Local lockdown guidelines - what has changed in your area?
We have made changes to our services for residents who may be affected by a local lockdown imposed by the Government to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
For all other residents, we have a dedicated webpage with more details about our services at this time.
More information about service changes for local lockdowns can be found below and we will, of course, continue to monitor the situation daily and review accordingly.
During a local lockdown, our offices will remain closed to all visitors.
Housing, Homeownership and Income officers will not make routine appointments but we will continue to be in contact with the more vulnerable in our community by phone or email. We are focussed on ensuring that everyone we support, or who works for us, stays safe.
You can still contact us by calling, texting or filling out our online form. Visit our Contact Us page for more information about how to do this.
During a local lockdown, we will only be able to carry out emergency repairs.
An emergency repair is:
- No heating and/or hot water - Total loss of both heating and hot water with either no electric shower, or a vulnerable resident
- Uncontainable leak
- Dangerous electrical fault
- Disturbed asbestos
- Essential adaptations failures
- Replacement of gas cylinders (to avoid the loss of heating and hot water)
- Property insecurity
When you contact us about your emergency repair, we will ask you some questions about your current situation and whether you are self-isolating or have an underlying health issue. This is so that we can understand how best to protect you and your family, as well as the member of staff who will attend your home.
If you have a repair in or outside your home but it is not an emergency, then please delay reporting this repair until the local lockdown is lifted.
If we have not listed the repair in the above list of emergency repairs, then we would not currently class it as an emergency.
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 in public health guidance found here www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in one of our Housing for Older People schemes and are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms or are worried about how the virus might affect you, please let us know via the warden call system or by calling us on 0800 917 0092 (0300 123 3599 from a mobile).
To comply with local lockdown guidelines set out by the Government, we have put in place the following measures:
- All communal lounges, kitchens, libraries and common rooms will be closed to both external visitors and residents.
- All coffee mornings, communal lunches and community activities will be suspended.
- Guest room bookings will not be accepted.
- If there is a communal laundry at your scheme, you will be asked to only use this at allocated times to limit the number of residents coming into contact with each other at any one time.
- Non-essential visits to our properties should not take place.
- We will not be visiting you in your homes or carrying out face to face contact to limit the spread of the virus.
During a local lockdown, we will continue to carry out regular checks of our buildings to ensure safety and compliance and we will make regular contact with you via the warden call system or telephone. We will continue to keep the communal areas clean and hygienic.
Please do not approach staff that are on site and make sure you maintain social distancing. Please feel free to wave or say hello, and if you need any assistance please ask them to call you when they leave the site.
We will be operating a limited lettings service during a local lockdown, working with the local authority and other relevant bodies to provide emergency accommodation for the most vulnerable people and those that need safe and secure accommodation or are overcrowded in their current homes.
We will monitor the situation and will review our operations in line with government advice.
We are contacting any customers who are currently in the middle of the lettings process with us. If you have any questions about your application or have any urgent concerns regarding your current housing situation, please email email@example.com.
All existing mutual exchanges and tenancy changes have been put on hold and letters have been sent to everyone affected. We will be in contact again when we can restart the process and will aim to complete these as quickly as possible.
If you wish to make a new request, your options are to wait until normal service resumes or send your details to us and we will keep a record of them and contact you when we are able to process your mutual exchange/tenancy change.
If you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Since 19 March 2020 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.
During a local lockdown you might be spending a lot of time at home and this may mean a pressured situation could get worse.
If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.
If you are not in immediate danger but would like to talk to someone about something you or someone you know is experiencing, please contact one of these organisations.
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.