Housing Service, Homelessness and Coronavirus
The council’s offices are closed to the public and we have moved to a telephone service. The council’s phone lines are likely to be very busy so we are asking you to contact the Housing Options Service by emailing Housingoptions@eastherts.gov.uk with your contact details and a brief outline of your enquiry. One of the Housing Options Team will then call you back.
If you are unable to contact us by email then please call the main council phone number and a message will advise you of what to do/one of the Customer Services team will send a customer enquiry request to the Housing Options Team on your behalf.
However, we are asking that if you have got somewhere safe to stay, please remain where you are. If you need advice or if you are about to become homeless, please email Housingoptions@eastherts.gov.uk or call 01279 655261 and support will be available to you by phone.
Update on the Council's Choice Based Lettings Service
The government has recently issued updated its guidance, in collaboration with Public Health England, to social landlords and local authorities on how to manage their allocation and lettings processes, to ensure public safety and protection of the vulnerable to ensure that moving home can resume and happen safely.
Following the amended guidance East Herts Council and our housing association partners will begin advertising and letting empty homes whilst ensuring we are following government guidance. The process of finding and moving into a new home will be different to before as those involved in the processes have had to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible.
The Housing Service will begin advertising empty homes through its Choice Based Lettings service from Friday 15th May 2020 and current applicants on the council’s Housing Register will therefore be able to bid for suitable properties through the HomeOptions website https://www.homeoption.org/default.aspx from that date.
Following the closing of each bidding cycle, every Wednesday at 1pm, the Housing Service will short list the bids received for each property and the housing association will contact the first placed successful nominee. The housing association will explain their revised processes for viewing and signing up to a tenancy that meets the government guidance on social distancing and keeping people safe. The housing association will need to discuss with you your current health and whether you, or a member of your household are self-isolating or shielding and also your arrangements for moving before proceeding with the move.
Obviously these processes will take a little longer than it has in the past and we ask that you bear with us during this difficult time.
The advertising and letting processes will remain under review by the council and housing associations to ensure they meet the government’s guidelines and that the safety of residents and staff is protected. If the council or our partners have concerns then the service may be suspended again whilst processes are reviewed.
If you have any concerns regarding someone sleeping rough in East Herts then please contact the Housing Options Service by telephone or email. Please include their location and if you know their name and/or a description of what they are wearing. Or you can report them using the government’s Street Link Service