The Housing Executive has established two new service units in its area office in Newtownards to process Housing Benefit claims.
The new units will deal with rent accounts for four districts – Bangor, Castlereagh, Downpatrick and Newtownards.
The establishment of the new Housing Benefit and Rent Accounting Service Units means that these ‘back room’ services will be dealt with separately, while the district offices will continue to deliver key housing services locally.
Staff in the district offices will continue to provide services relating to housing allocations, homelessness, repairs, estate management and community development. District office counter staff will also still help with queries on these services, or services provided by other departments.
These arrangements are designed to allow the Housing Executive “to move the modernising services agenda forward while still delivering an efficient housing service to the local community”.
Area manager Stephen Graham said: “As part of the Modernising Government Programme and recognising the challenges facing the delivery of social housing, the Housing Executive has been reviewing and reshaping its working arrangements across Northern Ireland.
“Leading from this, a Customer Services Unit has been operating for some time in the South East Area, where trained members of staff deal with repair calls and new applications for social housing for all six districts in the South East Area.”
The telephone number for rent account enquiries is the main line number 08448 920 900. The telephone number for Housing Benefit enquiries (public and private sector) is 08448 920 902.