Renovation of Tenant Office to provide greater comfort and deliver capacity

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The Porto Municipal Tenant Office (GIM) has undergone renovation works and it satisfies both comfort needs and operational goals as regards public facilities functional functions. The space has kept the annual average of 70 thousand consultations, despite the ongoing pandemic, much due to the digital attendance procedure, embraced by the Municipality of Porto to overcome constraints and to be able to cope with tenants needs.

“These renovation works are targeted at providing tenants with greater comfort, when they come to the Tenant’s Office”, affirmed Filipa Melo, administrator at Domus Social.

Tenant’s opinion on the works carried out is favourable, and Filipa Melo ensures that the rehabilitation works allowed for the space to become a high end office, fully prepared to face the challenges of the ongoing pandemic.

“We have all the digital means required; services reply to e-mail messages promptly, there is also the phone line, and this type of customer assistance has increased exponentially, and it even is one of the most frequently used resources here in the office – via the phone number, people can schedule a meeting of their convenience”.

Services offered by the municipal company Domus Social, as regards tenants of the Porto City Hall Public Housing in particular and residents in general include requesting public housing, update information on the households, requesting transfers, requesting documents, consulting processes, revaluating rents or paying rents.

These services kept running, even during confinement, despite the constraints to the in-person services, as the office offers alternatives, namely the digital means of communication.

“Before the pandemic, there were circa 70 thousand annual customer assistance meetings, now we still have those circa 70 thousand, with the benefit that these customer assistance meetings are scheduled in advance and there is greater comfort for all involved”, the same official added.

All the safety measures adopted by that service are in compliance with the health authorities’ guidelines, as “customer assistance is scheduled in advance and this prevents large crowds in the service. We have seven service stations, and only three are working simultaneously”, furthers Filipa Melo.

Tenants seem to be pleased with this new organisation, as “by scheduling, they have an exact time to take care of business, with no delays”, customer service technician Ana Neves confirmed.

As for the Tenant’s Office new image “tenant’s feedback is that the space is more agreeable, more modern, more spacious and functional”, Ana Neves concluded.

Social Housing Applications during the pandemic

The Tenant’s Office not only provides for the needs of municipal tenants but is also follows the applications to social housing, under the municipal programme to support rent “Porto Solidário”.

Despite the closure of services, between March and May 2020, due to confinement, the municipal company Domus Social and Porto City Hall were able to recover this activity regarding the granting of new houses, and at least one new house is being granted currently.

Maria João Rodrigues is such an example; mother of two, aged 2 and 11 years old, who had been waiting for the solving of their application, was granted a T3 municipal house.

In the past two and a half years, the Municipality has granted 917 houses, and out of the 2.636 social housing applications submitted between 1st January 2018 and 30th June 2020, 677 have been accepted.

For further information on Social Housing, residents can schedule in-person meeting, via the phone number 228 330 000, or contact the technical support line 808 100 505, or via email geral@domussocial.pt, from Monday to Friday, between 8,30am and 5.30pm.