Coronavirus – managing council homes and estates
We’re working closely with the NHS and Public Health England to control the risk of coronavirus in Hackney. All Hackney residents should follow the latest general advice on our coronavirus page or by signing up for email updates.
We’re also putting specific plans in place to ensure that we can continue to safely manage the 30,000 homes across the Council’s estates and street properties, and fulfil our responsibilities as a landlord.
The measures we’re putting in place will ensure both residents and frontline staff are protected as much as possible during the outbreak, while helping us to prioritise resources to most effectively mitigate against any risk to residents.
These measures – and the changes in services to residents – are likely to change as the situation develops. We will update this page as changes take place. You can subscribe to receive weekly updates by signing up to the estates and homes e-newsletter.
On this page:
We understand that the coronavirus outbreak will affect the income of some residents, whether because of sickness, self-isolation or the wider economic impact on jobs and businesses. We are clear that we will not use hardship suffered as a result of coronavirus as a basis to try and evict any of our tenants.
All evictions already scheduled for March and April are being suspended.
If you are having difficulty making rent payments, we will always work closely with you to ensure you get all the financial help you are entitled to, and give you time and help while the full impact of the outbreak remains unclear.
In many cases, unwell residents will be able to receive help to pay their rent through universal credit or housing benefit.
Our website also lists all the usual support available for residents on low incomes who may be experiencing hardship:
- apply to the Council’s discretionary crisis support scheme for help with urgent financial needs
- apply for a discretionary housing payment if you’re having difficulty paying your rent
- check if you’re eligible for housing benefit or a reduction in your council tax
To protect both our residents and our staff, we will not be undertaking routine repairs inside residents’ homes from Wednesday 25 March. We will continue to undertake emergency repairs where there is a risk to the resident or a possibility of serious damage to your property.
Where we do need to undertake repairs in an emergency, we will ask you to stay at least 2m from the operative, and our operatives will not accept food or drinks offered by residents or pass handheld devices to residents to sign-off visits.
Non-repairs staff, such as housing officers, are currently being asked not to visit residents’ homes wherever possible and are encouraged to engage with residents over the phone or by email instead.
We’re committed to keeping all of our estates and buildings as clean and hygienic as possible and have in place extensive estate cleaning regimes across all our estates.
Our priority is to frequently clean areas that residents are most likely to come into contact with, such as door handles in communal entrances, communal stair bannisters and lifts. At times, this may require less focus on areas which pose less hygiene risk, such as litter picking in grassed areas.
If you are self-isolating because you think you may be suffering from coronavirus, you must:
- put any personal waste, such as used tissues or used cleaning materials, in a plastic rubbish bag and tie it when full
- place this plastic bag into a second bin bag and tie it
- store it safely and away from other people in your home for 72 hours
You must not put this waste out for collection or in communal bins until it has been stored safely for 72 hours. You can then dispose of waste normally. This is to lower the risk of the virus being passed on.
If you are unable to store this waste for 72 hours, or you have no way of taking it to communal bins because you are staying in your home, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8356 6676. We will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be collected and sent for appropriate treatment.
Please do not put tissues, face masks, or gloves in your recycling green sacks or communal recycling bins on estates.
If you are self-isolating because you are in a high-risk group and are unable to leave home to put your bins out, please email email@example.com or call 020 8356 2121 and give your full address and telephone number. You will then receive a phone call from an area manager to inform you of disposal instructions.
We are not currently accepting bookings for meetings and events in any estate community halls that are managed by the Council. Where community halls are managed directly by residents or community groups, we are asking them to adopt the same approach.
All resident meetings arranged by the Council – including Resident Liaison Group meetings, the TMO Forum and Resident Led Improvement Budget walkabouts – have been postponed until further notice, with conversations taking place over phone and email wherever possible.
You may have received offers of help and support from neighbours to collect food and supplies, for example, if they are self-isolating, or have offered to support neighbours yourself.
We welcome these efforts and, while our priority is working with health partners to support their response to coronavirus and to ensure that we can keep providing services to the people of Hackney, we are keen to support these as best we can. We will be making more announcements about this soon.
If you use a Switch 2 or Sycous heat meter and are unable to top up because you are unwell or self-isolating, please let us know so that we can make sure your heating does not get cut off. We will continue to provide heating for an initial two weeks, which can be paid back at a later date. Switch 2 users should contact the repairs contact centre to request this. Sycous users should call the Sycous Support team on 0333 880 3115.
In accordance with government measures to ensure people only leave home if absolutely necessary, all Council buildings are now closed to the public, including neighbourhood and local offices. You can continue to contact your neighbourhood contact centre on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8356 3330.
It is absolutely crucial that everyone plays their part by stopping all non-essential social contact. All play areas, multi-use games areas and outdoor areas on our estates are now closed, and we urge everyone to not meet in groups and to follow social distancing guidance.
In accordance with government measures to ensure people only leave home if absolutely necessary, all Council buildings are now closed to the public, including neighbourhood and local offices.
You can continue to contact your neighbourhood contact centre on email@example.com or 020 8356 3330.