Coronavirus

Changes to our services and how we're supporting you

Coronavirus: our services and support

We’ve been working hard to adapt the way we can deliver our services ensuring customer and staff safety remain our top priority. And we've recently reintroduced more of our services including repairs and lettings. This will be on a phased approach, focusing initially on customers who have already reported a repair, been nominated for one of our homes or applied to undertake a mutual exchange. Please bear with us as it will be some time before our services are completely back to normal but be assured that we’re doing all we can to provide the best possible service in the current situation. Find out more below.

We’ve also listened to you on our approach and our Coronavirus Guidance Group, made up of over 70 of our customers, provided valuable feedback on how we restart more of our services during a webinar last week. Thank you to those involved.

As the impact of coronavirus remains, we’re continuing to focus our efforts where it matters most to you. This includes keeping you safe in your home and being here to offer support and advice about paying your rent, claiming benefits and money advice as we know this is a worrying time and job situations may change. Our priority as always is to keep you and your home safe and we’re advising customers and staff to keep following the latest government advice to protect yourself. This includes letting us know if you’re self-isolating or have been diagnosed.

We’ve completed our risk assessments and developed our procedures for working safely throughout coronavirus and you can find our ‘Staying coronavirus secure in 2020’ form here, which confirms that we’re complying with the government guidance on managing the risk of coronavirus. 

Key information:

  • We continue to follow the latest guidance and can now confirm the re-introduction of more of our services from the 1 June, including a phased approach for repairs
  • If you’ve already reported a repair, you don’t need to contact us again. We’ll contact you with an appointment as soon as we’re able to
  • We’re adapting our processes, retraining our staff and continuing to put safety measures in place. Our coronavirus customer group is helping us to review our approach
  • Please help us to keep you and our staff safe by following the government’s social distancing guidance and remaining 2 metres away from our staff if they’re working in or around your home and letting us know if you’re shielding or self-isolating
  • We’ve completed our risk assessments and developed our procedures for working safely throughout coronavirus and you can find our ‘Staying coronavirus secure in 2020’ form here
  • We’ll continue to regularly update you on our plans and appreciate your ongoing patience, cooperation and support
  • We’re still here to support you during these challenging times
  • We want to reassure you that no one will lose their home as a result of financial hardship caused by the virus
  • We can offer support on money advice and claiming benefits
  • We’re also providing extra support to our most vulnerable and elderly customers
  • We’ve got a list of trusted local organisations who can help if you’re self-isolating
  • We’re providing over £250k extra investment to help support local community groups and food banks

Our support

How we're supporting you and our communities

FAQs

Read our list of Frequently Asked Questions

Local support

Our list of trusted local organisations who can help if you’re self-isolating

Worried about paying your rent?

We know that some of you are worried about how you'll pay your rent because of the impact of coronavirus. If you're unwell or can't work because of coronavirus we want to reassure our customers that no one will lose their home as a result of financial hardship caused by the virus. We know you'll do your best to pay your rent but if you're in financial difficulties we're here to help. We can offer support on money advice and claiming benefits so please don’t hesitate to get in touch in the usual way.

An update on our services

We've reintroduced more of our services including repairs and lettings. This is on a phased approach, focusing initially on customers who have already reported a repair, been nominated for one of our homes or applied to undertake a mutual exchange. Please bear with us as it will be some time before our services are completely back to normal but be assured that we’re doing all we can to provide the best possible service in the current situation.

Repairs

We know repairs or improvements to your home are important to you and we're starting to reintroduce our core repairs service, focusing initially on repairs that you’ve already reported to us. We’ll also continue to deal with all emergency repairs, safety works and checks (such as gas servicing), and our caretaking and grounds maintenance services.

As we resume our services, you don’t need to contact us if you’re already reported a repair or had one cancelled during lockdown. We haven’t forgotten, we’ll contact you with an appointment time as soon as we’re able to.

