Coronavirus update – Monday 23 March

We’d like to thank our residents and commercial tenants for their patience and co-operation during these difficult times.

It’s incredibly important we play our part in following the strong advice given by Government over the weekend to limit all non-essential travel and social contact.

We’re taking this advice very seriously and to ensure we’re doing our bit to limit the spread of the virus, we’ve made the changes below to our services to help keep our staff and residents safe.

Responsive repairs 

We’re limiting our repairs service to emergency jobs only. This is to make sure we are only visiting residents’ homes where it is absolutely necessary.

Below is a guide to the kind of issues we consider as emergency repairs:

  • Uncontainable roof or water leaks
  • Blocked or damaged flue or chimney
  • Total loss of heating (November to May)
  • No electricity
  • Total loss of water
  • Dangerous or exposed wires
  • Blocked, leaking or damaged toilet
  • Report of gas leak or carbon monoxide alarm sounding

Essential safety check visits 

We will continue to carry out our usual safety checks in your homes, such as gas checks. We will follow the safety and hygiene steps below when we do this and if you or someone in your home is self-isolating, we will rebook the visit for after 14 days’ time. 

Safety and hygiene steps

Our staff will be following the steps below if we are due to visit your home to help keep them and you safe:

  • If you contact us to report an emergency repair, we will ask you if you or anyone you are living with are ill or self-isolating.
  • If we have booked an appointment with you, we will text or call beforehand to check whether everyone in your household is still well.
  • When staff arrive at your home, they will be asking if everyone in your household is well before entering.
  • When carrying out any repairs, our staff will ask you to leave the room where they will be working if at all possible.
  • We’ve asked our staff to wash their hands before entering your home and any time they leave. They have their own washing facilities to be able to do this.
  • Please don’t be offended by any of the actions above – we’ve asked staff to do this to help keep them and you safe, and to try to limit the spread of the virus.

Building closures

All PCH buildings are now closed to the public including:

  • Plumer House (our headquarters)
  • The PCH city centre shop
  • The Beacon (except to tenants and their visitors)

Environmental services

We are prioritising the work we do to manage our estates and buildings due to the availability of staff:

We will continue to carry out the following essential work:

  • Opening and closing laundries – our usual safety checks
  • Getting bins pulled out
  • Where possible, clean and wipe down surfaces/handles and rails.
  • Keep stairwells free of fire hazards and check lights are working
  • Cleaning Housing with Support Schemes
  • Void clearances and cleaning
  • Playground inspections

All grounds maintenance works, including bungalows and assisted gardens, will be suspended until further notice.

Events and training

All PCH events and training have been cancelled. This includes clubs at Plumer House and in community settings.

Difficulty paying rent due to income loss through Coronavirus

Residential tenants

  • If working residents are having difficulty paying their rent due to a loss of income as a result of the Coronavirus, please call us as soon as possible. We have made a commitment not to evict anyone in these specific circumstances.

Commercial tenants

  • If commercial tenants are having difficulty paying their rent due to a loss of income as a result of the Coronavirus, please call us as soon as possible. We will work with businesses to explore options.

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’ve closed all communal rooms.
  • We’d ask people with relatives in our sheltered schemes to limit visits to essential only.
  • 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 the safety and hygiene steps outlined above.

Other changes to services

  • Our staff will be cancelling face to face meetings wherever possible and asking you if they can speak with you over the phone or by video call instead.
  • Only essential face to face meetings will take place.
  • As our phone lines are likely to be very busy, we’d ask residents to use our digital ways of contacting us including our website forms and using the MyPCH self-service portal.

Keep yourself and your families safe

  • Please ensure you follow national guidance to help keep you and your families safe. You can find all the official advice here.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and co-operation.