Coronavirus (COVID-19) - how it is affecting our services

Housing updates

Housing updates

Housing information


Housing key contacts

Telephone: 01246 345000

Rent payments telephone number: 0345 602 0214

Rents email: revenues.rents@chesterfield.gov.uk

On the move telephone: 01246 345700

On the move email: home.options@chesterfield.gov.uk

Website: housing information

Homelessness: homelessness.prevention@chesterfield.gov.uk

Housing benefits and advice contact information

Telephone: (8.30am to 5pm) : 01246 345345

Email: benefits@chesterfield.gov.uk

Neighbourhoods team: neighbourhoods.team@chesterfield.gov.uk – Email for all general housing enquiries such as anti-social behaviour, neighbour disputes, issues on Chesterfield Borough Council estates.

Careline, sheltered housing and independent living services: queries.careline@chesterfield.gov.uk


Repairs:

Emergencies only: 01246 345000

Out of Hours repairs (emergencies only): 01246 345041


Homeless prevention

Chesterfield Borough Council Homeless Drop in: 07870 277291

Email: homelessness.prevention@chesterfield.gov.uk

Call Derbyshire (out of hours number): 01629 533190

Pathways: 01246 498204


Government Update


Open letter from the secretary of state for housing

Open Letter from secretary of state for housing PDF (PDF 79 KB)


Housing benefit and council tax support


Making a claim or find out more information

To make a new claim or information, visit the benefits and advice section of our website.

Key links:

Email or post forms and supporting documentation to:

Email: benefits@chesterfield.gov.uk

Address: Chesterfield Borough Council, Benefits Section, 85 New Square, Chesterfield, S40 1AH


Payments

Paying rent
If your circumstances change due to the coronavirus and you are concerned about your ability to pay your rent, please contact us on 01246 345000 to discuss your situation.

By telephone:
You can telephone using our automated payment line on 0345 602 0214 using your debit or credit card or you can pay online or set up a direct debit payment. Find out about paying your rent.

Online payments:
You can pay for any of our services online using our secure portal. Simply select the service you want to pay for, and it will take you to a secure checkout. You can find this portal on our website.

PayPoints:
Some of our customers make cash payments using PayPoint at local shops or at Post Offices using TransCash. Payments can still be made using these methods, but we would encourage you to use other ways to make payments where you can and please only use cash methods if you are visiting the shop for your essential shopping. Do not make a special journey to make payments to Chesterfield Borough Council.


Housing repairs and safety checks


Gas Safety checks

Standard gas safety checks are now continuing through this period. It is legal requirement for us to ensure the safety check is completed annually for our compliance as your landlord and your safety.

Your co-operation to ensure this is carried out is appreciated under such circumstances.
If you or any members are self-isolating due to COVID 19 symptoms please let us know and we will re-arrange your appointment when it’s safe for our engineers to attend.

Annual checks of your gas and electrical systems will continue, so it is important that if you are self-isolating because you have coronavirus symptoms or are in a vulnerable health category you advise staff before they enter your home.

If you have any concerns, please contact us to discuss your situation on 01246 345345.


Housing repairs and safety checks

From Monday 29 June 2020, we are able to carry out non-emergency external repairs.

We are currently only carrying out emergency repairs to our council houses and when doing so the council’s staff will be following the Government’s guidance regarding social distancing. All other repairs are on hold until further notice.

Our tenants can report their urgent repair needs by calling our repairs hotline for free on 0800 587 5659 or by visiting the repairs page of our website.

Annual checks of your gas and electrical systems will continue, so it is important that if you are self-isolating because you have coronavirus symptoms or are in a vulnerable health category you advise staff before they enter your home.

All tenants will be asked a number of questions by the staff member who will be visiting you at home, this is to keep you and them safe.

All non-urgent works are being recorded through the Customer Contact Centre and we will look to contact customers and re-schedule appointments as soon as we can. 


Housing services


Housing tenant services

We recognise that this is a very concerning time for individuals and families with regards to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our daily lives.

Information is changing rapidly and we encourage all our tenants to follow the latest health guidance, which is continually updated on the NHS website.

Our focus, as always, is on maintaining customer safety and providing high quality services, but in the short term we will need to change the way we deliver some services in order to respond to Government guidance. We will therefore only be undertaking home visits in emergency situations. 

Housing tenants can continue to contact the housing service during this difficult time on 01246 345000, or by visiting the dedicated housing related pages on our website and using the online enquiry form on our website.

