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Housing Management Coronavirus Service Update

Moving home and mutual exchanges 

In line with government guidance, you can still move home. If you have been offered a home with us, this move should still go ahead and our team members will contact you to make arrangements to view properties.  Arrangements have been made to ensure that these viewings are carried out in the safest way possible.

If you have already applied for a mutual exchange and this has been processed, then this will proceed in the normal way but, there may be a delay.  

If you haven’t already applied to mutual exchange we would advise you not to do this at the moment. The normal process involves an inspection of the properties involved and gas and electricity checks.  At this moment we are unable to carry of these inspections and you are unable to visit the property to have a good look around before you decide to go ahead.

New applications for mutual exchanges will remain on hold during the latest lockdown period. This decision will be kept under constant review but, if you have any questions or concerns about this then please do speak with your housing officer or our customer and transactions team members.

Our repairs service 
Our repairs service is continuing but both we and our contractors are  facing challenges from having  fewer staff available because of sickness and the need to self-isolate.  We are  prioritising emergency and urgent repairs and because of this  other repair work is likely to take longer than usual.

Where we need to complete a repair, we will work with you to do this in a safe way. If we cannot resolve the issue by telephone our inspectors may need to visit you.  If this happens they will follow Government advice on safe working and wear protective equipment.  You will be asked to move to another room and to ventilate the areas.

Gas servicing and electrical inspections will continue as planned but again our contractors will comply fully with Government advice on safe working and wear protective equipment.   

What to do if you or your family is unwell 
If you have an appointment arranged our staff and contractors will contact you ahead of the appointment.  If either you, or a member of your family is unwell or, anyone in your home has been unwell within the last 14 days, then you must let us know, so that we can put in place special arrangements to ensure that the repair can be completed safely and you and our teams are safe. This may involve re booking your appointment.

Help if you are struggling to pay your rent 
We understand  that with all the challenges we’re facing, you may be worried about your rent payments. Please talk to us if you are struggling so that we can work with you to agree an affordable payment plan which considers your individual circumstances. Please speak to your income officer, if you have any concerns. 

Visitors to communal areas in schemes  
If you live in one of our sheltered housing schemes your friends and family should not visit unless this is to provide you with help or, personal care or as part of your support bubble. To protect you and to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus, communal areas such as lounges and guest rooms will remain closed until the government advice changes. We appreciate these communal areas have been closed for some time now and know it’s going to be hard through the winter months, but our Independent Living Managers  will continue to be in regular contact with you and help arrange any support you need.  

Supporting our vulnerable customers and communities 

We know that the next few weeks will be challenging for many of you, so we want you to know that we are here if you need us.   If you are worried at any time or, concerned about a neighbour, please contact us. 

Contacting us
In accordance with the government’s guidelines, our staff will be working from home where possible and continuing to operate our online and telephone services as usual.  At peak times your telephone calls may be diverted to voicemail systems but we will ring you back as quickly as possible to deal with your enquiry.

Find out how to contact us here.

Our offices at Whitfield and the Gateway will be closed to face to face visitors during this period.

 

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