Guide to Restarting Services updated by Social Housing Resilience Group
The Social Housing Resilience Group (SHRG) has updated its Guide to Restarting Services to reflect the Scottish Government’s most recent announcements on easing coronavirus restrictions.
The changes are as follows:
- Updates to section on re-opening offices (p4)
- Updates to example routemap (p5)
- Additional link to guidance on individual risk assessment (p6)
- Additional links to guidance on homeworking and guidance for call centres and contact centres (p8)
Given the further extensions to the expected dates for re-opening of offices for non-essential business, the SHRG wishes to provide further advice on housing offices and, in particular, on what activities may be classed as ‘essential’ rather than ‘non-essential’.
While social housing providers will make their own decisions with regard to the re-opening of offices, recognising local circumstances, the services to be provided and the number staff required to perform essential tasks, the SHRG proposes that, in considering the timing of the reopening of local housing offices, social landlords will urgently want to consider which services and activities are essential, as long as the current public health guidance on physical distancing and hygiene are implemented. These services may include:
- Lettings activity
- Tenancy sustainment and homelessness prevention work with existing tenants, including arrears-related work and welfare rights work
- Dealing with anti-social behaviour
- Tackling the backlog of routine repairs.
Clarification has also been provided from the Scottish Government regarding mutual exchanges. Moving Home Guidance was issued on June 29 which included moving home as part of a mutual exchange, a link to this guidance can be found here.
The Scottish Government said it has always been clear that bringing empty properties back into use is a priority during the pandemic in order to provide safe and secure accommodation to those in emergency housing need. The Moving Home Guidance provides guidance on all types of house moves that can now take place, including mutual exchanges.
The government said it is up to each social landlord to determine which allocations and house moves can take place, taking into account the safety of all the processes involved, the public health guidance in place and the arrangements required to move house.