Our Housing offices are currently closed to the public to keep our staff and customers safe. All our communication is now taking place by telephone or email, with face-to-face contact maintained for our most vulnerable customers.
During office hours you can contact us by telephone on 01563 554400. For any enquiry outwith office hours, including homelessness presentations, please call the Risk Management Centre on 0345 724 0000. Our email address is email@example.com.
We are currently operating a reduced service, working closely with all all our partners to make sure that our that all our resources are planned and co-ordinated effectively.
All neighbourhood coaches are working remotely from home. They are supporting tenants with housing enquiries by telephone and email. If you don't have a direct number please contact our Customer Contact Team on 01563 554400.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, we continue to provide confidential advice and assistance during and out of hours. Download our Domestic Abuse Policy (PDF 952Kb).
You can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on freephone 0808 2000 247 (24 hours).
Women can also contact Women’s Aid who have specially trained staff who offer support and advice and can also help you to find secure accommodation.
Frequently asked questions
View our frequently asked question on housing services
As a statutory homeless service and registered housing support service, we have reviewed and updated the way we run our service to meet the challenges brought by COVID-19. Our priority is to make sure we meet the needs of everyone who uses our service while keeping both staff and customers safe.
What we're doing for homeless people
We are still increasing our temporary furnished accommodation portfolio to meet an anticipated increase in demand. We have moved all homeless people who were using St Andrews Court Hostel to temporary furnished accommodation, to make sure tenants can self-isolate if they need to.
We have issued hygiene packs to everyone using our temporary accommodation to help everyone to maintain cleanliness standards. We’re grateful for the help of a number of local charities who are also contributing to this with community donations.
If you are homeless or at risk of being homeless you can speak with a Housing Options Officer during office hours by calling 01563 554400.
If you need temporary accommodation you can telephone 01563 554400 or email us for advice and help. Our web pages are being regularly updated with useful information for people needing emergency accommodation.
Housing support and early intervention referrals
Our Housing support team is still accepting referrals for early intervention and offering support to our most vulnerable tenants. Our staff are offering this support by telephone, and they are completing applications for Community Care grants. They are also referring people to Citrus energy for Utilities support. We are linking with the community resilience groups to make sure people who are currently self-isolating are supported in their homes. If you need help, please email Housing Support Referrals.
We have revised our tenancy management processes:
- Notices of Intent for Recovery of Possession are not being served at the moment
- We are continuing to investigate tenancy abandonments
- We are continuing to process Statutory Successions, Assignation of Tenancy and Joint to Sole Tenancy applications, using information systems and by contacting applicants remotely
- We are not currently processing applications for Joint Tenancies or Mutual Exchanges
- All tenancy change applications will be acknowledged and applicants are being advised that we will review the application in 12 weeks’ time.
We have suspended proactive rent recovery processes and we’re helping tenants with their ability to pay rent, payment methods and how to claim any relevant benefits and rebates.
We are assisting with deferred or reduced rent payments until tenants are in a more stable position financially. We have suspended evictions at the moment and will not evict tenants who are in rent arrears as a direct result of coronavirus.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 7 April 2020. The Act is intended to provide relief during the coronavirus outbreak, and the disruption caused by the outbreak. The Scottish Government’s clear commitment is that none of its provisions will last longer than is necessary and that the provisions are proportionate to deal with the outbreak and its effects.
The Act ensures that renters in both the social and private rented sectors are protected while confined to their homes.
The MyGov.Scot website provides specific information on the new measures for social housing tenants and information if you are suffering from financial hardship.
Housing and property chamber
The Housing and Property Chamber has postponed all scheduled hearings and case management discussions. All other scheduled case management discussions and hearings are either postponed or adjourned.
Arrears recovery actions currently at Court will be Continued or Sisted by the Sheriff for the time being. Our Neighbourhood Coaches will work with tenants, offering advice and support with their household financial circumstances and agreeing affordable repayments.
If you receive benefits
Our dedicated Universal Credit (UC) Support Team continues to support UC claimants together with Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Rent Verifications and applications for managed payments/third party deductions are still being processed, with telephone support being given to claimants.
We have emailed and written to Private landlords in East Ayrshire with information about Scottish Government recommendations on evictions in the private rented sector.
Cancellation of landlord forum/case management discussions
The Landlord Forum due to be held on 25 March was cancelled.
The Housing and Property Chamber has postponed scheduled hearings and case management discussions (CMDs). If you have an ongoing case, you will be contacted in due course with further information. Parties are contacted in order of hearing date so please bear with them during this process.
Gas safety checks
The latest restrictions on leaving the home still allow registered gas engineers to undertake essential work whilst taking the appropriate precautions.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have stated that "Landlords have a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check”.
We are still carrying out annual gas safety checks within homes.
To keep you, your family and our workers safe, we are following physical distancing rules and taking additional precautionary measures whilst in your home.
As you will appreciate, this is an exceptional and constantly changing situation and our position may need to change to reflect guidance as and when it becomes available.
If you have any problems or concerns relating to the operation of their boiler please contact our emergency number on 0345 724 0000.
