Rushden social housing tenants must travel to Wellingborough for appointments

Under the new scheme tenants and homeless people will not be able to access help at offices in Rushden

Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 4:14 pm

Social housing tenants who have been accessing face-to-face help from a Rushden drop-in centre will have to travel to Wellingborough from Friday (April 1).

Instead of using the High Street South office of Midland Heart Housing Association, those wanting appointments will have a ten-mile round trip.

The housing association currently delivers the housing options function on behalf of North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) in the former East Northamptonshire council area.

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Midland Heart Housing Association currently deliver the housing options function on behalf of the NNC in the former East Northamptonshire area.

But from Friday the services will be brought in-house to align housing across the whole unitary area.

NNC portfolio holder for housing and community, Cllr Andy Mercer, said: “It’s important to us to serve the people of North Northamptonshire to the very best of our ability, and by bringing the housing options service in house we can ensure this continues to happen.

"Customers can rest assured that the change will not affect existing applications and they do not need to re submit or change their application.”

The last day for the office at 50 High Street South, Rushden, will be tomorrow (March, 31, 2022). The statutory homelessness and housing allocations services will then be delivered from the other council offices, the closest being the Tithe Barn offices in Wellingborough, where housing options officers are already based.

Some offices will only be open to the public by appointment, so residents wanting an in-person meeting will have to contact the housing options service by email or phone.

Customers are being assured that Keyways housing applications or any homelessness applications that may currently be registered will not be affected by the changes. All correspondence will, after April 1, be from North Northamptonshire Council.

Leader of North Northants Council, Cllr Jason Smithers, said: “We have done our utmost to ensure this change has minimal impact on the service customers have previously received.

"If customers do have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Keyways and Housing Options teams who will be happy to help.”

Birmingham-based Midland Heart Housing Association manage homes and services across the Midlands that help people to live independently. They own and manage 34,000 high quality, safe and affordable homes and provide services to over 70,000 customers across 54 local authorities.