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Covid-19 January 2021 update from Hony Premlal, BCHA's Director of Customer, Homes and Tenancy

Hands. Face. Space. Guidance

Dear customers

I hope that you have been keeping safe and well during these unprecedented times, and managing to minimise the risk of health issues.

The Government has put in place another set of important measures, designed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and its effect on the NHS.

These measures have had a significant impact on our lives, families and businesses.

Therefore, I am contacting you to reassure you that, as your landlord, we will continue to tend to your urgent remedial repairs and all regulatory safety checks.  

We have introduced additional safety measures to protect both you, our operatives and our contractors. These include:

  • Pre-screening calls
  • Risk assessments
  • Social distancing measures
  • Ensuring that our staff are provided with adequate PPE

We will continue to complete fire risk assessments of any communal areas of your property and any remedial work to ensure your building is safe. Our operatives and contractors will be adhering to social distance guidelines and following safe working practices – please can we ask you to respect these arrangements. 

Please can you ensure that fire doors are not propped open or blocked and that escape routes are kept clear. Do let us know if you discover any issues with fire extinguishers or other fire risk hazards.

Regulatory Gas and Electric Safety Checks

As your landlord, we are legally obligated to complete regular inspections on gas and electrical appliances. As people are spending more time at home during the pandemic, these checks are even more vital.

We will contact you when your next inspection is due. 

Should you be shielding or self-isolating we can discuss special arrangements to ensure you are safe in your home, as these inspections are a regulatory requirement.

Remember, if you do smell gas, or have concerns regarding the safety of any of your appliances, you should switch off the appliance and call the Gas Emergency Services on 0300 111 999 immediately. If you lose power in your property, please contact your supplier in the first instance to ensure there is not a localised issue.

Rent

We thank you for continuing with your rent payments during the pandemic.  However, should the lockdown cause you to have difficulty in paying your rent, please contact your Income Officer or Support Worker as soon as possible. We appreciate the situation we are all in and are here to help. If you are unable to reach either of the above, please call Customer Services on 01202 410500 or email customerservices@bcha.org.uk   

Our staff will still be making vital visits, during this lockdown, but we are maintaining a telephone service to keep in touch. If you have changed your telephone number, please do let us know so we can update our records.

With most people staying home during the lockdown, please aim to be a good neighbour.  Extra time at home does cause additional stress, especially when living in a shared property. If you are experiencing consistent problems with a neighbour’s behaviour, you can contact your Tenancy Office or Support Worker.  

This virus has had an effect on everyone’s life, so if you need help with your wellbeing, please see below some useful numbers to contact.

Should you be struggling with IT and need someone to talk you through the basics, then our partner Bourne Digital Service can offer practical advice. Call 01202 677557 and ask for a Digital Champion.  They also have laptops to loan out and will pay for your mobile data if you register for their 12-week course. This service is limited to the BCP area at the moment.

Hands. Face. Space.

Please remember to follow the “Hands. Face. Space.” guidance:

  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day
  • Use a face covering when social distancing is not possible
  • Try to keep your distance (ideally two metres apart) from those not in your household

Useful further information

  • BCHA Customer Services 01202 410500 Lines open 9am to 5pm
  • BCHA Repairs Service 0300 1234 001 or repairs@bcha.org.uk
  • NHS 111 https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/urgent-and-emergency-care-services/when-to-use-111/
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • NSPCC 0808 800 5000
  • Cruse Bereavement 0800 808 1667
  • Shelter 0808 800 4444

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