Coronavirus update - Friday 19 February

On Monday, the Prime Minister is due to tell us how the country will go about lifting lockdown restrictions. 

Early indications suggest that things will begin to be relaxed from Monday 8 March, when the priority will be to re-open schools. It’s not yet clear how this will happen but we expect to know more on Monday.

You can read the government’s latest guidance here.

The local situation

Plymouth City Council’s Public Health Team is reporting a significant drop in the number of people testing positive for Coronavirus in recent weeks. 

Rates in the city are currently 63 per 100,000, having fallen from a peak of 330. This compares really well to the England figure of 175. We are also seeing a reduction in the number of people who are being admitted to hospital.

This is positive news and testament to the efforts of everyone following the lockdown rules. It’s incredibly important that we carry on doing what we have been to make sure infections continue to fall. 

Please keep following ‘hands, face, space’ measures.

Rent letters

Please keep an eye out for your annual rent letters, which will be delivered to your homes next week. These set out what your rent and services charges will be from 5 April.

Welcome Carl

We’d like to issue a warm welcome to Carl Brazier, who joins PCH next month as our new Director for Homes and Neighbourhoods.

Carl will oversee services including: repairs, asset management, community engagement, housing with support, income management, leaseholders, commercial lets and housing management.

He comes to us from Stoke-on-Trent Council where he has worked for six years as Director of Housing and Customer Service, responsible for all housing functions including 18,000 homes, city-wide anti-social behaviour and community cohesion, IT, libraries, museums, culture, local centres and the Council’s Contact Centre.

You can read more about Carl and his appointment here.

Lockdown Legends

Do you know a Lockdown Legend? We’d love to hear about the amazing people who have gone the extra mile to support you, your neighbours or your local community. It could be an individual, community group or charity who you would like to thank and deserve recognition for the help they’ve given. You will give your Lockdown Legend the chance to win one of five top prizes of £50, or five runner’s up prizes of £20. 

Click here to tell us who has supported you or your community by sending us the details below:

Their name and contact details 

Why you’re nominating the above person(s)/group?

Your name and contact details

The deadline for entries is Friday 19 March. If you’d like help completing the form or to nominate someone by phone, please email communitiesteam@plymouthcommunityhomes.co.uk or phone 0808 230 6500. The winners will be chosen by our management team. 

Please check with the person(s) you are nominating to make sure they are happy for their details to be shared with, and to be contacted by PCH.

Garages to rent

Did you know that we own 2,750 garages and parking spaces across Plymouth?

They're available to rent on a weekly basis and you don't have to be a PCH resident to apply.

See our locations and join our waiting list.

Services update

The following temporary changes to our services have been made until further notice.

Repairs

  • We will revert to essential repairs in your homes during the lockdown but we will continue to do external repairs wherever possible.
  • You will still be able to request a future non-essential repair.
  • Any new non-essential repairs inside your homes will be booked after lockdown.
  • If you already have a routine repair booked to take place in your home during lockdown, we will call you if we need to rearrange it.

If you are due to be visited by a member of our staff, please remember the following:

  • We ask our staff to observe two-metre social distancing with residents where possible.
  • We ask our staff to wear a suitable face covering when entering a resident's home.
  • We will ask you if you or anyone in your home is suffering from Covid-19 symptoms before we arrive.
  • When a repair is being carried out at your home please move to a different room and allow our operatives to complete the repair. 

Safety checks

  • Safety checks in residents’ homes and buildings will continue.

Work on our estates and site visits

  • Flytipping removal and clearance will continue.
  • Outdoor environmental services will continue.
  • Stairwell cleaning will continue.
  • Laundries will remain open with social distancing in place. 
  • Outdoor playgrounds remain open.
  • Community rooms will remain closed.

 Allocations, lettings, mutual exchanges and sales

  • Allocations, lettings, mutual exchanges and sales will continue and will be carried out virtually.
  • Only when firm offers are made/final viewings needed will people be able to visit properties.

Sheltered housing

  • Services will be reduced to minimise visits and contact by staff.
  • Essential and statutory building safety checks in schemes will continue.
  • Face coverings will be worn by any staff entering a scheme.
  • Housing with Support welfare and support checks will be over the phone or virtual. Officers will only visit sites in emergencies.
  • Communal lounges and guest rooms in sheltered housing schemes are closed.
  • Regular enhanced cleaning of sheltered schemes will continue.

Regeneration and construction sites

  • Work will continue as planned in line with Government guidance.

Community engagement and resident involvement

  • All face to face community activities, groups and consultations, indoor and outdoor, will cease and be replaced by on-line activities.

Housing, Leasehold and Income Officer visits

  • Essential visits only – contact to be over the phone or virtual wherever possible.

PCH buildings

  • Plumer House and our City Centre Shop will remain closed to the public.
  • The Beacon will remain closed to the public, commercial tenants will continue to use it and any other activities will stop unless exempt from the lockdown. 

Rent and payment changes

We’re 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. 

We’re still here to help – ways to contact us

  • The easiest way to manage your tenancy from a distance is by using MyPCH.
  • Webchat is live every week day on our website from 10am until 4pm.
  • You can fill out a contact form.
  • You can call us on 0808 230 6500.
  • Or stay up to date with service announcements and other PCH news, follow us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Other places 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.

Thank you for your continued support and patience, and stay safe.