Coronavirus / Covid-19 update for tenants

17 March 2020

In response to the coronavirus, we are making temporary changes to our office- based services.

As we explained in our recent leaflet, we are using a traffic light system to keep track of the situation. We have now moved from green to AMBER.

This means that staff are working from home and are not at the office. You can contact us by phone on 020 8524 6987. Please leave a message and we will call you back as quickly as we can.

Our repairs and out-of-hours emergency repairs services are operating as normal. For a repair between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday) call us as normal on 020 8524 6987. Outside of those hours call 020 8524 2822. If you have an emergency repair which is gas related, please call 01992 703 412.

Contractors will telephone to agree a time with you. Please keep at least a few feet away from anyone who visits your home.

If you are older, or have existing health conditions, please stay at home. Telephone a relative or friend and make arrangements for the things you need. Also, make arrangements for regular phone calls with your relatives and friends. Please call us if you have no-one to help you and we will organise some help for you.

If you can do so safely, please look out for your neighbours.

Remember that:

  • regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds, AND
  • only touching your face with clean hands

is the best defence against coronavirus, a flu or a cold.

Please keep up to date with the news for Government advice, but remember that it can be unnecessarily distressing to check the news more than once or twice a day.

We’ll be in touch again soon.

Investors in People award

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded Investors in People accreditation for our best practice approach to managing and developing our staff.

As well as wanting to be good employers, we also recognise that well managed
staff do a better job for our tenants.

After hard work preparing for our assessment, we were pleased when our assessor reported back: “Your approach and commitment to high standards of people management has helped create an environment where staff feel valued, where talent is recognised and developed and people can thrive. It is an impressive achievement and something to be very proud of.”

The report included recommendations that we have used to create an action plan. The plan will go to the Board in March 2020.

Brexit information for WFHA tenants

What to expect and how we can help

Brexit – Britain coming out of the European Union – will affect people in a number of ways. Here are some of the key things you might need to know, so that you can start preparing.

Straight after Brexit

If there’s a no-deal Brexit, you may find:

  • some food items missing from supermarkets for a number of weeks
  • some medicines unavailable – you may be offered alternatives
  • food prices rise sharply due to World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs
  • energy and other prices rise because the pound is losing value, and
  • travel is disrupted, as a knock-on effect of lorries queuing at ports like

With or without a trade deal, many prices may rise.

Visiting EU countries

As soon as we are out of the European Union, you will need to plan any visit
to the EU differently. You will need:

  • a passport with at least six months left on it
  • full travel health insurance
  • the right driving permit and car insurance documents
  • the right papers for your pet, and
  • to check the cost of using your mobile phone while you’re away –
    roaming charges will no longer apply.

Your right to stay in Britain

Brexit may change your right to stay in this country.

Who is affected

Brexit will affect most people who are living here as EU, EEA or Swiss citizens.
Only Irish citizens are exempt. The EEA includes all the EU countries, as well
as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The rules for migrants from other parts of the world will stay the same.

What will change

If the changes apply to you and any family members, you will need to apply
for the right to stay in the country. This is sometimes called ‘settled status’ or
‘indefinite leave to remain’.

You must apply to stay by:

  • 30 June 2021, through the EU Settlement Scheme, if we leave the EU
    with a deal, or
  • by 31 December 2020, if we leave the EU without a deal.

If you do not apply in time, you may lose your right to stay here.

What rights would I have?

Settled status

To get full settled status, you will need to prove that you have been living in
the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for five years in a row, and for
at least six months of any 12-month period. With full settled status, your right
to housing and benefits remains the same. Make sure you do not accept presettled
status by mistake. Pause your application and get advice.

Pre-settled status

If you cannot meet this rule, you may be offered pre-settled status. This will
allow you to continue living in the UK for at least another five years. Providing
you arrived in the country before Britain leaves the EU, you have the right to
housing and to claim benefits.

How to apply

You can apply online, free of charge, at:

The first step is to prove your identity. You can do this using your computer, tablet or a special app on your Android mobile phone.

You then complete a short form, giving details such as your National Insurance number, so that the government can check for your work or benefit records and look for any serious criminal convictions.

The Government’s application helpline is 0300 123 7379.

Getting help to apply

In Waltham Forest, the council is offering a service to help you with your documents at Leytonstone or Walthamstow libraries. Take your biometric
passport and any residence permits for family members, as well as your mobile phone to receive text messages, or a device to receive email. The council will charge you £14 for this service.

If you need help with the rest of the form, you will need to contact the government’s assisted digital service, which can book you a face-to-face appointment at one of our libraries, or a home visit.

Leytonstone Library is at Church Lane, Leytonstone, E11 1HG. Walthamstow Library is at High Street, E17 7JN.

How we can help

We know that some of our tenants will be feeling very anxious about the changes, so we want to help.

We will:

  • help you to make a call to the assisted digital service, if you need access to the full support service
  • go with you to the library, if staffing allows
  • help you to pay the council’s fee, if necessary, and
  • help you to access information in your own language.

To find out more, call us on 020 8524 6987. Or if you are aged 50 years or over, call WFHA’s Navigator Hub on 020 3929 8080.

Waltham Forest Housing Association (WFHA)

Welcome to the website for Waltham Forest Housing Association (WFHA).

Who we are

WFHA is an independent, not-for-profit, Registered Provider of housing. We provide homes in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

About 60% of our tenants live in sheltered or supported housing.

Our sheltered housing gives older people the independence of their own flat, with the security of an alarm system and tenancy support from our staff.

We provide a supported housing scheme for people with learning disabilities, as well as an award-winning scheme for people with autism.

About 40% of our homes are suitable for single people or families.

Looking for a home?

If you are looking for an ordinary home to rent for you or your family, we cannot help you directly. You should contact Waltham Forest Council instead. The Council’s phone number is 020 8496 3000.

However, if you are over-55 and would like to live in sheltered housing, you may be able to add your name to the WFHA waiting list.

Data protection

We have always taken care to keep your personal information confidential.

We reviewed our policies and procedures with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules in 2018.

You can read our Privacy Notice Statement here…

News from WFHA