Coronavirus (COVID-19) support

Over the past couple of weeks we have been trying to get our services back to as normal as possible.  

All repairs and maintenance has now resumed and you can report repairs by calling 01634 333 601 or our freephone 0800 0730 300.

We do have still have extra measures in place to ensure safety for you, our staff and contractors.

As coronavirus spreads across the UK, it has become harder for people to maintain their social connections. Many of us will miss seeing family and friends and taking part in our usual activities.

Staying ahead

Stay up-to-date with the latest health guidance on the NHS website.

Coronavirus frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Age UK have a list of FAQs designed for older people who are worried about coronavirus. 

Helping others

Find out how to make a difference in your local area using these tips from Eden Communities

Housing News

Development plans, phase 4

Phase 4 now consists of three sites across Twydall and will provide the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) with an additional 28 units. The contractor and architect are in the process of progressing the designs and have created a planning conditions register to make sure all the planning requirements for the project are met. We're aiming to start in January 2021 with the aim of completion in early 2022.

Housing for Independant Living (HFIL) updates

We appreciate that restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic has eased, but we remain cautious within the schemes. Sanitising stations are present within the communal front doors and we urge people to use these as they come and go. Posters and signage are displayed throughout the schemes. The communal lounges and kitchens remain closed until the government give permission that these can reopen. Read more HFIL updates.

Courses and activities coming soon

Thank you to everyone that completed the survey in the last newsletter. The responses show a high demand for training courses, with the most desired choices being wellness therapies, crafts and building self confidence. The most popular activity options include social events, mindfulness, sports and fitness and activities for young people. The majority of you said that you would be happy to undertake these activities online. 

We're working with Medway Adult Education (MAE) and Medway Sport to put together a programme of free courses and activities based on your responses.

Coping with loneliness

If you're struggling with feelings of loneliness or other mental health issues, remember you're not alone. The following tips from the NHS might help - remember that different things work for different people, so try to find what works for you.

Spend time with others

Lots of people are doing things together online, like watching films, playing Scrabble or having dinner together. You could join one of the many online clubs and virtual social events taking place.

Be more social and check in regularly

Creating a regular routine of checking in with others can make it easier to reach out when you feel lonely. You could try messaging old friends on social media, text someone you haven't spoken to for a while, or set up a group chat on WhatsApp.

Do more things you enjoy

Filling your time doing more things you like can stop you from focusing on feelings of loneliness. Playing sports, listening to audio books, joining an online comedy club or spending time with animals are just a few ideas.

Learn something new

Pursue a hobby or something you have always wanted to be able to do, from arts and crafts to cookery, find a class that’s right for you.

Volunteer to help others

Helping others can help you stay busy and boost your mental wellbeing. You could volunteer to be a phone buddy to an older person or become a peer mentorFind out more ways to help others.

Join an online community

Join an online community or peer-support group so you can talk to others about how you feel. Groups like the Elefriends online community and the SANE Support Forum are available 24 hours a day.

Bill’s lockdown story

“I have COPD so have been shielding during the pandemic. There are only so many television programmes and movies to watch or books to read so I thought I would look at internet auctions.
I have always been interested in antiques and bric-a-brac and once harboured a dream of opening a ‘junk’ shop called Bill’s Bizarre Bazaar, and I still might.
I found an auction site. You have to register to bid, and you can then take part in auctions. Its great fun and you can be watching a live auction whilst at the same time bidding on another

My original idea was to buy from some of the smaller auctions in other parts of the country and sell in the south east but, as a hoarder, I’m finding it hard to decide what to keep and what to let go. Covid-19 has a lot to answer for”

What's your lockdown experience? Email tenant.participation@medway.gov.uk to share your story with us.

Scam awareness

TV Licensing have recently sent letters to anyone aged over 75 asking them to either pay for their TV licence or apply for a free one. TV Licensing will only ask you to pay:

By post using the address:

TV Licensing
PO Box 578
Darlington DL98 1AN

Online: tvl.co.uk/75pay or tvl.co.uk/75apply,

Over the phone: 0300 790 6151

If you are contacted and asked to pay using a different method, you have been contacted by a scammer. TV Licensing will also not come to your doorstep to collect the licence fee, so anyone who claims to do so is also a scammer

Estate inspections 

Our estate inspections continue to be carried out and we would ask residents in attendance adhere to social distancing guidelines.  

We are currently updating all the communal noticeboards in blocks with the dates up until the end of September.

Upcoming dates and grading from recent inspections can be found on our estate inspections page.

Rent a Room scheme 

If you’ve got a spare room, you may be affected by bedroom tax. Getting a lodger in could be a great way of solving this. You’ll even make some extra income in the process. 

The Rent a Room scheme allows tenants to earn up to £7,500 tax free by renting out an empty room in their house. You have to be living in your home full time. No social housing tenant is allowed to sublet their entire property. 

First, contact us to be certain what our rules are around renting out your spare room. 

If you are on Housing Benefit 

The first £20 of income that you get from your lodger will not be counted as income and will not affect your Housing Benefit. Anything above this will count as income. 

If you are on Universal Credit, check with us first 

Any rent you get from a lodger up to the tax free allowance of £7,500 with the Rent a Room Scheme will not be counted as income and will not affect your Universal Credit payments. 

Choosing the right person 

Be safe. Meet up with the person a few times if they are a stranger and get to know them, especially if you are living with your children. 

Find out more about the Rent a Room scheme