'Havering Helps'

This week Havering Council have launched ‘Havering Helps’, a package of measures worth more than £4.5m to support residents, businesses and care providers in the borough cope better with the financial impact of coronavirus.

The Council is committing that no resident in the borough in either Council Tax or council rent debt will be evicted, or subject to court or bailiff action, for at least the next three months, and has challenged private landlords to do likewise.

The package will include:

£2m from Council emergency reserves for Havering’s Emergency Assistance Scheme which will provide residents in real financial need with up to £100 a time in cash, up to a limit of £1,000 a year, as well as food vouchers and help purchasing replacement essential home white goods.

£1.8m provided from government to give all residents currently benefiting from Council Tax Support a discount of £150 on bills. More than 8,000 households in the borough currently benefit from this help.

£320,000 to increase capacity to administer new applications for Housing Benefit and Council Tax support.

£500,000 to help adult social care providers, personal assistants and voluntary sector care providers ‘keep caring’ as they provide a front line response to coronavirus.

Business rates are paused for three months and Havering Council has now applied 100% relief to businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors as well as cancelling direct debits.

Other updates from Havering Council include:

Havering Council is running a free-to-call helpline for residents with urgent needs because of coronavirus.

The helpline - 0800 368 5201 - is for emergencies only and will be answered by staff redeployed from other Council services. You can call between 8.30am and 6pm on weekdays and between 11am and 4pm at the weekend.

You can also email: covid19support@havering.gov.uk

Please do not use this number to report a missed rubbish collection. That should be reported online.

Residents with less urgent needs, or requiring advice on other Havering Council services, should go to the council’s website for a range of contact options.

Lastly:

Havering Volunteer Centre is providing a service where local residents can get support during these uncertain times, and talk to a friendly voice at the end of a phone line.

If you would like to get involved and support your community by being that friendly voice on the end of the line please email volunteering@haveringvc.org.uk or call 01708 922214 and they will do the rest.

If you need to chat to someone please also call 01708 922214.