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Coronavirus residents update – Monday 20 April

We would like to say a massive thank you to all our residents as we approach week 5 of lockdown. Your support and understanding during these extremely testing times has been brilliant, and your appreciation of our efforts is what has kept us going.

 

We’ve quickly reshaped how we work over the past five weeks and want to keep you up-to-date with the changes we continue to make as this situation develops. As always, our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff and residents, and we make any changes with this foremost in our minds.

Our services

Emergency repairs

We continue to provide around 60 emergency repairs per day to residents, which you can report on 0808 230 6500.

If your repair is not an emergency, please take a look at our helpful video repair guides.

Reporting anti-social behaviour

We’re still working with local Police teams and acting on reports of ASB (anti-social behaviour), which you can report to us on 0808 230 6500.

Fly-tipping

We’ve re-started our efforts to keep our communities clean and clear with a limited Rangers Service. They will be responding to reports of fly-tipping on PCH land where possible, which you can report to us on 0808 230 6500.

Non-emergency issues

To tell us about any issues that are not emergency repairs, ASB or fly-tipping, you can use MyPCH or our online form.  

Supporting our residents and communities

Sheltered housing schemes

It is particularly important that we limit the potential spread of the Coronavirus in our sheltered housing schemes, as it is more likely that people living there will fall into one of the vulnerable groups highlighted by Government.

  • We’d ask people with relatives in our sheltered schemes not to visit unless it is to provide essential care/support.
  • Our staff will only visit in person when there is emergency or essential action needed.
  • Our staff will be staying in contact with residents by phone or video call wherever possible.
  • Our staff will follow safety and hygiene precautions in line with Government guidance.

Home safety checks

We’re continuing essential home safety checks, such as gas and legionella, to make sure that we provide important services that help to make sure our properties are safe for our residents. This is what the Government have made it clear we need to do during this time.

Our teams will be following social distancing and health and safety rules whilst they are carrying out these works to protect themselves and you, and to make sure we’re doing our bit to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

It is important that you all follow these rules and keep a least 2 metres away from visiting staff.

Calls to older and vulnerable residents

Neighbourhood housing teams are calling around 2,500 non-sheltered tenants who are aged over 70. So far, we’ve talked to 1,545 people and 227 needed further help, which we are arranging.

Domestic abuse

Our teams have also been working with PDAS (Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service) and the Police to support people at risk of domestic abuse.

More information about PDAS and the support available can be found here.

Rent and finances

Our rents team have made and received a total of 2,556 calls over the past couple of weeks to offer financial advice and support to residents.

We are committed to making sure that we help you so it’s vitally important that you contact us as soon as possible if you have money worries.

It is important that you keep paying your rent. The team are there to help you if you are having difficulties and will do everything they can to support you. We are following government advice about evictions and will not evict anybody where we know that they are in difficulties as a direct result of loss of income from the Coronavirus.

Our teams are available on 0808 230 6500.

Resident groups go on-line

The Communities Team has changed the way it works to bring residents groups, clubs and learning on-line.

The virtual groups, including regular Tea and Toast chat groups and free learning courses are helping residents to stay in touch through the wonderful world of technology.

If you are a resident who is lonely, isolated, struggling mentally or just plain bored, please contact us to find out how you could take part in our on-line activities by emailing communitiesteam@plymouthcommunityhomes.co.uk.

Laundries

Laundries are across our estates are open so residents can do their washing. Please remember to stay at least 2 metres away from other people when using the laundries for your safety and the safety of other residents.

Read more in the Government’s social distancing guidelines.

Supporting the city

Charity donations

We’ve provided significant funding to five local food charities including:

Tamar Grow Local

Plymouth Age UK

Devon and Cornwall Food Action

Plymouth Foodbank

Provide Devon (referrals only)

We already have links to these charities including providing food parcels to our residents in need and those involved in the New Home, New You scheme.

Our donations will help these charities to continue to support our residents and others in need across the city at this difficult time, and when the charities themselves are under financial pressure.

If you or someone you know needs access to help from any of these charities then you can click on the name of the charity to be put through to their website.

We have provided a further £250 to the Shekinah Mission in response to a request for 10 local businesses to contribute to a fund for radios, kettles and other home essentials to re-house homeless people in the city.

Suppliers and contractors

We’re working with our contractors and suppliers to make sure we offer swift payment to those continuing to provide services during a time of financial pressure for local businesses.

Breaking Government guidelines

If you know of anyone holding gatherings at their home or having unnecessary visitors against the Government’s social distancing guidelines please report it to the Police on 101.

Scam awareness

We’ve been making our residents aware of scams going around at the moment and reminding them to be vigilant and not to give out personal information unless to a trusted source.

Be aware of any callers at your home - anyone from PCH will be carrying an identification badge with a phone number on to verify who they are.

If you receive a phone call from PCH then please feel free to call back on 0808 230 6500 to check the caller is from PCH. 

Providing homes

Homes for the homeless

We’ve re-started our work to bring empty homes back into circulation to house people in the city at risk of becoming homeless. We are working with our partners in the Council to receive specific housing requests so we prepare properties to order.

We are currently preparing 26 empty properties for new tenants who are at risk of becoming homeless.

Development and regeneration works

All our development and regeneration sites are currently paused, including works at the three Mount Wise Towers. We will be looking at which of our sites could safely re-start in line with Government guidance over the coming weeks to ensure that we continue to provide new homes for people in the city and ensure our existing homes meet the high standards we set at PCH.

Staying in touch

Please be assured that we will continue to do whatever we can to support our tenants, especially those who are older or vulnerable.

You can use our self-service portal ‘MyPCH’ to check your rent balance and make contact with us.

We’d also encourage residents to stay up-to-date with the latest PCH news by following us on Facebook or Twitter and visiting our website.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and co-operation in these unprecedented times.