Guildford Borough Council will fully help and support residents through this difficult time.

We are fully aware some people have been directly affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and have lost income as a result.

If you have lost your job or had your hours reduced, you might be entitled to help from the government.

Cllr Angela Goodwin, Lead Councillor for Housing, Homelessness, Access and Disability says: “We know many of you are worried how this challenging time will affect your income and even if you will be able to pay your rent. We have help and support in place for council housing tenants and can also advise on support for those in private rented accommodation. We also continue to work closely with partners to support people who are homeless or rough sleeping in our borough.”

Additional income related benefits that have been made available for those who are self-isolating or ill as a result of COVID-19 can also apply for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). Further advice regarding this can be found on www.gov.uk.

If you have lost your job, you will need to make a claim for either:

• Universal Credit (if unemployed and/or need assistance with your Housing Costs) www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
• Statutory Sick pay (if signed off work and your employer does not pay sick pay)
• Employment Support Allowance (if you are suffering from a long-term illness)

If you do not have online access, please phone 0800 328 5644 for any new claims. If you have an existing Universal Credit claim, then you will need to update your journal.

If you are a council housing tenant, please contact 01483 505050 and ask to speak your Rents Officer, if you state the area you live, an officer will be able to give you support and advice on your specific situation. You can also or email us at: rent@guildford.gov.uk

What we will do for council housing tenants

• Suspend Evictions until further notice
• Suspend court action until further notice

Please rest assured, we will help and support you to remain in your tenancy.

Other help available

If you require assistance with your council tax you will need to complete a separate application which can be completed online at www.guildford.gov.uk/localcounciltaxsupport

If you are currently of pension age then the application process is via Guildford Borough Council at www.guildford.gov.uk/benefits

There is further information available via the Guildford Borough Council website regarding all these schemes.

Whilst the situation is constantly changing, we plan to support customers in the following ways:

• The Housing Advice Desk has been closed in order to reduce non-essential contact. You are encouraged to contact us by telephone (01483 444244) or email (housingadvice@guildford.gov.uk) where possible.
• Any personal callers at the Council offices will be able to telephone Customer Services from the entrance.
• Home visits will not generally be undertaken.

Helping the homeless during COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects everyone in our community, especially the most vulnerable. We will continue to work closely with partners to support people who are homeless or rough sleeping in our borough.

We encourage people to report any concerns they may have about rough sleepers. If you see a person you believe may be rough sleeping you can report in two ways:

• Contact the HOST team directly
GuildfordHost@riverside.org.uk
Tel: 01483 302495

• Report via Streetlink, the national rough sleeper reporting line:
http://webdefence.global.blackspider.com/urlwrap/?q=AXicFcnBCQIxEAXQ78EWLGM2riLiyZuCJ0sISYxhZxOZzG6wFwsT7MEaxHd9iyXcF1i9AeGn2ViqMtNoE7uSVQqTKyNMfzmflK9mvdv3Wzi2SQLZ7CW0eoxTYn8r4imWmaYBd9XHoetaa1RVQlBOeaAi8Z_A6wP8AC-mKBA&Z (you can also download an app)
Tel 0300 500 0914

If the person needs urgent medical attention please dial 999 for an ambulance.

We will continue to offer emergency assistance and advice to anyone rough sleeping in Guildford. Homelessness assessments will generally be undertaken by telephone.

As always we continue to provide support to those at risk of homelessness – for more details visit our Housing page www.guildford.gov.uk/housing or contact us on 01483 444244. Please contact housingadvice@guildford.gov.uk. We will do what we can to assist.

For genuine emergency homelessness outside of office hours, customers should telephone 01483 505050 when further information will be given about contacting our out of hours service supplier. Please note that this service may be under pressure in the current situation.