Update on our services: 12 April

This week (from Monday, 12 April), England will move to Step 2 of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown. From this date non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers‍, and close contact services can reopen, as well as hospitality venues serving food and drink outdoors. While all of this is positive news and helps to lift our spirits, please remember many restrictions remain in place for the time being. You can download the summary roadmap to Step 2 here.

It’s also heartening to see the continued success of the vaccine roll out, and the government has announced that free, twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests are now available to every person in England who does not have Covid-19 symptoms. We’re encouraging everyone to have the vaccine when offered the opportunity and while we recognise it’s a matter of individual choice, we want everyone to be in the best position to make an informed decision. We recognise that customers from BAME communities may have particular barriers or concerns and additional information - including vaccine resources in different languages - can be found here. Please take some time to find out the facts from official and reliable sources. A good place to start reading is the NHS guide.

We are continuing to ask customers whether they are vaccinated or not. This is particularly relevant when you need to see someone face to face or where services are being delivered in your home. We’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions help you understand why we’re interested in this information, which you can read here.

As we take further steps to something more like our ‘normal’ lives, I want to assure you that we are continuing to offer our full repairs service to customers where it is safe to do so. However, it will be inevitable that some of our non-emergency repairs will take longer than usual to complete due to colleagues and contractors being off with Covid related symptoms or those needing to self-isolate. This means that we will be prioritising emergency and urgent repairs and given this, other repair work is likely to take longer than usual. If your repair is not urgent and you can delay your call, this will certainly help us to prioritise those in most need.

We also appreciate that Covid may have had an impact on your finances and you may be worried about your rent payments. We want to reassure you that if you are unable to make a rent payment because you are now on reduced hours, or you have lost your job because of the coronavirus, you will not lose your home.  Please talk to us if you are struggling so that we can work with you to agree a flexible payment arrangement that considers your individual circumstances.

The pandemic has been an extremely difficult time for all of us and no doubt we will still have some challenges ahead. But now many of us are able to see family and friends again, and with further lockdown restrictions easing, it certainly feels like there is light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. In the meantime, however you plan to take advantage of these new rules, we hope you have a great time and stay safe.

Nicholas Harris

Find out more

We’re working hard to continue delivering services throughout the coronavirus pandemic and to support our customers – in particular those who most need our help. There’s more information on our dedicated page, with details of where to find support as well as info on our current service levels.

We’ll keep our services under constant review, and, as we have throughout the course of the pandemic, we will be guided by Government advice in order to ensure we’re keeping our colleagues, customers and contractors safe. In the meantime, a full list of what is permitted is available on the Government website.

If you need to get in touch with us – find out how.