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Housing Department during COVID-19 - 248/2020

April 01, 2020

In these difficult times we are currently living in, the Housing Department is doing their upmost and working tirelessly to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak conditions on their customers and workforce.

The department has implemented contingencies measures and have continued to provide customers with a highly and efficient service, whilst also protecting their workforce. The provision of services are ongoing via telephone, e-mail and online platforms through the e-gov website.

In order to protect both the staff and tenants, the Housing Department and Housing Works Agency are solely working on essential and emergency works, always trying to minimise the contact with the tenants. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and as a result, the department has adapted policies and procedures as necessary to cater for the demands and needs of the community.

The team has been very busy calling all tenants who pay their rent either by cash or card at their counters to provide them with alternative methods of payment. The department understands that some tenants may be concerned that they will not be able to pay their rent in a timely manner, and as such, alternative methods of payment have been supplied to them. Tenants have been assisted in the setting up of standing orders and step-by-step instructions on how to pay their bill through the online facility on the e-gov website.

Both the Housing Department together with the Housing Works Agency have also been actively trying to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus to Senior Citizens. The department’s efforts have concentrated mainly in the four pensioner blocks with precautionary measures implemented. The department has been in constant communication with the elderly in these flats and have introduced the execution of daily rounds for the delivery of newspapers, the collection of refuse amongst other services in respect of their wellbeing and their safeguarding.

The Housing Department is reminding all their tenants to practice good hygiene habits and to follow the guidelines issued daily by the Civil Contingency Department. They urge all to follow expert advice regarding the matter at hand and can only recommend ways to stay in touch and care for their loved ones without putting them, especially the elderly and most vulnerable at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Instead of visiting, it is recommended to stay in touch by telephone, video conferencing if possible and through social media platforms, in this way everyone can stay in touch and not feel disconnected or isolated.

The Housing Department would like to take the opportunity in thanking all their clients for their patience and assistance during this very difficult time.

The Minister for Housing, The Hon Steven Linares said; “I would like to publicly thank my staff at the Housing Department for their continuous support, and having continued to provide an excellent service as always via phone, email and online platforms. I would further like to extend my most sincere gratitude to the staff at the Housing Works Agency for working tirelessly and making the lives of our elderly easier in these difficult times. You have all acted positively and proactively as true professionals in getting some of our housing stock ready in record time to temporarily house vulnerable children, essential keyworkers as requested by Civil Contingencies”.