Coronavirus – Our service update

We recognise that this is an extremely unsettling time for people.  We want to assure you that the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, colleagues and contractors is our priority.

We are continuing to monitor and follow Government guidelines, and we are focussing on minimising risk while delivering services to our customers.  We are taking a number of preventative steps to keep you and others safe from the virus, and this means that you will see some changes in the way we work.

We have posted several articles about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we are responding as a business here on our website and on Facebook and Twitter.  Still, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to find essential information in one place.

Here is the vital information you need to know.  We have also added important information about paying rent and the Government’s guidance on relaxing evictions at this challenging time.

And, there are links to the latest information about COVID-19 and what we all now need to do to stop it spreading.

Visiting our office

Our office is now closed to visitors and residents until further notice.  If you need to contact us, please email info@unitedcommunities.org.uk or phone 0117 942 4600.

Paying your rent

The Government has introduced a package of measures to protect people paying rent and landlords affected by COVID-19.

As a result no social housing tenant will be evicted from their home because of arrears arising from difficulties experienced due to the virus. We will do everything we can to help you stay in your home.

If you are having trouble paying your rent, please contact us as soon as you can. We’ll work with you to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account individual circumstances.

We want to spend our time supporting those customers who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19. This means it’s more important than ever that if your employment circumstances have not changed you continue to make your rent payments as usual.

Repairs and maintenance

Our repairs team is prioritising emergency repairs only.  We want to make sure we can provide this vital service to those who need it, so we are asking residents not to call us unless you need an emergency repair.

An emergency is identified as anything that puts the health and safety or security of a resident or third party at immediate risk or which affects the structure of the building.

Click here for a list of emergency repairs.

If you need to report an emergency repair please call 0117 942 4600, press option 1 and, then option 1 again.

If you need to contact us in the evening or at the weekend, please call our out of hour’s emergency number: 0800 054 2180.  Our out of hour’s operatives will call you before attending your home and will ‘make safe’ the repair.

Annual Gas Safety Test/Servicing

It is vitally important that if we contact you about your annual gas safety test/service that you allow our engineer in to complete this health and safety test.

The gas engineer will respect your home and wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). The engineer will also practice social distancing and stay at least two metres away from you in your home. You may also wish to stay in another room while the test takes place.

We take our responsibility of keeping residents safe in their home seriously. By carrying out this test, this is one of the main ways we can ensure you and your family are safe.

Fire alarm testing – communal areas

We will continue to carry out fire alarm testing in blocks of flats in the communal areas. We want to ask that all residents give our engineer the necessary space to complete this important work.  This means practicing social distancing and staying at least two metres distance from each other at all times. Our engineer may ask that residents go inside their flat while working in the communal area.

We want to thank everyone in advance for their co-operation and patience while we carry out these vital health and safety checks.

Self-isolation

If you are self-isolating or you have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), please let your Housing Officer know as soon as possible.  Call 0117 942 4600, press option 1 and then option 2.

This will help us to respond appropriately if we need to deliver a service to you.

Protecting your data

If you have told us that you are self-isolating or you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 we must protect your data/information.  We will only use this information for the purposes of ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors, and the wider communities.

Our lawful conditions for processing this information are:

We have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of our employees/contractors; and substantial public interest.

We won’t disclose this information to anyone else unless it is necessary to do so to comply with any of our legal obligations, or where there is a substantial public interest to do so. For example, we may have to approach Public Health England, or another relevant statutory body, for advice in some instances.

Please see our data protection policy to find out more information about how to exercise your rights or what to do if you have any concerns about the use of your data.

How we are working to provide services

Our staff are working remotely, and we continue to deliver our services at this time; however, you may experience some delays at this uncertain time.  We will update you on any changes to our services as the situation develops, so please check here on our website, Facebook and Twitter.

We may contact you over the coming days

Please be aware that your Housing Officer may contact you in the coming days to ensure that we have all your details up-to-date on our systems.  This will help us to respond appropriately if we need to deliver a service to you.

Coronavirus useful links

For more details and what you can do to protect yourself visit NHS/Coronavirus

You can also stay up-to-date by visiting the government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice page.

Keep up-to-date

As the situation is constantly evolving, we’ll be using our website and social media to provide you with information if there are any changes to our services.

Please check here on our website, following us on Facebook (@ucommunities) or Twitter (@U_Communities)

We understand that this may be an anxious time, and we want to ensure we can continue to provide services and to keep you and your home safe.

If you do have any queries, please email info@unitedcommunities.org.uk or call us on 0117 942 4600.

 

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