Housing Needs Newsletter - September 2021
Published: 7 September 2021
Housing & Homeless Advice for People in Exeter & the surrounding area
Service update: Due to the pandemic, we are offering a revised service at the Civic Centre. Please be assured that the Housing Solutions service remains open to offer help and support. You can contact us at any time using our online services, or by telephone or email during our office opening hours. From 19th July 2021, the Housing Options team has reintroduced face to face, booked appointments at the Civic Centre for households who are unable to complete a telephone appointment. We will continue to offer telephone appointments for households who have access to a telephone and are able to access the service this way, to minimise risk to customers and staff. See our ‘Spotlight on…’ section below for more details about this update.
HOW TO CONTACT US
Online: you can contact us using our housing services online self-referral to tell us if you are homeless, at risk of homelessness or need some housing advice. We will contact you within one working day to advise or to arrange a telephone appointment with a Housing Solutions officer.
Alternatively you can contact us by telephone or email during our office hours, which are 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
Telephone: 01392 265726
Emergency contact: if you've been made homeless outside of our normal working hours, you can contact our emergency out-of-hours service on 01392 265147. The service operates 5.00pm to 9.00am Monday to Friday, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
If you don’t have access to a telephone or computer: there are free telephones outside the entrance to the Civic Centre that you can use to contact us. The phones are cleaned regularly. The Civic Centre is located on Paris Street, near to the new Exeter bus station. See where to find us on Google Maps.
WHEN TO CONTACT HOUSING SOLUTIONS
There are lots of different situations where you can contact the Housing Solutions team. Below are some of the most common reasons households approach us for help and advice. We would always encourage you to contact us if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Difficulty paying your rent, or other household bills
- You have received a notice to quit or have been asked to leave your home by parents, friends or other family
- Your current home is not suited to the needs of you and your household (disrepair, overcrowding, accessibility etc.)
- Your current accommodation is temporary or insecure (sofa surfing, staying temporarily with friends or family)
- Any other reason that makes you at risk of losing your home or makes you unsafe in your home.
As well as the links to our online forms, you can find some useful information about housing and homeless on our website, including information about preventing homelessness and targeted housing/homelessness advice for the following:
- Care leavers
- Ex-forces personnel and their families
- Older people
- People leaving prison
- People leaving hospital
- People/households who have been asked to leave by family or friends
- People who are at risk of homeless due to relationship breakdown (non-violent)
- People who are at risk of homeless due to domestic/sexual violence and or abuse
- Evictions and ending a tenancy
Exeter Community Wellbeing
Created in response to the coronavirus crisis in March 2020, Exeter Community Wellbeing offers a range of support including advice on support services and how to contact them, one-off hardship grants, and assistance to arrange food shopping and/or prescriptions for clinically vulnerable or isolating households. All the information about Exeter Community Wellbeing can be found here.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Updated Housing Options Service Offer – Civic Centre Appointments for eligible households
Each month we provide some additional information on a different area of housing or homelessness. This month we will be looking at the updated Civic Centre offer from 19th July 2021, including who can book a face to face appointment with the Housing Options team and how to do it.
These new appointments at the Civic Centre will only be offered to households who are unable to complete a housing advice appointment via telephone, and appointments must be booked in advance.
How to book: households can contact the Housing Options team to arrange an appointment using the online, telephone or email contacts outlined above. Households who are already homeless and unable to contact us via any of these means can arrange an appointment using the phones outside the Civic Centre entrance. A Customer Service Officer will be available to provide assistance if required.
Safety: except those who are exempt, all staff in the Civic Centre Customer Service area will be wearing a mask. We ask that clients wear a mask unless they are exempt.
Information for Private Landlords in Exeter and the Surrounding Area
Service update: the Housing Access Team continues to work throughout the pandemic to help households find private rented accommodation. We are always interested in hearing from landlords with properties in Exeter and the surrounding area.
HOUSING ACCESS TOGETHER SCHEME
Our successful private rented sector scheme matches landlords with available properties of any type or size with households who need help to find private rented accommodation in Exeter and the surrounding area. Our completely free scheme offers a range of benefits for landlords:
- Up-front cash incentives to landlords for letting a property in partnership with us
- Deposit and rent in advance: rapid payment processing to minimise delays in letting your property
- Find the right tenant for your property: tenants are matched to your property following a comprehensive suitability and affordability assessment
- Guidance on legal obligations: meeting rental regulations can be tricky and requires knowledge of many pieces of legislation - we can advise you on anything you need to know
- Ongoing support for landlords and tenants: you will have our support for the period of the tenancy if you have any queries or problems
- Full control over who moves into your property: we will introduce you to good tenants but you will be under no obligation to offer them a tenancy
If you still need convincing then take a look at this testimony!
"I have worked with Exeter City Council as a private sector landlord for over 10 years and have found the process to be a very positive one. From procedures for example such as tenant selection, tenancy support, property inspections etc. I've always felt reassured that these are dealt with in a professional manner, particularly given the ever increasing legislative requirements that the private sector has seen in recent years.” Landlord, N.T-G
HOW TO CONTACT US
You can register your interest in working with the Housing Access Team by completing our online form, which can be accessed here
Alternatively, you can contact us by telephone or email between 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, using the following details:
Telephone: 01392 265727 / 265819
Look out for our next newsletter in October. We will be issuing monthly newsletters throughout 2021 to keep you up to date on our services and the best way to access them.
Please remember: we want to hear from you if you are homeless or at risk of being made homeless – the sooner you contact us the sooner we can try to prevent you from becoming homeless.