Coronavirus update - Friday 10 July

Further changes have been announced to lockdown rules.

From 11 July, you can take part in certain sports and visit swimming pools and outdoor water parks as well as watch live outdoor performances.

From 13 July nail bars, salons, tanning booths, massage parlours and body piercing studios can open.

And from 25 July, gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks will be allowed to reopen – subject to evidence nearer the time.

For the full list of what you can and can’t do, please read the government guidelines.

Homes at the Heart

We’re supporting the National Housing Federation’s Homes at the Heart campaign, which is calling on the government to put housing at the heart of the country’s post-pandemic recovery.

Our services

Repairs

We will be re-opening our repairs lines from 20 July for routine, as well as emergency, repairs.

We currently have a backlog of around 1,400 routine repairs jobs that were postponed at the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

We have put in place a queuing system which means residents waiting the longest for a routine repair will get booked in first. We aim to have booked in the backlog of repairs by 24 July.

Anyone with an outstanding routine repair will receive a letter or phone call over the coming weeks with a pre-arranged appointment slot. If you need to change your appointment, please call in to re-book.

There will be delays for new routine repairs bookings whilst we clear the backlog.

We’d like to thank all our residents for their patience. Our Contact Centre is very busy at the moment and staff are working hard to speak to as many people as they can each day.

There are other ways of getting in touch – you can create a MyPCH account which also lets you pay your rent or check your balance.

You can also talk to us on our web chat function on our website or fill out a contact form and you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Isolation flags

We have agreed a plan to remove isolation flags from residents’ accounts to make sure we continue to hold accurate and up-to-date information to help us go about our business in the safest possible ways.

We’ve split the categories into two – flags for residents under 70 and flags for residents over 70, which is based on the different risk categories.

If you’re under 70 and previously advised us you are self-isolating or shielding, you will have received a letter this week letting you know we will be removing the isolation flag from your account and resuming normal appointment booking from Monday 20 July.

You will be asked to contact us if there is a reason why the flag should not be removed.

The second wave of letters will be sent to residents over 70 who have similarly been in touch with us. These will be sent from 2 August when changes to the government guidance about shielding come into effect.

Please be assured we are following government guidance regarding measures that are in place to keep you safe. 

If you call us to ask that we keep a flag on your account, but have not had a test for Coronavirus, we will ask you to get tested. 

Only those residents who test positively for Coronavirus, or those told to self-isolate as part of the government’s ‘Track and Trace’ scheme, will have flags added to their account in future. These will be in place for the recommended 14 days, at which time we will automatically remove them from the account unless told otherwise.

Parks and outdoor courts

Our parks, outdoor courts and playgrounds reopened last week and there will be signs up asking people to keep a safe social distance and sanitise before and after using equipment.

Please follow these signs to keep you and your children safe. We will be cleaning the equipment daily.

Housing Management

Our team has restarted essential visits. We’ll be concentrating on new sign-ups and progressing mutual exchanges. By doing these types of visits first it will particularly benefit customers who have been waiting to move to new homes.

To bid on a home, go to Devon Home Choice.

Development and Sales

All our development sites are now open although operating more slowly under the new procedures. We continue to market and sell our shared ownership homes. If you are interested in a shared ownership home, please visit www.so-living.co.uk

Our buildings

Our city centre shop, Plumer House and the Beacon remain closed until further notice.

Housing with Support and Sheltered Schemes

The care alarm service is operating as normal – please ensure you wear your pendant at all times.

Communal lounges and guest rooms remain closed for the moment and we strongly advise you not to gather in groups anywhere on schemes. Visitors should be attending for essential visits only.

Residents involved online

We will continue to provide our resident involvement and learning opportunities online until further notice.

Our Learn for Free courses and other clubs and events can be found on our website.

Laundries

Laundries remain open so residents can do their washing. Please remember to stay at least two metres away from other people while using the laundries.

Rent and finances

We are committed to making sure that we can help you so it’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you have any money worries. We’d like to reassure our residents that we will not evict anyone due to a loss of income as a result of Coronavirus. Call us on 0808 230 6500.

Where to turn to for help

We’re working with police teams on reports of anti-social behaviour which you can report to us on 0808 230 6500 or 0800 028 7377 (out of hours). 

If things are getting too much, don’t suffer in silence. You can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 200 0247 or the Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service on 0800 458 2558. There’s also information here.

Test and trace

There’s information on this NHS service on the government’s website.

These have been testing times for everyone and as restrictions are gradually being lifted, it is as important as ever, to continue to follow the latest government advice. Thank you for your continued support and patience, and stay safe.