An unprecedented number of applications for affordable homes by believe housing has created delays.
believe housing is asking for patience from applicants for properties advertised through Durham Key Options, as the not-for-profit housing association handles a back log of applications.
Applications for affordable homes from both new and existing customers has been substantial in over the last year with no signs of falling, with demand still being around a third higher than normal. Challenges directly created by the coronavirus pandemic, including staff sickness, have also contributed to a delay of around four weeks for some applications.
Staff are working flat out to resolve the backlog, processing hundreds of applications each week as they try to find the right home for customers. Extra staff are currently being recruited to increase the speed of processing the outstanding applications as well.
Customers are being asked not to request updates on their applications in the meantime. Requests for updates add to the number of messages that need to be handled by the Lettings Team.
Lettings Manager at believe housing, Joanne Rouse, said: “We appreciate that delays cause frustration for those who are looking for a new home through Durham Key Options. We’re doing everything we can to deal with the demand we’re seeing, but sadly it won’t be resolved overnight.
“I want to apologise to everyone affected. Patience and cooperation will help us process all the applications as quickly as possible. We really don’t want to disappoint anyone.”
It is expected that delays could be experienced throughout the autumn period, but the Lettings Team hope to be providing their usual service by winter.