COVID-19 Service Update – Keeping you safe in your home FAQs

The government has issued a letter for all social housing residents. It brings together the advice and support that it has put in place at this time. You can read it here.

At United Communities residents, staff and contractors safety remains the priority. We will only relax restrictions on our service, in line with the government guidelines, if it is safe to do so.

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. We hope these will answer your questions and provide more information about how we are working to support you at this time.

FAQs

Q: I would like to report a repair; what should I do?

A: We are continuing to limit our repairs service to emergency and priority repairs only. We are assessing the new government guidance to see how we can resume our normal repairs service. Until then, we are continuing to run our service by carrying out health and safety checks/tests, emergency and priority repairs only.

Please see our list of emergency repairs here.

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

Please be aware that if you report a routine repair, it may get logged. But, at this time, we will not make an appointment date for the repair unless it is deemed an emergency. Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.

When it is safe to do so, we will expand the repairs that we can complete to include routine repairs. However, it may take longer to complete your repair as we deal with any backlog of requests.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.

Q: What are you doing about allocating homes to residents?

A: The recent government guidance also extends to moving home. It makes it clear that anyone who wishes to move can now do so. Therefore, we are working with the local authorities to lift some restrictions to help restart allocating our empty homes through their Home Choice websites.
Despite this new advice, customers who are self-isolating or shielding should avoid moving unless it’s essential and safe to do so.

You must be registered on the Home Choice website to apply for a home that is advertised. For further information, please check your local authority’s Home Choice website. This is where you can complete a Home Choice application form.

Q: What is happening with the mutual exchange of homes?

A: We have several mutual exchanges that had been put on hold following government guidance to suspend the completion of mutual exchanges in March 2020. If this applies to you, we will contact you within the next few weeks. We will discuss with you how we can safely and, within government guidelines, complete your mutual exchange request.

Again, we would like to thank you for your patience at this time as we work with other social housing landlords to restart mutual exchange.

If you are interested in a mutual exchange or would like further information, please contact your Housing Officer.

Q: What about my annual gas servicing or electrical testing appointment?

A: It is vital that you let us into your home to complete these essential health and safety tests. The government has been clear that this work must continue.

Our operatives will follow the government guidelines on how to work safely in your home, by social distancing and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). However, if you or a member of your household has any COVID-19 symptoms, please contact us. We will then be able to arrange to visit you when you have finished self-isolating.

If you are shielding, we may still be required to carry out this essential service or testing. Please contact us, and we will discuss this with you.

Q: My new bathroom/kitchen was due to be replaced, when will this work be completed?

A: We are working with our contractors to plan what work can be carried out safely and in line with the latest government guidance.

We will begin to complete external and non-intrusive planned work over the coming week. All internal planned work that requires our contractors to spend time in your home, such as installing a new kitchen or bathroom, will be delayed until we are confident that we can complete the work safely. We will update you when we can enter your home safely to carry out this work.

Keep up-to-date

We’ll continue to update the COVID-19 area of our website with any changes to our services and with useful information. You can also keep up-to-date via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you need to contact us, please email info@unitedcommunities.org.uk or call 0117 942 4660.

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