Tenants praise 'brilliant' support from housing officers

Tenants have praised the ‘brilliant’ support they have received from Wheatley’s housing officers in Glasgow during the pandemic.

Housing officers have been keeping in touch with tenants by phone, while frontline staff are out in communities

Wheatley Group’s 500 housing staff across Scotland have been working from work from since March and are staying in close contact with their tenants, particularly the elderly and more vulnerable customers, by phone, text and online.

In Glasgow, GHA housing officers have made more than 173,000 calls to tenants in the past six months, including to check on how they are and offer any support.

That support includes help with benefit claims, fuel advice or emergency food parcels, as well as help to buy essential items from nappies to mobile phone top-ups and even activity packs for children.

Cube’s housing officers have made more than 12,500 calls to tenants, and Loretto Housing staff more than 10,800 calls.

Tenants say they are delighted to know their housing officers are looking out for them.

GHA tenant Betty McKinnon, 66, from Ruchazie, said: “My housing officer Christine was brilliant. She always phoned to check how I was getting on.

“A while ago, my husband slipped and broke a panel in the bath. We had no washing facilities and had to use the sink.

“I phoned Christine and she got it sorted. I was very grateful. She’s always just a phone call away.

“Lockdown has been hard. I’m used to being out and about all the time, but knowing my housing officer is there for me is a great support.”

Across Wheatley Group’s social landlords, housing officers have made more than 260,000 calls to tenants since the start of lockdown.

Jehan Weerasinghe, GHA Managing Director, said: “We’re doing all we can to support our most vulnerable customers during these difficult times.

“Our housing officers have patch sizes of just 200 homes – among the smallest in the UK – so they know their customers well and often have very close relationships with them.

“While we’ve seen an increase in the number of customers needing our support, the reassurance we can provide can often be as important as practical help.

“People know they have our support online and over the phone and really appreciate that someone is there for them.”

Pictured above: While Wheatley’s frontline staff have been out in communities providing support, such as lifeline food deliveries, housing officers have been checking up on tenants while working from home.

Monday, October 12, 2020