10 Jul 2020

In order to ensure the safety of our customers and staff during the Covid-19 outbreak, our offices remain closed. Check out our Covid-19 FAQs below for latest updates and to find out how to contact us

In line with government advice on the management of the coronavirus outbreak, it has become necessary to make changes in the way we deliver our services.

 These changes are intended to protect you and our staff while ensuring that we continue to provide key essential services. Please continue to refer to this FAQs page and the latest official advice and guidance from the Public Health Agency (PHA) https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus.

 Where can I find the latest advice on Coronavirus?

 For the latest information on coronavirus you should refer to the advice published by the Public Health Agency.

Here you will find:

· Health advice

· Precautions you can take to stop the spread of infection

· Information on social distancing

· Information on self-isolation

 COVID-19 Community Helpline

A Freephone Helpline to assist those in vulnerable groups to access information, advice and guidance in relation to COVID-19 is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week. The Helpline is local to Northern Ireland, and is managed by Advice NI.

 How can I get in touch with Choice?

During this time our offices remain closed to the public until further notice. You can contact our staff during normal working hours (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) by telephone on 0300 111 2211 or email enquiries@choice-housing.org

 We are encouraging our tenants to contact us by email if possible, this will help us deal with the high number of calls we are receiving. Alternatively you can also contact Choice Services Centre through our Facebook messenger service @Choice Housing

 How do I contact my Housing Officer?

You can call our general enquiries line on 0300 11 2211 or email enquiries@choice-housing.org and we can put you in touch with your Housing Officer.

 What happens if I am finding it difficult to pay my rent?

If you have been affected by Covid-19 financially and are worried about paying for your rent please check the Department for Communities website https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/covid-19-and-benefits

 The website will be updated regularly with the latest information, so you should check this page for advice on what to do if you are receiving benefits or how to apply for benefits.

 If you are worried about money and are struggling to make rent payments, please contact your Income Recovery Officer or Housing Officer as soon as possible. We are here to help.

 Don’t forget, our Financial Inclusion team are also available to help tenants with benefits, debt and budgeting issues. You can contact our Financial Inclusion Team on 0300 111 2211 and ask to speak with a member of the team.

 Will Choice still carry out repairs and servicing?

We continue to prioritise critical service delivery including works of a health and safety nature and essential servicing.  Our contractors are now also undertaking urgent and routine repairs where possible and are endeavoring to attend within agreed timescales. To minimise the spread of the virus and in keeping with the Government’s advice on social distancing, when reporting repairs, staff will be asking all customers if they are self-isolating or shielding, and if so, our contractors will be advised. Our contractors will carry out a risk assessment when attending to the works and will contact you to advise on what to do next. Repairs can be reported by calling us on 0300 111 2211 or by email to repairs@choice-housing.org

 To minimise the risk of virus transmission, please advise us immediately if anyone in your household has Covid-19 symptoms.

 When our contractor attends, please adhere to the following where possible:

 • Maintain minimum 2 metre social distancing from any contractor or Choice staff member visiting your home;

• Wear a mask or mouth covering such as a scarf;

• Clean contact points such as door handles before and after the visit;

• Wedge open doors to any room we need access to;

• Ventilate any room we need access to by opening windows;

• Keep all family members and pets out of affected rooms;

• If requested, please allow our contractors and staff to wash their hands.

 Please advise our contractor or staff member if you prefer them to wear a mask.

 We very much appreciate your assistance and co-operation

 Will my Housing Benefit Payment continue as normal?

If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit, payments will continue as normal.