Service updates and advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority. Please think about everyone’s safety when we visit your home by:

  • Telling us as soon as possible if you or anyone in your household currently has symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding by phoning 0800 131 3348. This helps us to take appropriate safeguarding measures and, where appropriate, to re-plan your repair.
  • Keeping your distance while we are inside your home. Please keep pets and family members at least 2 metres away from us at all times. You and your family should stay in another room while we are in your home. If possible, please wear a face covering.
  • Opening external windows and doors whenever you can – ventilation is very important to help prevent the virus from spreading.
  • Clearing the area we need to work of any household items so the time we’re in your home is reduced.

Our team may need to leave your home if they feel they are not able to work safely.

Thank you for your support.

The dates outlined by the Scottish Government depend on several conditions being met and may change as a result.

Please continue to check the Sanctuary Scotland website for the very latest information on our services.

Housing offices

Our offices remain closed to all visitors. This decision will be reviewed in August, in line with the Scottish Government’s route map.

Home visits

Visits from our Housing Officers and Welfare Rights Officers have resumed. We continue to contact the most vulnerable in our community by phone or email.

Scheme managers

Those managing our sheltered housing schemes in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are on site most days.

Mutual exchanges

Mutual exchanges have resumed. We will be in touch with residents who’ve requested a mutual exchange to arrange.  

Communal areas

We hope to be able to re-open internal communal areas soon and will consult with residents in every retirement living and sheltered complex in July.

Estate inspections

We continue to carry out estate inspections in person in a Covid-secure way.

Public playgrounds

The majority of our play areas are open. The maintenance work needed at those currently closed has been approved and will be carried out soon.

We are still working through the lockdown backlog and understand how frustrating this wait can be. Thank you to all our residents for your ongoing patience.

Routine repairs can be booked through our online form. If you have an emergency repair or are unable to complete the form for any reason, please phone0800 131 3348.

If you have a gas leak you should also phone the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

By law, we must carry out an annual service and safety check of all Sanctuary gas appliances in your home. This inspection includes all boilers, cookers and fires.

Our registered Gas Safe engineers may need access into your home for these checks, which take no more than one hour. You do not need to have direct contact with anyone visiting your property to complete these checks.

Please follow sensible precautions to keep yourself safe when our staff are visiting your property, as outlined in our latest health and safety guidance.

If you are due your annual gas safety check and are self-isolating or are a shielded vulnerable patient, please let us know so we can understand how best to protect you and your family by emailing contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

Our offices remain closed to all visitors.

Routine appointments can now be made with our Housing Officers and Welfare Rights Officers. We continue to contact the more vulnerable in our community by phone or email. We are focused on ensuring that everyone we support, or who works for us, stays safe.

Visit our Get in touch page for more information on how to contact us.

If you live in a retirement living scheme and experience Covid-19 symptoms, please let us know via the warden call system or by phoning 0800 917 0092.

To keep everybody safe, we have put in place the following measures:

  • All communal lounges, kitchens, libraries and common rooms won’t reopen until late July.
  • Guest room bookings are not currently being accepted.
  • If there is a communal laundry at your scheme, you will be asked to only use this at allocated times to limit the number of residents coming into contact with each other at any one time.

We will continue to carry out the regular checks of our buildings to ensure safety and compliance and we will make regular contact with you via the warden call system or telephone. We will continue to keep the communal areas clean and hygienic.

If you approach staff on site please maintain social distancing. Feel free to wave or say hello, and if you need any assistance please ask.

We continue to collect rent and service charges as normal. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay or are worried about meeting future payments.

Wherever possible we want to avoid court action and evictions during this difficult time and we are committed to working with our customers to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account individual circumstances. We want to work with you, so please email CIT.Income@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you are unable to attend your benefit appointments, please let the Department for Work and Pensions know as soon as possible by reporting it on your online Universal Credit account.

If you find yourself with no income due to the impact of coronavirus, and you do not already claim benefits, you may be eligible to apply for Universal Credit to help you pay your rent and service charges. You can find out more about Universal Credit and eligibility on the Money Advice Service website.

Customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied. This could include nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit, or being sent a pre-loaded top up card so that their supply is not interrupted.

More broadly, any energy customer in financial distress will also be supported by their supplier, which could include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary, while disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.

In line with Government guidance, we are continuing with viewings and tenancy sign ups. However, to help limit the spread of COVID-19, we have made some changes to how we provide our services to ensure the safety of both prospective residents and our staff.

These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Limiting the number of people that can attend viewings and sign-ups
  • We will not enter the property with you to complete a viewing or sign up, but will open the property for you, including leaving all internal doors open.
  • We will not routinely wear personal protective equipment (PPE), however we will ensure we have washed our hands in line with Government guidelines or use hand sanitiser
  • We will maintain a minimum of two metres safe distance from you at all times.

When attending a viewing, please ensure that you have recently washed your hands or used hand sanitiser, observe social distancing at all times and avoid touching surfaces inside the property unless necessary.

We are currently working through a backlog of requests and appreciate your patience while you wait for us to contact you.

If you need to make a new request for a change to your tenancy, please contact us.

More information about how to apply for a mutual exchange is available below.

Contact Us Swapping your home

If you are experiencing repeated issues of antisocial behaviour you can report it to us by emailing contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you are threatened with violence or are concerned for the safety of yourself or others, please call the police immediately on 999.

We will continue to manage existing antisocial behaviour cases through your preferred method of communication, providing regular updates, signposting you to helpful support networks and discussing further action where appropriate.

Although lockdown restrictions are being eased, you may still be spending a lot of time at home and this could mean a pressured situation could get worse.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.

Further information

What is domestic abuse and finding support

If you are feeling overwhelmed, try talking to your family and friends and sharing how you feel. If you are worried that you may need more help, the following support is available:

The Mental Health Foundation has useful information on how to look after your mental health and it can be found on their dedicated website page.

Free 24-hour listening support

Samaritans is available to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.

Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line.

In a life-threatening emergency, you should dial 999.