Housing Needs Newsletter – May 2022

The Housing Solutions service is here to offer help and support on housing and homelessness. You can contact us using the details below.

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
Email: housing.advice@exeter.gov.uk

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 Exeter bus station. See where to find us on Google Maps.

Services at the Civic Centre:

Most of our housing advice appointments are completed via telephone. Appointments at the Civic Centre are only offered to households who are unable to complete an appointment via telephone, for example if translation services are required, or if someone in the household has hearing loss. If you are not able to complete a telephone appointment for any reason please let the team know when you are arranging your appointment. Appointments must be booked in advance using the contact details provided above.

Safety: masks are no longer mandatory in the Civic Centre. However, customers are welcome to wear a mask if they would like to.

When to Contact the Council

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.

Online Advice/Resources

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

Wellbeing Resources

The links below provide information about the support to improve wellbeing that is available in Exeter. You can find out how to access a range of opportunities including meeting new people, participating in sports or other leisure activity groups, getting involved in your local community and more.

Wellbeing Exeter // Home
Adults – Exeter City Community Trust (exetercct.org)

SPOTLIGHT ON: Support with Bills for Households in Exeter

Each month we provide some additional information on a different area of housing or homelessness. This month we would like to tell you about help that is available if you are finding it difficult to pay your energy bills. The following article on our news website tells you where you can find advice and support about energy: Energy support is on hand for low income and vulnerable residents – Exeter City Council News. It also provides links to schemes that can offer help to pay energy bills, depending on your personal circumstances.

The article below from the Citizen’s Advice website provides advice on help available if you can’t afford to top up your prepayment metre, advice on requesting extra support from your energy supplier, information on how much energy different electrical appliances use, and more:

You can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter – Citizens Advice

Additional information and advice can also be found on the Money Saving Expert website:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/how-to-get-help-if-you-re-struggling-with-your-energy-bills-/

Information for Private Landlords in Exeter and the Surrounding Area

The Housing Access Team helps households to find private rented accommodation. We are always interested in hearing from landlords with properties in Exeter and the surrounding area.

New Landlord Referral Scheme

If you have a tenant who is at risk of losing their private rented accommodation we want to hear from you. We are here to support both landlords and tenants to resolve tenancy issues. If you have a tenant who is at risk of eviction for whatever reason, please with their consent refer them to us so we can work together to prevent homelessness.

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
Email: housing.access@exeter.gov.uk

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.

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