
- Major damage to the structure of the building;
- A security problem (not including lost keys) for doors, garages and windows;
- Prolonged loss of services, such as gas, water or electricity that results in a serious impact to the health or safety of you or your household
- An uncontainable water leak;
- A fault with communal lighting;
- No heating or hot water (three day priority May-October);
- A cooker switch fault;
- A fault with an electric shower and no bath in the property;
- Blocked drains; or
- You are homeless tonight due to not having suitable accommodation available for your occupation.
You can find more information on the out of hours emergencies page.
We will help you through the emergency and call an operative to assist where applicable.
If an operative visits your home to deal with a repair, they will provide you with a leaflet detailing the measures for that visit, which include;
- You will need to open the door and then go into a different room before the operative enters. The operative will wipe down the front door if they have to touch it;
- They will use protective equipment and clean the area they are working in before and after. Your household will need to remain in a different room for the entirety of the appointment; and
- They will make the situation safe, and we will contact you about any follow-up work if required.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
What about our bathroom/kitchen/window upgrade?
We are continuing with our planned improvement works. This includes replacing kitchens, bathrooms and windows.
As with other works, we have procedures in place to keep you and our teams safe while the work is being completed.
Our surveyors will soon contact you to arrange inspections and programming of work. We will reschedule any planned work that was due throughout the suspended period.
Speaking to our teams
Can I come to meet one of the Cornwall Housing team in the office?
A large number of our teams are still working from home and our services are being delivered in a very different way. Please do not visit our offices. Most, under guidance from the Government, will remain closed for the immediate future.
Therefore, we are not able to hold face-to-face visits or appointments with you at the moment.
Please continue to contact us for any of the vital services listed above on 0300 1234 161.
What if we do have to come into your home?
We ask that you please keep a suitable and safe distance from our employees while they carry out their work. (Please see guidelines above).
When will communal cleaning in flats and grounds maintenance resume?
In some areas, grounds maintenance and cleaning of communal areas has continued throughout the restrictions. From 1 June 2020 we also recommenced the following work:
- Roofing replacements;
- Paint and repair contracts;
- Facia board replacement and rainwater goods;
- External wall insulation;
- External structural wall works;
- Communal area works (for example door entry systems, decoration, flooring, electrics);
- Ground maintenance;
- Tree cutting; and
- External adaptations.
All work will be completed following social distancing guidelines. The safety and wellbeing of our teams and our communities is our top priority.
My neighbours are gathering when they should be social distancing, what will Cornwall Housing do about it?
It is not our role to police tenants who are having visitors to their home. However, the risk is especially high to elderly people. We have taken the decision for the safety of our residents to close communal lounges in some of our accommodation. We will review this decision at an appropriate time.
When will I be able to bid on a property using Homechoice?
The Homechoice system re-opened the bidding cycle on Thursday 4 June 2020.
Please note that some libraries and other facilities with public access to WiFi have reopened to the public. Please check with your local Library. Other facilities currently remain closed. As such, you will not be able to use these facilities to access the Homechoice system.
How do I pay my rent now, I normally pay in a building that is currently closed?
You can make a payment by calling the automated payment line on 0300 1234 200 - option 7, as well as online. You can also call your bank and arrange for a standing order payment.
I can’t pay rent due to losing my job/ loss of self-employed work, what help can I get?
We are here to help, please contact one of our Rent Management officers or inclusion advisors for further help. Tenants that are now out of work will need to apply for Universal Credit as fast as possible. The Government have offered to help those that are not being paid a salary or had their hours cut. You can find more information about this on the Gov.uk website.
Support for Cornwall Council Tenants affected by the Covid-19
How do I apply for Universal Credit?
Universal Credit (UC) replaces income related benefits such as:
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support,
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit
To apply for Universal Credit:
- Sign up and create an account on the Gov.uk website
- You will need make an initial appointment which will be over the phone due to the current lockdown situation. If you cannot get through on the phone then write a note on your journal in your Universal Credit account. You must include your contact number and advise that you need to make this appointment
- The first payment of UC will not be for five weeks, however you should be offered an advance which can be organised after your initial appointment. This is paid back monthly from your ongoing Universal Credit award
- If you have been receiving Tax Credits whilst working, then your Tax Credits will stop as UC replaces tax credits
- Universal Credit also replaces Housing Benefit. You will be paid help with your housing costs as part of the monthly award and you need to pay your landlord. Speak to your Rent Management Officer if you have any questions
- You need to claim Council Tax support separately to Universal Credit. You can make a claim on the Council's Council Tax Support pages. If you have difficulties online, then you can ring 0300 1234 121
If you have any questions, then your Universal Credit work coaches are there to help. You can message them on your online journals. If you ring the telephone number on your claim, then you should get through to the local UC Service Centre. Or, for general information you can contact your Cornwall Housing Inclusion Advisor. The Inclusion Advisors do try and make contact with all tenants who make a Universal Credit claim.
I’m on a court order what should I do?
You should continue paying your rent and any arrears as outlined within your court order. If you are struggling, please contact your Rent Management officer or an inclusion advisor.
The government said that we do not have to pay rent for three months?
You still need to continue paying your rent. We are here to help if you get stuck.
What can I do if I have made a claim for Universal Credit and can’t get through on the phones to book an appointment?
Write a note on your journal saying you have not managed to get through on the phone and include your telephone number.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
- About your tenancy
- Anti-social behaviour
- Buying or swapping your home
- Cornwall Housing News
- Coronavirus information
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- Home contents insurance
- Home improvements
- Paying your rent
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- Repairs and maintenance
- Resident Involvement
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- Warm Home Discount
- Welfare Reform information
- Whole house retrofit