Updated 21 May 2020
Important change to the Repairs & Maintenance Service from Tuesday 26 May 2020
As you will be aware, we have been following the Government’s health and safety advice during the lockdown and have only been carrying out emergency repairs and urgent gas and electrical safety checks/repair work.
Earlier this week, as part of the gradual easing of the lockdown, the Government issued new advice and is now encouraging landlords to carry out routine, as well as urgent and emergency repairs for most of their customers. You can read the letter from the Minister of State for Housing, addressed to all social housing residents in England, via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-letter-to-social-housing-residents.
Therefore, from Tuesday 26 May, we will be operating a full repairs and maintenance service. As you will appreciate, we will be dealing with a substantial backlog of repairs and therefore it might take us a little bit longer than normal to deal with your repair. Priority will obviously be given to more urgent repairs and we would ask for your patience and understanding during this period.
Please note that we will not carry out any non-urgent repairs inside your property if you or any member of your household is isolating or shielding. If this is the case, please call us to log your repair and to tell us when it will be safe for us to arrange to visit. We can then make a note to check back with you nearer the time. Any external repairs, such as guttering or fencing repairs, which can be carried out without the need to enter your home, will be attended to as normal.
We will also be continuing with our programme of gas and electrical safety checks and would ask that you continue to provide access for these, and any other essential safety checks, to go ahead.
All of all our maintenance operatives will be working in accordance with the Government’s latest advice on working safely during the Coronavirus outbreak. This will include maintaining a safe distance (at least 2 metres) and using the appropriate PPE e.g. gloves. In some cases, additional PPE will need to be worn, for example, if you or a household member are experiencing symptoms of the virus. As always, our maintenance contractor will arrange a convenient date with you for them to visit and will, on the day, notify you in advance when they will be arriving.
We would ask you to help us to protect you, members of your household and our operatives by maintaining a safe distance (preferably by moving into a different room) to the one where the operative is working. If our contractor does not feel the repair can be carried out safely, they will leave the property. For everyone’s security, we would also ask you to remove any valuables from the room/s where our operatives are working unsupervised.
Finally, we would like to reassure you that whilst we are keen to resume a full repairs and maintenance service, we only want to do this in a way which protects the safety and well-being of our customers, our staff and our maintenance operatives. Should you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice. You can contact us in the usual ways – by telephone (01494 480340) or via email (email@example.com).
Updated 5 May 2020
As we enter Week 7 of the lockdown, we thought we should recap on the services Bucks Housing is continuing to provide at the current time. Please be assured that the changes we have made to our services are to limit the spread of the virus and to protect the well-being, health and safety of residents, contractors and staff, whilst ensuring that essential services continue as normally as they can.
Although our office in Stokenchurch remains closed, all our staff are set up to work fully from home. Please continue to use our usual phone number (01494 480340) and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to contact us.
All non-urgent home visits remain suspended but please call us if you need urgent advice or assistance with any issue.
We continue to operate an emergency repairs service only. If you’re not sure if your repair is an emergency, please call us for advice. If we think the repair can wait until we are operating a full service again, we will log it to pass on to our contractors when our full service is resumed. Alternatively, please make a note of your non-urgent repairs and report these when the situation improves. It is, however, very important that you allow us access to your home to carry out any safety-critical gas and electricity safety checks / work. If you contact us to report an emergency repair, or to request any other service requiring an urgent visit by a member of our staff, we will ask you some brief questions about your health. Please don’t be offended by these questions, which we will be asking all of our customers before arranging a visit to your home. It’s important that everyone works together to reduce the spread of the virus.
If you’re having difficulties paying your rent, or you have any concerns about your ability to pay your rent during the current crisis, please contact us for advice – we’re here to help.
Older and vulnerable residents
Using information provided by residents themselves, we have identified a number of residents who we thought may appreciate a telephone call from staff. This is just to check that they are managing to cope during the lockdown and to see whether there is any support we’re able to provide or arrange. These calls are being made over the next week or so. However, if you are struggling with anything and you think we may be able to help, or you just need to hear a friendly voice, please do get in touch with us. Our staff will happily try to help or should be able to point you in the direction of someone who can. We would also please ask you to keep an eye out for your neighbours during this difficult time, particularly older or vulnerable people. Should you have any concerns about their welfare, please let us know and we will try to contact them or alert other agencies to try to help.
We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will provide any further service updates on this page, so please check back regularly. All the latest information, advice and facts about the Coronavirus are available on the gov.uk website .
