Update on our services: 31 July

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. For customers in areas affected by local restrictions, we’ve created a dedicated page here.

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I hope you and your families are continuing to stay safe and well in these challenging times.

Following the Government’s announcement of further local restrictions around England, we have moved to an emergency and essential only repairs service in some areas. We are still carrying out gas and electric checks, and inspections in relation to lifts, water, security and fire safety in these areas, but all non-essential repairs will be rescheduled for after the restrictions have been lifted.

All other areas will remain unaffected, and we’ll continue to review the situation in these areas as it progresses. As a reminder, customers affected by local restrictions can find more information here.

Elsewhere in the country, with the latest lifting of restrictions by Government, we are continuing to be led, at all times, by official advice and are also listening carefully to what our customers are telling us.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve remained committed to ensuring our customers are getting the help, support, and advice they need. We’ve continued to deliver full frontline services in our supported and retirement settings and, where we can’t be there in person, are making regular welfare calls to other vulnerable residents.

We’ve continued delivering all emergency and essential safety repairs, including gas and electric checks and other inspections in relation to lifts, water, security and fire safety. I’m happy to say we’ve now, with the exception of Leicester, begun more responsive repairs and have expanded our new lettings, allocations and mutual exchanges, along with resuming the development of new builds at various sites.

In other areas of our business, our Income team continue to be busy providing customers with guidance on Universal Credit, debt and budget management, and advice on keeping rent payments up to date. Where customers have been particularly financially affected by the pandemic, the team are also working with them to agree affordable, flexible payment plans if they're struggling to pay rent.

Our core purpose continues to be helping people find much needed, affordable homes in this time of crisis. In particular, our specialist teams are doing amazing work to support those at risk of domestic abuse. Sadly, as you may have seen in the media, this is becoming an increasing issue. While many other services providers are scaling back, or even closing their doors, I’m proud that Stonewater is still offering vital help, through creative solutions, for those in most need.

We’re continually reviewing the latest advice and developments, and what they mean for each aspect of our service. Our priority at all times is to make the right decisions, which put the health, safety and well-being of our customers, colleagues and contractors first. We understand and share many of the worries you may have – keeping safe, protecting others, managing finances, caring for our families and feeling there are many more questions than answers as we slowly begin to move forward.

More than ever before, throughout these times our homes have been our sanctuary. The coronavirus crisis has helped bring out the best in people and our communities and we are proud to play our part in the nation’s recovery.

Nicholas Harris

*Stonewater is still ‘open’, with the majority of our colleagues now working from home. You can still contact us using our main telephone number 01202 319 119, although don’t forget to check our information pages or our MyHome self-service portal before calling, as you may find what you need there.*