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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority.

We are continually monitoring how we provide services to our customers during the ongoing pandemic. Information about our services can be found here and on our social media.

NHS and Government safety information encouraging the public to wash hands, cover face and make space

Please think about everyone’s safety when we visit your home. Here’s how you can help

 

  • Tell us as soon as possible if you or anyone in your household currently has symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding by calling 0800 131 3348 (landline) or 0300 123 3511 (mobile). This helps us to take appropriate safeguarding measures and, where appropriate, to re-plan your repair

  • Keep your distance while we are inside your home. You must make sure that you and any other household members such as children and pets stay at least 2 metres away from us at all times. You and your family should stay in another room while we are in your home. If possible, please wear a face covering.

  • Ventilation is very important. It helps prevent the virus from spreading, so please open external windows and doors whenever you can.
  • Reduce the time we are in your home by making sure you have cleared corridors and the area we need to work of any household items.

Our team may need to leave your home if they feel they are not able to work safely. They will always make sure repairs are made safe before leaving. 

Thank you for your support.

Our offices remain closed.
Housing, Homeownership and Income officers are not currently making routine appointments but instead keeping in contact with residents, as well as answering questions, by phone and email. If documents need to be signed in person, arrangements will be made to do this safely on the doorstep.

To help the Government control the spread of Coronavirus, we have taken the difficult but necessary decision to move to an emergency and urgent repairs service inside tenants’ homes only at this time. Outside repairs continue as normal.

If you have an emergency repair, please phone 0800 131 3348 (landline) or 0300 123 3511 (mobile).

If you have already logged a new routine repair through our website and haven’t received contact from us yet, please be assured we will contact you as soon as possible to give you an appointment date.

As we and our contractors are currently working through a very large backlog of works, it may take some time to offer you an appointment.

Our team may need to leave your home if they feel they are not able to work safely. They will always make sure repairs are made safe before leaving.

Please note our call takers will not be able to provide you with any further update on current repairs or chase any outstanding repairs.

Further Information

What is an Emergency repair?

Reporting a repair

COVID-19 Repairs FAQs

'How to' DIY Guides

By law, we must carry out an annual service and safety check of all Sanctuary gas appliances in your home, this includes boilers, cookers and fires. Gas safety checks are continuing as normal.

Our registered Gas Safe engineers may need access into your home for these checks, which take no longer than an hour. You do not need to have direct contact with anyone visiting your property to complete these checks.

Please follow sensible precautions to keep yourself safe when our staff are visiting your property, as outlined on our Covid-19 page.

If you are due your annual gas safety check and are self-isolating or are a shielded vulnerable patient, please let us know so we can understand how best to protect you and your family by emailing contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you live in one of our Housing for Older People (HfOP) schemes and are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms such as a new continuous cough, a temperature or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste you, and anyone you live with, should self-isolate by staying at home. You should also arrange a test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 from your phone if you have difficulties online.

Please call us on 0800 917 0092 from a landline or 0300 123 3599 from a mobile to let us know you are self-isolating so we can update our records.

The following measures are now in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all residents and staff:

  • Communal lounges remain closed 
  • Hair salons are closed
  • Scheme Managers will be reducing their presence around the scheme’s communal areas and will only attend to complete essential tasks such as the building’s weekly safety and compliance checks. At other times they will either work from home or from within a closed office
  • They will continue to make regular contact with residents via either the warden call system or by telephone (unless you have chosen to opt out of this service)
  • Your Scheme Manager will not be visiting you in your home or carrying out face to face contact
  • The Scheme Manager’s office continues to be closed to all residents and visitors; please respect this and contact your Scheme Manager by leaving a note in their office.
  • If there is a communal laundry at your scheme, please to continue to only use it at an allocated time to limit residents coming into contact with each other.

Previous arrangements that remain in place include:

  • All kitchens and libraries remain closed to both external visitors and residents
  • All coffee mornings, communal lunches and community activities continue to be suspended
  • Guest room bookings not currently being accepted
  • Posters displayed in all entrances advising visitors not to enter if they are displaying any symptoms of the virus and only to enter if the visit is essential.
  • Posters displayed asking residents showing any symptoms of the virus not to use communal facilities
  • Continuing to use our best endeavours to keep the communal areas clean and hygienic.