Chesterfield Home Options


Chesterfield Borough Council is pleased to announce that due to the easing of Government restrictions on the housing market and people being able to move homes, we will be restarting the advertising of council homes through Chesterfield Home Options from Monday 22 June.

Whilst this does not mean an immediate return to ‘business as usual’ services, people will be supported to bid on available properties and successful applicants helped to move into a new home. 

Councillor Chris Ludlow said: “This will be a carefully managed re-start with an initial focus on emergency and priority moves, and supporting those who were offered a new council home before lockdown but who have been unable to move due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are currently reviewing all of these cases and a member of the council’s Allocations team will be in contact over the next few weeks to arrange a convenient date for those who are able and still wish to move.

“We would like to thank these applicants for their patience and would ask that they bear with us whilst the Allocations team work through the backlog of property offers that have built up over the last few months.”

Any new properties will be advertised on our Home Options system from Monday 22 June, enabling people to place bids on properties of interest to them.

Anyone wishing to join the housing register and look for a new home please complete the online application: https://www.home-options.org/register/


Homelessness

To find out more about how we can offer help to prevent and releive homlessness, visit our web page.

If you are homeless and need urgent support, our homelessness service can be reached on 07870 277291.

Homelessness: homelessness.prevention@chesterfield.gov.uk


Homeless Support – Keeping Everyone In

Chesterfield Borough Council has been actively engaged in the Derbyshire Homeless Officers Group, delivering Derbyshire’s response to the Government’s “Everyone In” initiative, a national effort to house all rough sleepers following the outbreak of Covid-19.

In Chesterfield, the council has successfully provided temporary accommodation for 30 rough sleepers across the borough.

Local hotels and bed and breakfast facilities were commissioned alongside existing accommodation options. In addition, the council developed a number of new temporary accommodation units within its own housing stock to ensure that all who needed a safe place to stay during the pandemic could be accommodated.

Following the success of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative the council is now working on ‘Keeping Everyone In’, developing new support arrangements and services to try and ensure that all who have been temporarily accommodated are able to access suitable, permanent accommodation.

Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The way in which the council and our partners have come together to ensure we could house all of the borough’s rough sleepers through the period of the Covid-19 lockdown has been nothing short of outstanding.

“It is therefore not surprising that our efforts alongside our county colleagues have been recognised nationally in the Local Government Association (LGA) briefing paper on the response to accommodating rough sleepers during the pandemic.

“However, using hotels and other establishments as temporary accommodation was only ever going to be a short-term solution. Our aim now is to ensure that all of our rough sleepers have an offer of suitable, permanent accommodation and access to wrap-around support services to give them the very best chance of re-building their lives.”


Stonegravels depot reception

The reception desk at the Stonegravels Maintenance Depot is also closed until further notice.

If you have any specific questions you may have visited the reception for, please instead contact Chesterfield Borough Council on 01246 345345.


Customer Service Centre and On The Move

The Customer Service Call centre can also still be reached by calling 01246 345 345 between 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

We have also taken the decision to relocate our ‘On the Move’ services into the Customer Service Centre from 23 March 2020.

If you need to apply for an emergency payment from the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund, you can call Derbyshire County Council directly on 01629 533 399.

We are happy to accept copies of forms and documents online and encourage you to use this method to provide us with information. If you need support to do this, please call us on 01246 345345 and we will be pleased to help you.

Payments can be made online at www.chesterfield.gov.uk/pay or by using our automated telephone number 0345 602 0214. If you are unable to use these methods, please contact us on 01246 345345 and we will do all we can to help.


Block cleaning

We are currently undertaking all our block cleaning as normal, but it is essential that our tenants and residents support this effort by maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene in the shared spaces. Please also keep all communal areas free of rubbish and household items.

We will be continually reviewing cleaning routines as staff availability and other competing priorities change over the coming weeks. At that point we may have to prioritise health and safety and emergency requests to clear waste. You can find all of the latest information relating to service changes on our Coronavirus information hub and social media channels.. 


Garden assistance scheme

We know the growing season is just about to start, but unfortunately, we need to suspend the garden assistance scheme. We need to prioritise our resources to address health and safety concerns and move staff across to the delivery of essential services. 

We will continue to respond to emergency situations where access to your home is blocked or it is dangerous. If you currently pay for this service, we will ensure you are not charged during the period of suspension. Anyone affected by this will be contacted and informed of the changes to the service directly.


