YOUR HOUSING

Coronavirus – Updated advice for residents

The safety of our customers, staff and contractors is of paramount importance to us and we continue to closely monitor guidance from Public Health England and the Government regarding the spread of Coronavirus.

Following the latest announcement of the national lockdown, in supporting the efforts to ensure that the risk of contracting the virus is reduced while ensuring that we continue to meet your needs, we have made changes to our service delivery as follows:

Reporting repairs

We are now operating a full repairs service and customers can report repairs to us as normal.

Please note that it will take us some time to clear the backlog of repairs, we will get them completed as soon as we can and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.

When you contact us to report a repair, we will ask if you are self-isolating because of COVID-19. If you are, we will share this with our staff so that we can assess the level of risk to our operatives.

If you are self-isolating because of COVID-19, our operatives may attend wearing protective clothing, such as masks or gloves and please don’t worry if they ask you to keep at a distance while they carry out the repair, this is to ensure we work safely and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Gas safety checks
The latest Government guidance on COVID-19 requires us as your landlord to continue to carry out these statutory safety checks at properties where the current certificate is due for renewal. To ensure the safety of both you our customer and our engineers we are taking the following appropriate precautions to avoid spreading or contracting the virus:

Booking an appointment and carrying out safety inspections

  • When booking an appointment we will ask if you are self-isolating because of COVID-19.
  • Our engineers may attend wearing protective clothing, such as masks or gloves and are following enhanced hygiene procedures.
  • We ask that you keep a distance of 2 metres from our engineer while they carry out the check, this is to ensure we work safely and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Please contact us:

  • If you or your family are self-isolating, we will only book an appointment 14 days following the end of your isolation period.
  • If you have been informed by the Government or NHS that you have to self-isolate because you are ‘medically vulnerable’ please contact us so we can arrange an appointment after your isolation period has ended.

If you have contacted us to rearrange your appointment and yet receive one of our warning letters demanding access, please ignore this letter.

Paying your rent
If you’re worried about being able to pay your rent, or as a result of COVID 19, are worried that this may affect your income i.e. due to your hours of work being reduced or you are self-employed and are having to self-isolate, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss how we can support you. Our Rents Team can help you to reduce living costs, lower bills and help you to access available benefits and prevent debt. We can also support you by making referrals to other organisations if you are experiencing hardship managing with day to day essentials.

Contact Rents on 01253 477900 select option 1. If our lines are busy, please leave a message and a member of our team will get back to you. You can also email us at rent@bch.co.uk

ASB and Neighbourhoods
The Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) service is here to support customers experiencing ASB during these difficult times. Cases will continue to be opened and investigated and appropriate action taken, although customer contact will be by phone and/or email in the majority. Home Visits will only take place in cases where there is an urgent need. 

If you are suffering from High Level ASB, your case will be prioritised. High Level cases include:

  • being a victim of threats of/use of actual violence
  • incidents of domestic abuse
  • hate crime.

Anyone reporting these types of ASB can expect to have a response from a member of the team within 1 working day.

All other types of ASB should be reported to us by phone/email. If our lines are busy you will be able to leave a message and a member of the team will ring you back as quickly as possible. These reports will be acknowledged within 7 working days.

In order to keep the service running as smoothly as possible, please do not contact the service again before the response timescales have passed, unless there is an escalation of the behaviour you’re experiencing.

Remember that if anyone is in immediate danger you should always call the police first on 999.  If you feel government guidelines are not being followed, please contact the police on 101 or via the website www.lancashire.police.uk in the first instance.

If you are living in our sheltered accommodation
If you are a resident living in Sheltered accommodation, our officers will be in contact with you using the ‘warden call system’ and will continue to respond to emergency requests for support and coordinating our response with Vitaline, our contractors as well as relevant statutory services.

Planned works
We are continuing external Planned Works at a number of sites and our team will be continuing to follow all relevant Health and Safety and Government guidance. 

If you have any queries you can contact the team by email at assets@bch.co.uk

MyHomeChoice
MyHomeChoice is a partnership of housing providers across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the partners are providing a limited service and may not be advertising properties at this time. For further information on this please visit the Partners Page for contact information.

Care & Repair and Adaptations
Our Care & Repair and Adaptations teams are continuing to deliver essential services whilst keeping face to face appointments to a minimum. Waiting times may increase for major adaptations and our team will be on hand to advise you of timescales. For any enquiries please contact the team on 01253 476679 or email adaptations@bch.co.uk

Queries on equipment fitting or minor adaptation works should be made to care&repair@bch.co.uk or by phone 01253 477900 select option 4 then option 2.

Right to Buy Applications
We are continuing to accept applications made by post or email however there may be a delay in processing applications whilst we work through the backlog of enquiries. We thank you for your patience during this time.

Leasehold customers
Our Homeownership team is on hand to support you and answer any queries you may have. You can contact the team on T: 01253 477900, select option 4, then hold to speak to an officer during normal office hours. If you call out of hours or our phone lines are busy, you can leave a message including a contact number if you want us to return your call. You can also contact us by emailing: homeownership@bch.co.uk.

Community centres and activities
Following guidance from the Government on limiting face to face contact with potential vulnerable people our community centres remain closed.

Green spaces, communal gardens and block cleaning
Our block cleaning service continues as normal by contractor 5-AM Contract Cleaning Ltd. Fylde Council is also continuing the winter grounds maintenance work schedule on our behalf.

Please note, when using the communal gardens please take care to adhere to the guidance on social distancing from gov.uk here

More Positive Together

If you are struggling to gain employment or worried that you may be at risk of being unemployed and would like some help to get back into work, you can contact the team by phone on 01253 477920 or email mpt@bch.co.uk

 

Please note you may experience an increase in waiting times or have to try again as our phone lines may be very busy. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience during this time.

Thank you for your co-operation and we will continue to keep you updated on our service delivery.

 

Help and advice on COVID-19
If you have any concerns about COVID-19 you should follow the NHS and Public Health England guidance.

NHS – health information and advice on COVID-19:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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1 comment

  1. Mark Elliott 29 March, 2020 at 14:38 Reply

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    As a leaseholder, I was wondering if the annual service charge bills are going to be sent out on time (ie. imminently) or if they are going to be delayed due to covid 19?

    This is just so I know not to worry about receiving a terse notice about missing payments if the bill is delayed in reaching me due to resourcing problems experienced by Royal Mail.

    Thanks.

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