We are having to make difficult and unprecedented decisions on how we can continue to deliver essential services to our most vulnerable customers and the residents of Derby.
From this week, along with many others delivering public services, we have had to make major changes to some of our key services, including those we deliver on behalf of Derby City Council. A list of these are available on our website and social media accounts.
We are already dealing with an increase of households in urgent and essential need of temporary accommodation. Some of these households must self-isolate in line with the guidelines for social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, protect vulnerable groups and lessen the impact on our national healthcare services, which means we’ve had to take some difficult decisions to help our most vulnerable.
As a result, and to keep with Government guidance, we have had to suspend the allocation of all general needs housing for Derby City Council and Derby Homes properties on Derby Homefinder for a period of at least six months.
We have also had to withdraw existing offers of properties to households that have only recently been made.
This does not include the allocation of other Homefinder landlord properties, which currently remain uninterrupted. I appreciate that this will be distressing for the individuals and families affected, who would naturally be looking forward to moving into their new home. Many people will also be frustrated or angry and this is only natural.
We do not want to have to make these decisions, and this may mean we are unable to help people who have less of a need than others, but it is necessary at this time of national crisis, and I know that you’ll understand our need to prioritise our help to those who are most vulnerable.
For all housing offers that have been withdrawn, applicants will bid again for available properties from other landlords or on Council or Derby Homes properties at a future date when things return to normal.
This decision has not been taken lightly. It is essential that we have the capacity available to act quickly to protect the most vulnerable in the city. We must support the Council to fulfil its statutory duties and for now this has to take priority over those with more general housing needs.
We are planning for these arrangements to be in place for up to six months, but the situation will be under constant review. Property adverts will continue for our over 60’s stock as usual.