Coronavirus

Our services and how we're supporting you

 

Our priority as always is to keep you and your home safe.

Following the announcement of a new lockdown, the government has advised that everyone should stop non-essential contact with others, and should stay at home where they can. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.

We’ve therefore made the decision to adapt our repairs service to minimise entry into your home unless absolutely necessary. This means we will continue with emergency repairs, some urgent repairs (e.g. heating and hot water) and limited other repairs from now until further notice. We will also continue with annual safety checks and fire safety works. You can find out more about changes to our services below.

Key information:

  • Our priority is to keep you, your home and our staff safe
  • As a result we’re completing emergency and urgent repairs and limited other external repairs, as well as annual safety checks and fire safety works to minimise entry into your home
  • Please continue to let us know if you’re self-isolating or have symptoms of the virus
  • We’re still here to support you if you’re struggling to pay your rent, need help claiming Universal Credit or have other tenancy-related issues
  • Extra safety measures are in place to support our older customers and those living in our extra care schemes
  • We have a list of trusted local organisations who can help if you’re self-isolating

An update on our services

Repairs and annual safety checks to your home

We’ve made the decision to adapt our repairs service to minimise entry into your home unless absolutely necessary. This means we will continue with emergency repairs, some urgent repairs (e.g. heating and hot water) and limited other repairs from now until further notice. We will also continue with annual safety checks and fire safety works.

An emergency repair is something that needs to be fixed straight away as it poses a risk to your health, safety or security. This could be a gas leak, electrical fault, major damage to the structure of your home, a serious security problem such as a front door that cannot be locked, or the loss of essential services such as water or electricity. You can find out more details on different categories of repairs here.

Safety measures - including you and our staff wearing face masks when we visit

We will continue with the measures in place to ensure your safety, and the safety of our staff. When arriving at your home, we’ll ask you a series of pre-screening questions to check if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating and/or has any of the coronavirus symptoms. We’ll wear personal protective equipment and bring cleaning materials and we’ll also ask you to keep out of the room or area where we’ll be working. To give added protection we’ll now be expecting you to wear a face mask for us to enter your home. If face masks aren’t worn we reserve the right to not come in.

If you’ve taken the decision to self-isolate at home, please let us know when reporting a repair or if you need to re-schedule an appointment.

If you have a routine repair booked relating to the inside of your home, we’ll be in touch very soon to let you know this has been postponed but please assume that any routine repair to the inside of your home that you have booked won’t go ahead. We understand this may be disappointing to hear but we want to reassure you we’re taking these steps for your safety and your repair will be rescheduled in the coming months when safe for you and us to do so. You don’t need to contact us, we will be in touch with you to re-arrange this at the appropriate time.

We will continue to carry out routine repairs externally.

Grounds maintenance and caretaking service

Our ground maintenance and caretaking service will continue. We ask that you remain 2 metres away from our staff if they’re working around your home. There may be some changes related to staff availability that could impact on the frequency of cleaning and any changes will be reflected in future service charge adjustments. We hope to keep these to a minimum. To keep everyone safe we request that you wear a face mask when passing through communal areas.

Our lettings and mutual exchange service

Our sales, lettings and mutual exchange service will continue. Please bear with us as you may experience some delays over the next few weeks. Wherever possible we’ll provide the service virtually and where a physical viewing is absolutely necessary we will have safety and hygiene measures in place and won’t enter a home with you.

Our older persons’ and sheltered housing schemes

We’ve put in place additional measures to ensure the safety and support of our older and more vulnerable customers living in sheltered and extra care homes. This includes additional cleaning of communal areas, hand sanitisers and restrictions on access for any non-essential visits.

The new rules mean that there is no household mixing unless it is with your support bubble or it’s with one other person outside. We’d like to remind you of the importance of following these rules and the government’s 2 metre social distancing guidance within your scheme. Our main priority is to keep you safe and these guidelines also apply in communal areas. If you have any private arrangements for care and support within your home, can you please remind the carer to wear appropriate PPE, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, to keep you safe and well. We’re looking forward to the rapid roll-out of the vaccine to support our more vulnerable customers.

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.

 

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 making 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.

Social distancing

We’re getting more incidents of anti-social behaviour incidents reported to us. These are often about people not following the government’s social distance advice. Please follow the government guidance when you see your neighbours, particularly in communal areas. We can’t take any action against people who don’t follow social distancing guidance. But the police do have powers to act where needed. You can let them know here. 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, 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.