An update on our services - January 7 2021

January 07 2021 | Articles | News
An Update On Our Services

Our offices remain closed but we’re still working hard to keep delivering services during the latest restrictions.

Like other housing providers, we’re having to review our services in the light of the latest lockdown announced by the Prime Minister.

Repairs

Unfortunately, due to the new lockdown, we are currently only booking emergency and urgent repairs.

Go here to find out what kinds of repairs we treat as emergencies or urgent and how to order them.

We cannot take orders for other types of repair until further notice, so please don’t contact us about these. We will let you know when we are offering the full range of repairs again. If you would like us to email you when these become available, please register for My Account and tick the checkbox to receive news and information by email.

If you have already reported a non-urgent repair

This will now be cancelled until we are able to do this kind of work again. If we are able to do the work sooner, we will contact you to let you know this. So if you have an appointment booked in for non-urgent work, you should assume that this will now be cancelled unless we contact you to tell you that it is going ahead.

When we are able to do non-urgent work again we will contact you to let you know. So you don’t need to contact us. We will make sure that your job is given priority over newer jobs.

Home improvements

We’re aiming to continue with home improvement programmes which we have already started. If your home is in a scheme which is due to start soon then we will be in touch with you shortly to let you know whether this will be going ahead and, if so, when it will start. We’ll speak to you directly if work we are doing at your home is affected by the pandemic or delayed for any other reason, and you don’t need to contact us in the meantime. Our aim as much as possible is to keep doing work, using COVID-safe working methods to keep you and our operatives safe.

Rent

We’re continuing to collect rent as normal, and our teams will continue to provide help and advice to people contacting us to say they are struggling to pay because of the current situation. If you’re having trouble paying your rent, please contact us sooner rather than later. Find out more about how we may be able to support you with rent.

Tenancy and neighbourhood issues

Staff are working from home and continuing to deal with tenancy and neighbourhood issues, linking in with council colleagues and other agencies as necessary. We’re still dealing with issues such as neighbour problems and helping make sure vulnerable people get the support they need, but we are doing as much of that as we can remotely and without the need for staff to carry out home visits where that is avoidable. In some instances we are having to prioritise more pressing issues, such as where there is a risk of harm or where a situation might escalate if we don’t do something straightaway. So please bear with us if we take a little longer than usual to get to your enquiry – our staff are doing their best and will get to you as soon as they can. Please also bear with us if we ask you to do things differently – for instance by sending us a photo or video of something rather than us coming out to see it. We might also ask you to send us completed paperwork by email rather than us meeting you to go through it.

Estate services

Our estate services team are still out and about, as they have been since the start of the pandemic, and they are getting through jobs as quickly they can, weather permitting and based on how many people we have available and able to come into work. And our caretakers are in their blocks every day, making sure that they are kept clean and well looked after.  

Rehousing

We’ll continue to advertise and offer homes as usual. But it may take longer for you to be able to move in once you have been offered and accepted a home. We’re doing our best to get re-let works done on empty homes as quickly as we can. But we do still have a backlog of empty homes to get through, and if you’re due to move into one of our homes soon then please bear with us if it takes longer than it usually would - we want to make sure that your new home is ready to move into and hopefully prevent problems arising after you have moved in. And we will let you know when it is ready, meaning you don’t need to ring us for updates.

Retirement housing 

Our retirement scheme managers will continue to carry out regular checks in their schemes, helping people to stay safe and get the support they need. They will be doing more of this from home, but will still be making sure that they get into their schemes regularly. We are continuing to suspend social activities and restrict access to communal areas at the moment, but we are hoping to remove these restrictions after the current ‘’lockdown’’ ends.

Like other employers, we are being affected by staff having to self-isolate as a result of being in contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus (or being told that they have to stay at home because they are especially at risk from the virus). This means we have fewer people available to deal with enquiries and deliver services. We also have staff working from home with children not currently in school. That is creating some challenges for us, and means we can’t get to everything as quickly as we usually would.

Our staff are working hard to keep up with everything, and we’re continually looking at ways of making sure we deal with enquiries as quickly as we can. But our phone lines are likely to remain very busy, so please bear with us if it takes longer to get through – or look at the other ways in which you can contact us

At the most busy times you can request that we call you back when you get to the top of the queue, rather than you having to wait on the phone. So please feel free to try this rather than having to wait on the phone.

Need to get in touch?

Please contact us if you have any questions about any of our services.

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