Community

Coronavirus – Advice for our residents

Coronavirus – Advice for our residents

UPDATED: 18 May 2020

On 23 March 2020, the Government announced a lockdown with travel to and from work only if absolutely necessary because of the coronavirus. Our offices closed on 24 March 2020.  On 16 April 2020 the Government extended the lockdown by three weeks.

On 10 May 2020 the Prime Minister announced a partial relaxation of the lockdown.  All our employees have been asked to stay at home unless they:

  • are site‐based and work in supported or extra care schemes;
  • undertake fire safety, electrical checks or gas servicing in general needs properties;
  • undertake void works or carry out emergency repairs.

While we continue to monitor Government advice closely, we do our best to operate as close to normal but we might not achieve our usual service standards. We wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Your safety and the safety of our employees has always been our priority. Rest assured that at Jigsaw Group we continue to maintain services to our most vulnerable residents and essential services to other tenants and service users.

You may have started noticing more of our vans and operatives out and about in your neighbourhood. We continue to carry out Emergency and Urgent Repairs, Gas Safety and Electrical Safety checks to your homes. In line with Government advice we are also resuming, in a limited way, some more of our maintenance services. Read on for more details below.

Repairs service

Since 24 March 2020, we have been operating an ‘emergencies plus’ repairs service.   From 18 May 2020 and as an extension to the ‘emergency plus’ service, we will also be undertaking all urgent repairs. Where these are required in properties with people who have symptoms and are self‐isolating, we are providing additional safety precautions to protect our employees who attend. Where it is safe to do so, we will also be undertaking external repairs that do not require our technicians to enter the property.

Please only call us about maintenance when you need to report an emergency or urgent repair. When requesting a repair please advise us if you or anybody in household is shielding / vulnerable etc. In households where someone is isolating due to having COVID – 19 symptoms or has been advised to shield we will only carry out repairs to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. In these cases our operative will wear PPE including face mask and gloves.

Our emergency repairs criteria are:

  • complete failure of gas central heating and hot water
  • electrical failure to property (none appliance related)
  • plumbing leaks that cannot be controlled or isolated
  • blocked toilets where sewage is overflowing into the property
  • insecure entrance doors
  • responding to flooded properties
  • responding to property fires
  • suspected gas leaks
  • CO alarm activations
  • faulty smoke alarms
  • dangerous electrics as a result of water ingress
  • broken and insecure windows
  • dangerous structures
  • failure of warden call system
  • loss of communal/emergency lighting
  • statutory testing around emergency lighting, fire alarms and water hygiene.

Our Urgent repairs criteria are:

  • Blocked drains and toilets (rechargeable to tenant)
  • Partial loss of communal lighting
  • Roof leaks where water is present
  • Partial heating or hot water failure
  • Leaking boiler/radiators
  • Faulty door locks, handles and closers
  • Faulty communal aerial

What to expect when we attend a repair or maintenance appointment:

  • Upon arrival our operative will display their official identification but a distance of at least 2 metres.
  • They will ask you to confirm that everyone in the house is currently feeling well
  • Please ensure that you and other members of your household maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres from the operative at all times. If this can’t be achieved the repair may not be able to be completed.
  • Please ensure that children and pets are removed from the area of repair.
  • Please open doors and windows in the area of repair if possible.
  • Please do not offer our operative tea, coffee or other refreshments.
  • Please do not hand or pass anything to the operative.
  • You may notice that our operative washes their hands more than you might normally expect. Don’t be alarmed, this is in line with current Government guidelines.
  • You may notice that our operative washes or wipes down an object or surface before handling, again don’t be alarmed, this is in line with current Government guidelines.
  • If our operative needs to discuss aspects of the repair with you they may ask to speak to you outside of the property.
  • If your repair requires more than one visit we will send the same operative where this is achievable.
  • For most routine tasks (where none of the household has symptoms of COVID – 19 or is shielding) our operatives are not required to wear face masks, again this is in line with current Government workplace guidelines.

Gas and electrical safety checks

Following the Government’s advice our gas and electrical safety checks are continuing and we will contact you to make an appointment if your home is due a visit. We understand that many of our residents may be fearful of allowing our engineers to enter their homes during the pandemic, however, we can assure you that these essential checks are to ensure the continued safety of you and your family. Our operatives will only be required to enter rooms where your appliances are present and will ensure social distance is maintained at all times.

Rent payment and money advice

If you have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and are struggling to pay your rent, we’re here to help. Please call our Connect contact service, who can arrange for you to speak to our expert money advice team.  If you are one of our customers who pays their own rent, you can also expect to receive a call from a member of our team to discuss rent payment.

If you’re claiming benefits or need information about a new claim because of coronavirus, we have updated our welfare reform page with FAQs based on government advice. https://www.aksahomes.co.uk/information-article/changes-to-your-benefits-welfare-reform

Further information can be found at the following pages:

If you haven’t already, we would encourage you to register for our online services.

Anti-social behaviour

Our tenancy safety team can be contacted, via Connect, to discuss any problems with nuisance or noise that you may be experiencing.

Independent Living Schemes

Residents in our independent and retirement living schemes continue to receive regular welfare checks as well as the usual caretaking service.

Void works

Where it is possible to do so safely, our operatives will be working on refurbishing our current empty homes to enable them to be ready for when new tenants are able to move in. 

Lettings

The Government has advised against home moves wherever possible. In light of this guidance, Jigsaw Group will only be progressing lettings that are urgent or health and safety-related. Please only contact us about moving into a property if this is the case. We are continuing to process applications for re-housing so that we are able to start letting properties promptly when the Government’s restrictions are lifted. We will work with you in the best way possible, while adhering to the latest measures in place on safe distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.

Neighbourhood activities

All our events across the neighbourhoods where we work, are cancelled with immediate effect. Please check our website for future updates on Neighbourhood activity. We wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Grounds Maintenance

Following the Government’s advice on social distancing, we have made some changes to the way we carry out grounds maintenance during the current coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.  As always, our main priority is the health and wellbeing of our customers and staff.   In the short term this means there will be a reduced number of site visits with focus on grass cutting and when it is possible our operatives will spend more time on site to ensure the grounds are brought back up to the usual high standard.

Offices and Customer Hubs closed

None of the Group’s offices are open and our employees have been asked to stay and work from home unless they:

  • are site-based and work in independent living, supported schemes or extra care schemes
  • carry out fire safety checks in general needs properties
  • carry out emergency repairs; or
  • they work for statutory services we provide.

Our employees will use phone and video-conferencing to communicate with customers, colleagues and partners where possible.  Please do not visit our offices.  If you have an urgent need to contact us during this time, please call us or chat with us on our website.

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