Our approach to Coronavirus
This page will be updated frequently to provide one place for you to access information about how we are managing the coronavirus and are keeping you, our colleagues and the general public safe.
At home shouldn't mean at risk. If you or someone you know might be at risk from domestic abuse contact our specialist team in confidence by calling 01935 404500. Alternatively refer to the Government's advice pages #YouAreNotAlone.
Update to our services: 20 May 2020
In line with the latest government advice, we are planning to reintroduce more services starting from June 2020. The health and safety of our customers and our colleagues is our priority, but we understand how important it is to you that we resume our normal services as soon as we can whilst continuing to keep everyone safe and follow government advice.
We are planning a phased approach to introduce routine repairs and maintenance again over the coming months.
As I’m sure you are aware, we had to cancel repairs that were scheduled due to lockdown (more than 8,000 were cancelled). We would like to thank you for your understanding and continued patience at this time and aim to clear the list of cancelled repairs first and as quickly as possible.
If you have had a repair cancelled or have logged a repair with us during lockdown, we aim to be contacting you from mid-June to let you know when and how you can reschedule your repair.
We will be prioritising repairs that are required to the outside homes and minimise the amount of time we spend in your home.
For everyone’s safety we will not enter the home of anyone who is self-isolating or shielding except where it is absolutely essential and for your immediate safety. When we do this, we will attend in full personal protective equipment and will ask you to move to another room in your home.
Lettings and mutual exchanges
At this time, we are still focusing on emergency lettings only. We are currently considering how we can reintroduce our full lettings service, whilst following government advice and putting the safety of our customers and our colleagues first. We will update you as soon as we can. We are also reviewing our procedures on mutual exchanges so we can reintroduce these safely alongside new lettings.
We understand how important it is for you to speak to someone about your home or any support you may need, particularly at this time. Whilst we know it isn’t quite the same, for everyone’s safety we will continue to carry out as much support as possible over the phone or online. We plan to gradually reintroduce site visits and inspections, but these will be limited to only those that are absolutely necessary and where it is safe to do so.
Since the UK went on lockdown, we have reduced the level of services we provide to follow government advice and for everyone’s safety. We are aware that a number of our customers pay a service charge to receive certain services from us and recently, these have not been running. At this stage we don’t know when we will be able to resume completely normal services. We continue to follow government advice and will make a decision on service charges and get in touch once we have further clarity on the situation.
It is our statutory duty to carry out gas safety checks in your property. We are carrying out gas safety checks as normal and need customers to give us access when contacted by us to book in their gas safety check.
For everyone’s safety and in line with government advice, we will continue to attend with personal protective equipment and will ask you to move to another room in your home as we carry out the check. If you are self-isolating, we may wait until you have stopped self-isolating before we attend however will require access to your property as soon as possible to carry out the check.
When it comes to fire safety works, we are taking a risk-based approach to continue work where it is safe to do so. A lot of our work takes place in communal areas however we may need access to some properties. If we need access to your property, we will give you plenty of notice and take the necessary steps to keep you and our colleagues safe.
In line with the government’s advice we are looking at what further works we can start again over the coming months.
We continue to maintain our legal requirements to maintain your home where it is safe to do so. Our additional safety measures are taken on a risk-based approach and we are currently considering how we can start further building safety works in line with government advice.
To combat isolation and loneliness, we’ve launched the Buddy Club which has been set up to provide regular companionship and emotional support through daily phone calls, to share your issues, access any help you need or to talk about your day.
Each call is completely confidential and is with a colleague who has been specifically trained on topics such as safeguarding, challenging conversations, self-care and resilience, support mechanisms and IT.
We don’t want these calls to be a one off as we know your needs may change, you could have different questions and just need someone to be there. So, during your first phone call we will ask if you want to sign up to the Buddy Club. We will then agree with you the best time to call and how often you would like to receive a call.
Finances and employment
We also know that the uncertainty around the coronavirus has had a huge impact on some of our customers’ finances, employment and access to support services. If you are struggling or have any concerns about your finances please get in touch, we are able to advise you on what benefits you may be entitled to, help you access these and can refer you to any further support should you need it.
We are continuing to offer employment support and delivering training online so please get in touch with us if you need help or advice. We are also offering home schooling resources if you need help with your kids at home or advice to school leavers digitally so visit the i2a Facebook page for more information.
We plan to reopen our community facilities soon, again where we are able to do so safely and following the government’s advice. As soon as these are up and running we will let you know.
Once again, I would like to thank you for your patience at this time, together we will begin to take the next steps towards running our services fully again whilst continuing to control the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe.
We aim to have a further update on our services at the end of May. If you have any questions or concerns at this time please refer to our FAQs in the first instance and contact us if you need some additional support.