Updated 4 May 2020
New websites launched to help jobseekers
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on many parts of the labour market, with some sectors reducing in size and others expanding rapidly. To help jobseekers find work in new areas and employers tap into new labour markets, the Government has launched jobhelp. This offers labour market information for people looking for work now.
Updated 29 April 2020
Do you want to learn a new skill while you are at home? You can find free, high quality digital and numeracy courses in The Skills Toolkit. The resources are aimed to suit a range of interests and different skill levels. For further information, click on the following link – https://theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk/
Updated 21 April 2020
A new mental health helpline has been launched to take pressure off 111 for mental health advice in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The round-the-clock helpline will make it quicker and easier to get the right advice. Adults should call 01865 904997, children and young people should call 01865 904998.
More information can be found here – https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/news/24-7-mental-health-helpline-replaces-111-in-oxfordshire-and-buckinghamshire/
Updated 14 April 2020
Thames Valley Police has issued advice for those who may be at increased risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic. Please follow this link .
Updated 6 April 2020
Please find links below to useful information issued on Coronavirus by the two local authorities covering our areas of operation:
The new unitary authority for Buckinghamshire – https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/
Slough Borough Council – https://www.slough.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/coronavirus.aspx
If you are confined to your home, the following links can help you find volunteer groups and other services in your local area that can provide help and support:
Updated 31 March 2020
The government has released new guidance providing advice to landlords and tenants on the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020, and further advice for landlords, tenants and local authorities more broadly about their rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Updated 24 March 2020
In light of the current crisis around the Coronavirus pandemic and, in response to Government advice and guidelines, we want to make you aware of some changes we’re making to the way we work and to the services we provide to you, our customers.
The well-being, health and safety of all customers, contractors and staff is our first priority. However, we also want to ensure that our essential services to customers continue as normally as they possibly can at this difficult time.
We’re making some changes to limit the spread of the virus, the most significant of which is that we will, for the time being, only be responding to emergency repair requests. This is so that our staff and contractors can concentrate on responding to the most urgent repairs and so that, in order to protect everyone, fewer home visits need to be made. We are also suspending all non-urgent home visits by our staff.
We would ask that, during the current crisis, you only report emergency repairs. Please make a note of any non-emergency repairs you want to report for when the situation improves. This will free up our staff to deal with other, more urgent priorities.
If you’re having difficulties paying your rent or you have any concerns about your ability to pay your rent during the current crisis, please contact us for advice – we’re here to help.
The Government’s health advice is that, if you live alone and have symptoms of the virus (a high temperature or a new continuous cough), however mild, you must stay at home and away from other people for 7 days from the day your symptoms first appear. If you live with others, and you or one of them have these symptoms, then all household members must stay at home for 14 days. This advice is in addition to the most recent Government order to stay at home except in very specific circumstances.
If you or a member of your household is showing any symptoms and is self-isolating, or if you or anyone in your household has been confirmed as having Covid-19, please make us aware on 01494 480340 so that we don’t put you, our staff or our contractors at risk.
We also understand the heightened concern you will have about people coming into your home and we are therefore cancelling all non-emergency repairs orders that have already been issued. We will notify you if this affects you. It is, however, very important that you allow us access to your home to carry out any safety-critical gas and electricity safety checks/work.
If you contact us to report an emergency repair or to request any other service requiring an urgent visit by a member of our staff, we will ask you some brief questions about your health. Please don’t be offended by these questions, which we will be asking ALL of our customers before arranging a visit to your home. It’s important that everyone works together to reduce the spread of the virus.
In line with the latest Government advice, we’ve made arrangements for all our staff to work from home and to avoid all non-essential, personal contact with customers by using email or telephone instead. Our office is now closed to customers and to members of the public. Please contact us by email (email@example.com) or telephone (01494 480340). We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will provide any further service updates on this page, so please check back regularly. All the latest information, advice and facts about the Coronavirus are available on the gov.uk website .
Finally, whilst observing the Government’s latest order to stay at home, we would also please ask you to keep an eye out for your neighbours during this difficult time, particularly the elderly or vulnerable. Should you have any concerns about their welfare, please let us know and we will try to contact them or alert other agencies to try to help.
The situation is clearly changing very rapidly, so we’ll keep in touch and continue to review the service levels we’re able to offer on a daily basis. Please rest assured that we’ll do as much as we can to minimise the impact on our services to customers but please bear with us whilst we all adjust to a different way of working over the coming weeks and months.