Coronavirus: a further update from Teign Housing

Due to the situation the UK is facing following the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) we have an important update for all residents.

The health and wellbeing of all our residents, staff and communities around us continues to be our main priority and we recognise that this is an uncertain and worrying time for many people.

The situation is changing rapidly, so this information is correct as of 19/03/2020. Our website and Facebook page will be updated more often.

We are now taking the following steps:

  1. Our dedicated incident team continues to follow and monitor across each day Government guidance, published online here
  1. Our head office is closed to the public. You can continue to contact us via My Teign Account, by calling us on 01626 322722 or emailing us at customerhub@teignhousing.co.uk
  1. We have created action plans to ensure our essential services continue as the situation develops. These essential services include gas safety checks, emergency repairs, caretaking and the TeignCare alarm service.
  1. Our Keeping In Touch visits are now via phone only. It’s really important if you have one booked or are requested to take part, to do so. They will ensure we can answer any questions about your tenancy or home, and also check on your wellbeing.
  1. We will continue to complete emergency and urgent repairs, but routine repairs are likely to be postponed. Please help us help the most vulnerable by keeping our repairs line free if it is not an emergency or urgent job. Stopping some routine repairs now means we can manage a reduced workforce for as long as possible.
  1. We have introduced new measures to protect you and staff when we complete emergency and urgent repairs and home visits. We will now call ahead to check if you or anyone in your household are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, have been in contact with someone else who has or recently returned from any country listed by the Government. If you have, and the repair is not an emergency, we will re-book this for a later date when you are well and no longer infectious. We will wash our hands on arrival and after our visit. We will be applying social distancing – so we will not shake hands when we arrive and remain an appropriate distance away.
If you or a member of your household is in isolation and the repair is an emergency, we will currently still attend. However, we will only do so if you are comfortable remaining at least two metres away (that’s two strides) and ideally exit the room to allow us to complete the job without contact. We will call ahead so you can remove any items from the room where the repair will be completed, for example medicines you need whilst we are there or valuables you feel more comfortable not being left. We want to continue to provide a repairs service, and the best way we can do that and also keep you and our staff and their families safe is by maintaining our distance. Our repairs teams also have additional hygiene instructions and protective materials, including bin liners to dispose of gloves and wipes and take them with them. We know this is a slight inconvenience, but it’s not personal and is simply a sensible measure to help keep everyone safe and services running as normal as much as we can.
  1. To prioritise services for the most vulnerable and to ensure we complete emergency jobs, we have halted our kitchen and bathroom update work. We are currently continuing some external works where we can work in isolation, such as external painting.
  2. Our staff cleaning communal areas have had additional hygiene instructions and protective measures such as hand gels, masks and gloves. We would ask you to remain in your home and not in the communal areas if you are in isolation. We have redirected caretaking teams to concentrate on places customers come into most contact with such as door handles, floor cleaning and light fittings. This means some non-essential work may be delayed.
  3. You will continue to owe rent during this time. As a housing sector we are seeking clarity from the Government for those who face additional hardship due to isolation. If you have significant concerns, you can speak to our specialist Head Start Team on 01626 322777 and they will be able to discuss with you the types of benefits that you may be entitled to. Please also talk to us if you are having problems paying your rent. The more contact we have, the more we can understand your situation and provide support. You can discuss your rent account with a member of our Rents Team on 01626 322780.
  4. We won’t ask you to sign or give feedback via our usual computer tablets during any visits. This approach also applies to gas servicing checks. It currently remains illegal to not allow us access to complete these annual checks. If you are in isolation, we will ensure it is completed before the certificate expires and take additional steps to ensure your home is safe.
  5. We have also protected staff by asking them to avoid non-essential training, conferences or travel during their working hours. In this way we can keep services running normally and also reduce the risk of staff passing on the disease to others.
Please continue to check our social media Facebook page for updates. We will also update our website to help keep people informed. If you know a resident without internet access, then if you could share updates with them, that would be helpful.

We will also be keeping an eye on residents we know may be isolated or at more risk of COVID-19 and ask that all our communities support us in this by considering others.

If you have any questions about this update, you can call us on 01626 322722 or email us.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Jo Reece
Chief Executive