Noise issues

As more of us are spending extended time at home during the Coronavirus pandemic due to the social distancing measures put in place by the Government, we may become more aware of noise from our neighbours.

Whilst the council can continue to take action against those who repeatedly make unreasonable noise that impacts on their neighbour’s enjoyment of their homes, there will be some day to day noise that is heard where people live in close proximity to one another.

Below is some specific advice on how you can help reduce noise in your home:


Reducing noise

Everyday activities around the home generate some level of noise, for example; your washing machine, doors closing, or the TV. However, disputes can occur when people are inconsiderate to others in how much noise they create, so it is important to acknowledge the noise your household creates and think about the impact it might have on your neighbours.

Consider the lifestyle of your neighbours; for example, are they retired, or do they have young children? Be mindful of the effects noise from your property may have on them.

If you are contacted by a neighbour and asked to keep your noise down, try to react positively and respect their right to enjoy their home. Keep in mind the social distancing guidelines when talking to your neighbours.


Entertainment noise 

These are the most frequent causes for complaint. What is considered entertainment for one person may not be for someone else. Avoid playing music too loudly and try to position any speakers away from adjoining walls, floors and ceilings. Standing them on an insulating material can also reduce the transmission of sound.

Loud music in the garden is more likely to cause a problem to your neighbours - try and keep it at or below conversation level or wear headphones.

It is a common misunderstanding that anyone is allowed to play their music as much and as loudly as they like up to 11pm. This is wrong, so don't make that mistake. Noise nuisance can be caused at any time of day or night.

If you are playing a musical instrument, try to keep this to short periods and at reasonable times. If you can, do it in a room furthest away from your neighbour. If you are a neighbour who can hear someone practicing, then please be prepared to be patient.


Parties

The current Government social distancing measures mean that you should not be socialising with anyone who does not live within your household. This includes in outdoor areas such as parks and open spaces or gardens. Any complaint concerning noise from a party or a social gathering will be investigated, as this may not only amount to a noise disturbance, but also constitute a breach of the Government’s social distancing requirements.

Given the circumstances, you may be tempted to have 'online' parties in your home. If you do, please keep the volume down, or use headphones where possible. Avoid any loud, late night online parties and remember that homes are not the place to replicate a pub or night club environment. If someone complains, you are probably disturbing quite a few others too.


Banging doors and stamping feet

Sound can travel easily through walls and floors, so be aware of what is next door.  Avoid slamming doors and running up or down stairs, especially if you live in a flat or terraced house. Try to shut doors gently and use the handle - don't push it closed.

If you have laminate or wood flooring, consider the use of rugs in areas with high footfall or where children play.


Barking dogs

There are practical steps dog owners can take to minimise dog barking and prevent noise nuisance.


Late night deliveries

The Government has extended delivery hours to include night time deliveries for supermarkets and other food retailers. Please be aware that there may be some noise disruption as a result. 


DIY noise

Some people may choose to complete DIY projects whilst they are at home. Whilst you may enjoy putting your time at home to good use, your neighbours will not enjoy long periods of drilling, sawing or hammering and the impact it could have on them could be greater than you think.

If you can, whilst maintaining a social distance, contact your neighbours and make them aware of the works you want to do and any parts of it that might be noisy. Most people will be understanding and accommodating, but you should be prepared to compromise if there are times of the day that your neighbour asks you to avoid for a genuine reason.

Unless it's an emergency, please don’t do this sort of work in the evening or early in the morning, particularly at the weekend.


Construction noise

Work on a construction site near your home would routinely be finished for the day when you return home from work, but now you are home during the day you might hear the work taking place on the site. Construction work is noisy, but as long as the site is managed well, noise generating work should be kept to between the hours of 8am and 6pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. If noise generating work is being carried on outside of these hours, then the construction workers may be in breach of the site’s planning conditions.


How we can help with noise issues

The council will continue to deliver a noise service.  You can still call report ongoing noise by calling 01246 345345.

In most instances you will be offered advice over the phone, and we will endeavour to resolve the problem by initially contacting the person who is allegedly causing the noise in writing. We will also, where appropriate, ask you to complete record sheets to give us a better picture about the frequency and duration of the noise you are experiencing.

If you are a council tenant, or if you are being affected by the actions of someone that is a council tenant, you can contact our tenancy management team on 01246 345071 or 01246 345354 or by emailing tenancy.management@chesterfield.gov.uk.


Last updated on 13 July 2020