15 May 2020
Coronavirus - service changes announced
<Sent to customers with a registered email address on Thursday evening and Friday morning>
It has been two months now since the coronavirus drastically changed how we all live our lives and, as I’ve said previously, I have been hugely impressed about the way everyone has adapted almost overnight to keep friends, family, neighbours and teammates safe and secure. Whether it has been customers, colleagues or partners in the local community, there has been a real shared sense of spirit and togetherness which I think we have all felt.
As we’ve continued to deliver services as safely as possible throughout what is undoubtedly a difficult time, we’ve also been grateful both for the well wishes and support and the patience and understanding you have shown us. Many of our colleagues and customers have come together to say a shared thanks and to reassure those still worried about what the future may hold that we are very much all in this together.
Last week I said we were reviewing how and when we could safely resume some of our services and promised to update you once we were able to share more. Right from the outset of the coronavirus pandemic we worked hard to keep services operating but after listening to government guidance a small number of services were paused. I am now pleased to confirm that following government’s update on 18 May we begin the safe and gradual reopening of those services.
- We are relaxing our temporary suspension of non-emergency repairs which means you can now start to report any non-urgent repairs around your home. To support this, we encourage you to do this through your online account. As you can imagine, the team is currently working through a backlog of requests which means we will be booking these jobs in first as well as continuing to prioritise emergency and safety critical repairs in the interim. Therefore, it may take us slightly longer than normal to complete your repair so please bear with us as we reset services
- Parts of our planned maintenance programme are also resuming. This will initially focus on external and common area works such as cyclical painting followed by window and door replacements. The next phase will then look at how we can safely reintroduce kitchen and bathroom upgrades and we hope to be in a position to start this in June
- All our grounds maintenance work will return to normal on a phased basis as we work through a backlog of requests. We know how important maintaining communal areas are for people’s wellbeing and so this will remain a priority particularly as we enter the summer months
- The crisis has shown the importance of having a place to call home and we are beginning to recommence our lettings service which will start with us contacting any customers who are currently under offer for one of our homes with a view to arranging a moving in date
- As I mentioned last week, our construction teams have started returning to site and we will see that increasing over the next month as the industry resets itself.
We have updated our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page where you can find lots more detailed information about service changes on a range of topics. It is important to stress that these service changes are being done in a safe and staggered way, so that we can maintain adequate social distancing and good hygiene practices to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all. That is, ultimately, our number one priority as it has been throughout this pandemic.
Our team of neighbourhood coaches are still working hard to engage with you and, as ever, they are on hand if you have any questions or concerns around your wellbeing or finances. Our neighbourhood coach search can help you find out who your contact is if you don’t already know.
With the government now encouraging unlimited outdoor exercise, I do hope you are able to enjoy some of this nice weather and I will keep you updated as further services come back online.
We are here for you, best wishes and take care,
Executive director of customer experience