Garden maintenance scheme
From Monday 27 April 2020 our garden maintenance scheme will resume for tenants that are currently accepted on the scheme. We are unable to process new applications. For all enquiries please call our contractor Tivoli on 01563 548050.
We all face challenging times as we come to terms with the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19). For this reason we are making sure our most vital services continue to function.
To report an emergency repair telephone 01563 555555 during office hours and 0345 724 0000 out of office hours.
Help us help you
Please note we are very busy carrying out emergency repairs. All our operatives are doing their best to comply with social distancing rules but we need your help too, to keep you, your household and our workforce safe.
While our team are in your house please comply with social distancing. This means keeping at least two metres (six feet) apart, and where possible we would appreciate if you and all other members of the household stay in another room while we carry out your repairs. This is to protect you and others and keep everyone safe. We thank you for your care and consideration.
If you have symptoms or are shielding
If you or are a member of the household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms, self-isolating or shielding it is important that you let us know when you call. If the repair is routine and is not a risk to your safety or the integrity of your home, we would ask that you report the repair once your symptoms or period of self isolation/ shielding is over. We will continue to provide emergency repairs service under these circumstances.
Please let us know if you have any concerns about work taking place.
Since the release of the Scottish Government’s Route Map out of Lockdown guidance document, we have been working to resume services where it is safe to do so. We are now able to restart non-emergency housing repairs work. To report a new repair please contact us on 01563 555555 or online.
We expect that there will be a high demand to start with, so please bear with us and we will respond to your request as soon as possible. Due to the restrictions it may take us longer than normal to complete these repairs and we appreciate your patience.
To make sure we work as safely as possible, we will carry out individual risk assessments for each repair. We may need to ask you to move into a different space in the home to allow us to carry out the works. We appreciate your cooperation with any requests they may make in order to keep you safe.
To limit face to face contact the way we carry out our repairs inspections is changing. If we need to inspect your repair before we carry out the work, our staff will ask you for your phone number and you will be given a time when we will call you back.
When we call you back please give us as much information as possible about your repair including pictures if possible.
If we are unable to diagnose the repair in this way we will make an appointment to attend at a time to suit you.
Routine repairs reported before lockdown
If you have already reported a routine repair before lockdown and we have not already done so we will be in touch with you soon to rearrange your appointment. We would appreciate if you don’t contact us to allow us to work on the back log. However if you feel that an outstanding repair has now become urgent then please let us know so that we can prioritise this for you.
Housing Asset Services continues to provide our tenants with cover for essential repairs throughout the period of the pandemic.
Fifty of our operatives have volunteered to provide cover for properties where tenants are self-isolating. These employees are equipped with additional Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and training to enable them to do this safely and effectively.
If you need an urgent repair, please report it by calling our telephone repairs line on 01563 555555 during office hours and 0345 724 000 out of office hours or complete an online repairs request form.
We are also running a triage support for calls about emergency repairs. Housing asset officers and gas repair engineers are available to help over the phone. Housing asset officers will provide advice and guidance on technical questions. Gas repair engineers call tenants back to help work out what might be wrong, and in some cases identify a solution over the telephone.
How did we do?
Once we've finished your repair a member of our team will contact you to carry out a short survey. We would appreciate your feedback as we use this information to improve our service.
Housing improvement programme
Kitchen and bathroom rewires
Our kitchen, Bathroom and Electrical Upgrade programme was put on hold in March for the foreseeable future. Tenants who were due to have an upgrade in the weeks following the shutdown have been informed. Given the level of disruption and the high number of different trades operatives required to visit your home to complete the work, we anticipate that this programme will be one of the last to restart. We now await further easing of the restrictions to allow us to consider the possibility of restarting this programme. We will be in touch with all of the tenants included in this programme before carrying out any work.
Central heating installations
Our central heating installations have now restarted. We are now taking two days instead of one to complete each job. We have also reduced the number of properties scheduled each week and reduced the number of people on site keep everyone safe. If you are due to have an installation carried out we will contact you before we start, to make sure that it is suitable to go ahead.
Window replacement programme
Our window replacement programme ceased in March with the agreement of our partners Sidey who deliver this on behalf of the Council. We have contacted all tenants involved. The extensive level of internal work is delaying a safe restart of this programme. We are aiming to make a soft start around 3rd August 2020, but we await further easing of restrictions before this can be confirmed. We will be in touch with all of the tenants included in this programme before carrying out any work.
External render programme
The external render programme currently being delivered in our communities of Northwest Kilmarnock and Cumnock by our partners Engie has now started back on a soft start basis. Our partners for the 2020 to 2021 programme, AC Whyte, are currently preparing to set up site in the communities of Logan, Kilmaurs and Dalrymple with the intention of rolling out a soft start. Both partners will have reduced numbers of people on site initially to ensure compliance with government guidelines and will increase production gradually as it is safe to do so.
Ailsa Roofing has returned to complete this external work on a small number of remaining homes that were due to be completed before lockdown. The roofing programme for 2020-2021 is incorporated within the external render programme and will be delivered by our partners AC Whyte in Logan, Dalrymple and Kilmaurs.
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