Please contact us if you have any queries. We are here, ready to take calls from residents 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

HM Government advice of 2 Metre distance for Covid-19

In line with government guidance, we are continuing with viewings and tenancy sign ups. However, to help limit the spread of Covid-19, we have made some changes to how we provide our services to ensure the safety of both prospective residents and our staff. 

These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Limiting the number of people that can attend viewings and sign-ups.
  • We will not enter the property with you to complete a viewing or sign up but will open the property for you, including leaving all internal doors open.
  • We will not routinely wear personal protective equipment (PPE), however, we will ensure we have washed our hands in line with government guidelines or use hand sanitiser.
  • We will maintain a minimum of two metres safe distance from you at all times.

When attending a viewing, please ensure that you have recently washed your hands or used hand sanitiser, observe social distancing at all times and avoid touching surfaces inside the property unless necessary. We would also ask that you consider wearing a face covering during the appointment.

Further information

Find available properties

We have begun contacting customers with existing mutual exchanges and tenancy change requests with a view to starting the process again.  We are currently working through a backlog of requests and appreciate your patience while you wait for us to contact you.

If you need to make a new request for a change to your tenancy, please contact us.

More information about how to apply for a mutual exchange is available below.

Further information

Contact Us Swapping your home

We are continuing to collect rent and service charges as we normally do, but it is vitally important that you let us know as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay or are worried about meeting future payments.

Wherever possible we want to avoid court action and evictions during this difficult time and we are committed to working with our customers to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account individual circumstances. We want to work with you, so please email CIT.Income@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you are unable to attend your benefit appointments, please let the Department for Work and Pensions know as soon as possible by reporting it on your online Universal Credit account.

Should you find yourself with no income due to the impact of coronavirus, if you do not already claim benefits, you may be eligible to apply for Universal Credit to help you pay your rent and service charges. You can find out more about Universal Credit and eligibility on the Money Advice Service website.

Customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied. This could include nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit, or being sent a pre-loaded top up card so that their supply is not interrupted.

More broadly, any energy customer in financial distress will also be supported by their supplier, which could include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary, while disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.

As we are spending more time together in our homes, you may be more aware of noise levels from your neighbours, such as general household noise and children playing.

Please try to be tolerant of this and consider the impact your household noise levels and behaviour may have on your neighbours.

If you are experiencing repeated issues of antisocial behaviour you can report it to us by emailing contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you are threatened with violence or are concerned for the safety of yourself or others, please call the police immediately on 999.

We will continue to manage existing antisocial behaviour cases through your preferred method of communication, providing regular updates, signposting you to helpful support networks and discussing further action where appropriate.

Although lockdown restrictions are being eased, you may still be spending a lot of time at home and this could mean a pressured situation could get worse.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.

Further information

What is domestic abuse and finding support

It’s understandable that not only our residents, but communities everywhere continued to be worried about how their lives will be affected by Covid-19.

The Government has provided guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and how we can all work together to protect older people and vulnerable adults.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, try talking to your family and friends and sharing how you feel. If you are worried that you may need more help, the following support is available:

The Mental Health Foundation has useful information on how to look after your mental health and it can be found on their dedicated website page.

Free 24-hour listening support

Samaritans is available to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.

Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line.

In a life-threatening emergency, you should dial 999.

The national lockdown in March 2020 led to restrictions in accessing homes and we had to prioritise critical works, resulting in a significant delay to our planned programme of reinvestment work.

We also had to develop new working practices so we could continue to ensure the safety of you, your family and our colleagues. In addition, we experienced difficulties in sourcing key materials.

Although we have started to reschedule planned works, considerable delays remain as we try to address the backlog, while working as safely as possible.

We appreciate how frustrating any hold-ups must be for you and would like to thank you for your patience. We realise how important reinvestment work is and we are constantly reviewing our approach in line with any local and national restrictions.

If you have any questions about reinvestment work you believe should have been planned for your home, please complete our contact form.

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COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority.

Information about our services can be found on our Covid-19 page and on our social media.

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