Last Updated: Friday, 22 May 2020


During these times of unprecedented uncertainty, our priority over the last few months has been on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff alike, as we navigate the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We are incredibly proud that so many of those who live with us at HYELM-Old Street are key workers, and we have never been more committed to supporting our residents in every way we can. We are monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis, ensuring that we are aligning our guidance to residents with that provided by the Government and the NHS.

To maximise the wellbeing of all our residents at HYELM-Old Street, we have provided household essentials and launderette facilities free of charge, organised additional cleaning cycles around the building, and offered financial support to those in need.

Below, we have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

  • Fever
  • New, continuous dry cough
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

What if I feel unwell?

If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate for at least seven days.

After 7 days:

  • if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
  • if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal

You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days.

Do not go to your GP, hospital or pharmacy, and do not ring NHS 111 (unless you are worried), or your condition deteriorates.

If you are concerned, you can also check your symptoms on the NHS 111 website. Additional NHS guidance on self-isolation can also be found here.

Further information can also be found on the World Health Organisation’s website.

What if someone I share a flat with feels unwell?

If someone else in your flat develops symptoms and you have come into contact with them, you should also self-isolate.

The NHS advises that if you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started.

If more than 1 person has symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person developed symptoms.

If you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate for seven days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days.

If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.

You can check your symptoms on the NHS 111 website. Additional NHS guidance on self-isolation can also be found here.

Further information can also be found on the World Health Organisation’s website.

How can I help prevent the spread of the virus?

  • Work from home where possible.
  • Avoid going out unless absolutely essential. If you do need to go out, stay at least two metres away from others at all times.
  • Avoid sharing kitchen utensils with other members of your flat and ensure a high level of cleanliness in communal spaces is adhered to.
  • Continue to adhere to government and NHS guidelines regarding self-isolating if you, or any of your flatmates, are experiencing symptoms.
  • Follow the one-way system signs displayed in the New North Road ground level, maintaining two meters distance at all times.
  • When waiting to use the lift, please keep back from the doors and give residents sufficient time to pass in shared spaces.
  • Use the hand sanitiser stations provided as you enter the main building, before using the lift as you enter the East Road building. Throughout the day, please remember to wash your hands on a regular basis, following the approved ’20 second’ method.
  • Be respectful when using the launderette facilities. Follow the rules displayed: only one person in the room at a time and wipe down the machines with disinfecting wipes before and after use.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance when coughing or sneezing. The toilets leading from the reception area can be used for the disposal of tissues.
  • In the event of an emergency, please do evacuate the building as normal, and maintain social distancing at the assembly point.

How can I look after my mental and physical wellbeing while social distancing?

It’s important to remember that the Government advice we are all adhering to represents a big shift in how we live our lives, but it’s vital that we all implement healthy routines where we can.

Our blog post, “How to Cope with Social Distancing”, provides guidance on this, and you can also find more advice and ideas on exercising at home on the NHS website.

What if I’m struggling to pay my rent?

We are here to support you and would like to reiterate that you will not be at risk of losing your accommodation.

If you are experiencing complications in paying your rent, due to financial difficulties caused by Coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing

What if I have an issue that needs reporting to the HYELM team?

The team is still working full-time to support your needs and requirements, albeit remotely. Please email if you need to report anything or have any further questions. Emergency contacts are also still available, as they would be under normal circumstances.

Are you eligible?

74 of the 125 bed spaces are reserved for key workers. If you are a key worker, you can find out more and register your interest using the London Mayor’s Share to Buy website.

To be eligible for one of the remaining 51 places, you must meet the following criteria.

Please select all that apply. 

You don't meet all our criteria, but we want to hear more from you. The next step is complete this short form.

Tell us more

You meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is to complete our application form to make sure we are a good fit and book a tour.

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