And please continue to report new repairs to us, so we can schedule in appointments once we’re able to. However, non-emergency repairs are unlikely to be scheduled before the Autumn, while we focus on completing already reported repairs.

What do I need to know before my repair appointment?

When completing repairs, we want to reassure you that we’ve put measures in place to ensure your safety, which we’ll tell you about before your appointment. These measures are in line with the current government advice and guidance. There are some steps that we’ll need you to take too, which include remaining 2 metres away from our members of staff if they’re working in or around your home in line with the government’s social distancing guidance. This also includes staff who may be working in communal areas such as caretakers, electrical engineers and trades carrying out any health and safety works.

If you, or anyone in your family has coronavirus symptoms or if you’ve taken the decision to self-isolate, please let us know before the appointment. 

Lettings and mutual exchanges

We've also launched a virtual lettings service, after trials last week went well. It will allow customers to view and sign up for properties online in most cases. You don’t need to contact us, we’ll be contacting customers to let them know when homes are available to view using our virtual viewing videos, or when sign ups can be arranged. Please bear with us while we get used to our new processes.

We’re working hard to re-start mutual exchanges too, however this is more complex as it involves working with other registered housing providers. We hope to be able to restart this service in July and our focus will initially be on the applications that are currently on hold. Therefore we won’t be taking any new mutual exchange applications for the time being and we’ll review this in August and update you in our regular communications.

Getting in touch

Our customer contact centre is open as usual, however we are expecting lots of calls over the next few weeks, so if you’re query isn’t urgent, please email us (customer@vividhomes.co.uk). Please also be aware that as we reintroduce some of our services and re-schedule appointments to your home, we may contact you outside of our usual opening times to get your query resolved.

We're here to support you

We know that many of you will be impacted by coronavirus, and we’re providing a range of support to help you through this challenging time.

  • We know that some of you are worried about how you'll pay your rent because of the impact of coronavirus. If you're unwell or can't work because of coronavirus we want to reassure you that no one will lose their home as a result of financial hardship caused by the virus.  We can offer support on money advice and claiming benefits so please get in touch. There’s lots of useful advice on our FAQ page if your income or benefits are affected by coronavirus.

We’re offering our support within local communities during this challenging time to help those who need it the most. This includes financial support to food banks in your area. If you’re struggling to buy food, please contact your local food bank for support. If you're worried about money please let us know so we can support you. We’ve also provided some funding to support local community groups in your neighbourhood. If you are involved with a group and want to access funding, find out how to apply here.

We understand that it can be lonely and difficult having to stay at home, so we’ve put together a list of simple things that you can do to help your wellbeing and stay physically and mentally active. If you're self-isolating and need some help, whether it be with food supplies, shopping or a friendly chat, here's a list of local organisations who can provide support to you.

We’re also providing extra support to our older customers living in our sheltered and extra care homes, including additional cleaning in communal areas and we’re also starting to make regular phone calls to check in and make sure everything’s okay.

If you’ve lost your job and need support in looking for work, our Employment and Training team are here to help. There are lots of companies recruiting and our advisors can support you with applications and help with interview techniques. For free, confidential advice and guidance please call 0800 652 0898 and ask to speak to one of our Employment and Training Advisors.

Staying at home

It’s really important that we all follow the latest government advice. We understand that this means we’ll have to stay in our homes more than we usually would. During this challenging time, we ask that you’re considerate to your neighbours.

 

Social distancing

We’re asking that our customers and staff follow government guidance on social distancing and remain 2 meters away from people who aren’t a member of your household. These measures will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus and relieve the pressure on the NHS.

We’re unable to take action to enforce those that don't adhere to the government’s social distancing advice, however the police do have powers to act where necessary. We’re still dealing with reports of anti-social behaviour and where the breach of social distancing is also an ASB incident (for example, if a neighbour deliberately approaches you and threatens you), we will deal with it.

Keeping you informed

As government guidance continues to change daily, we’ll continue to provide updates on our services on our website, regular emails, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can also find a full list of Frequently asked questions here.