Helping people in housing need during lockdown

Thirteen has helped more than 140 individuals and families in urgent need of housing to move into homes since the beginning of April.

140 Homes Rented WEB

17 Jun 2020

The housing organisation has continued to work hard throughout the virus lockdown to help people in the greatest housing need to find safe and secure homes across the Tees Valley.

Due to government virus lockdown restrictions, housing providers halted the lettings process for most homes, while continuing to provide housing for people in the greatest need in-line with government guidance.

Colleagues at Thirteen have found a range of new ways to help these customers move into their homes, while keeping safe during lockdown.

This has involved working with local council partners and supporting people to view and sign-up for the properties without needing to meet Thirteen colleagues in person.

Kay Glew, director of neighbourhoods at Thirteen, said: “Throughout the lockdown period, people who have faced a range of difficult issues have continued to need housing.

“It’s important for Thirteen as a landlord to support people in our communities as much as we can, and I’m proud to say that we’ve continued to really help some of the most vulnerable people in the area to find safe and comfortable homes throughout the lockdown.”

To give customers the best possible experience and provide them with a personal and professional service, many appointments as part of the home lettings process were previously carried out face-to-face. This hasn’t been possible over the last 12 weeks, and colleagues at Thirteen developed new ways of working, offering online meetings and socially distanced home viewings to keep customers, colleagues and communities safe.

Linda Dennison is one customer who moved into her home in Middlesbrough’s Brambles Farm during lockdown. Previously in a privately rented property, she needed to move quickly to a home that was properly adapted for her needs.

Ms Dennison said: “I have some problems with mobility, and I struggle with stairs, so I needed to move to somewhere on one level quite quickly.

“The bungalow was offered to me just before lockdown and though I wasn’t able to move in straight away, I kept in touch with Sarah my neighbourhood co-ordinator till I could move in a few weeks ago.

“Sarah’s really looked after me and I was absolutely over the moon when I moved in. It’s a beautiful bungalow and I just can’t fault it. I’m from around here originally and I know the area and the people, so I’m really pleased to be here.”

Kay continued: “Colleagues have needed to work differently and to think through how to prepare the properties as best they can be, while limiting the risk to our colleagues, customers and communities. It’s a true credit to colleagues across Thirteen that 140 individuals and families are now safer in their new homes today than they were eight weeks ago.”

As lockdown restrictions ease, Thirteen re-started the process of renting homes to customers from the beginning of June. Anyone looking for a home can view properties and speak to Thirteen about their requirements by visiting www.thirteengroup.co.uk/findahome or by calling 0300 111 1000.