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Mansfield's area housing offices to close

Mansfield District Council's area housing offices will close later this year and will be replaced with an open surgery service and increased one to one home visits.

The Council currently runs two area housing offices within the District, one at Mansfield Woodhouse and the other at Sandy Lane (the South Area Housing Office). The housing offices offer tenants support with completing Council Tax and Housing Benefit forms, and provide advice on and deal with general housing matters.

A recent review of the service showed a decline in the amount of visitors to each of the offices. In August 2009 the average number of visitors for housing related matters was 136 per week for the Mansfield Woodhouse office and 213 per week for the South Area Housing Office. In November 2011 these figures had fallen to 70 visitors per week for Mansfield Woodhouse and 85 per week for the South Area office, representing falls in visitors of 49% and 60%.

The Mansfield Woodhouse area housing office will close on 8 June and the South Area Housing Office will close on 31 August.

A weekly surgery will take place on Wednesdays at Mansfield Woodhouse, from the Vale Road depot, between 9am and 12noon.  Another surgery will be set up for the Mansfield South Area nearer to the time of closure. Surgery hours can then be increased or decreased dependant upon demand.

Tenants can also contact the Housing department based at the civic centre by calling 01623 463 463, by email or by visiting the Civic Centre (Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm, and Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm).

The decision to close the area housing offices means the Council will see annual savings of approximately £17,500 (Mansfield Woodhouse) and £44,000 (Sandy Lane).

Cllr Mick Colley, Portfolio Holder for Tenancy Services and Housing Needs at Mansfield District Council, said: "The way people access Council services is changing and people tend to prefer contacting us either by phone or using our online services. It is clear from the visitor figures that maintaining the area housing offices in this manner is not efficient or cost effective. Rather than staff staying in the office on the off-chance that someone will call, their time could be utilised much more effectively by being out in the community or by visiting individual properties."

Published 17 May 2012

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