Since 23 March 2020, 21,595 welfare calls have been made by Wrexham County Borough Council Housing Officers to their council tenants.
All Council tenants have been contacted at least once and officers are continuing with a second round of welfare calls, although this is now being impacted by the re-commencement of other housing functions and many tenants returning to work. Tenants who couldn’t be reached by telephone have received a letter asking them to make contact with their Housing Office.
During the pandemic the support offered by the council’s Housing Officers has included financial advice and assistance, assistance with submitting Universal Credit claims and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP), arranging affordable rent payment plans with tenants who were furloughed, and referrals to the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham for food parcels, prescription delivery and shopping.
Officers also promoted services that may be beneficial for isolating tenants and made referrals to agencies offering support and advice on loneliness, domestic violence, mental health, and anti-social behaviour. Officers were also advising on the free school meals provision and raising awareness of scams to help keep vulnerable tenants safe. For some tenants, the calls just meant a friendly person for them to speak to as they were feeling isolated. The calls were very well received and appreciated by tenants.