Update from the Chief Executive

Posted on the 22nd May 2020

I hope you and your family are managing OK and you’re all staying safe during these difficult times. We have all now been in the lockdown for the past 8 weeks. During that time, while our office is closed, Keniston staff have been continuing to work, with a focus on maintaining essential services. Our top priority through this period is to keep you, your family and your home safe. This includes:

  • Helping you with money and rent: If you’re worried about being able to make ends meet because of illness, self-isolation, school or work closures, we can help. It’s important you let us know so we can make a plan with you. We can help with benefit advice, making a claim, food bank provisions, welfare support, rent advice and guiding you to other services.

Jan Lewis – Rent Income Officer 01689 889719

Chris Little – Rent Income Officer 01689 889708

  • Inside your home: We’re continuing to carry out emergency repairs and essential landlord safety checks. When you report your repair, we’ll ask you a few quick questions to help us determine whether it is safe for us to attend. Please don’t worry about these questions. We will still come and help you, but we want to keep you and our colleagues safe. 

Repairs – 01689 889702

  • Around your estate: We’re still cleaning and looking after the communal areas in your building, concentrating on keeping ‘touch points’ (door handles etc) cleaned. Gardening services are continuing. Any estates issue you wish to raise can be directed to your Housing officer in the first instance unless it is about a repair.

Sharon Hobbs / Diane Thompson Housing Officers – 01689 889706

Andrea Spittle / Susan Rimmer Housing Officers01689 889705

  • Keeping a safe distance: Please be assured that when a Keniston staff member or contractor has to come to your home or building, they will follow the Government’s guidance around social distancing.
  • Wellbeing calls: We have contacted all residents aged over 70, along with others who may be particularly isolated or more vulnerable to Covid-19, to check whether there’s anything more we can do to help. If you haven’t been contacted but feel you should have, please get in touch so we can help.

Sharon Hobbs / Diane Thompson Housing Officers – 01689 889706

Andrea Spittle / Susan Rimmer Housing Officers01689 889705

  • NHS & care workers: We’re asking all residents who are NHS or care workers to get in touch with us to find out if we can help you with more flexibility for services such as emergency repairs or statutory landlord safety checks. If that includes you, please contact us.

Repairs – 01689 889702

It is now clear that we are past the peak of the pandemic – at least unless there is a ‘second wave’. Keniston is starting to plan for a recovery from the lockdown, although we are long way from ‘business as usual’, and how we work will be different to how things were before, for the foreseeable future. This week the Government has issued some updated guidance to set out what social housing residents should expect from their landlord as the lockdown starts to ease – a copy can be seen here Government letter. This letter says that landlords should be able to start delivering a range of services that have been on hold, such as routine repairs, repairs to empty properties, lettings to new tenants, and external planned maintenance – although there will be backlogs so this will take time to come up to speed. Keniston has carefully considered what we can and can’t do, as the next stage of the recovery from lockdown. To avoid any confusion, our current position is:

  • Essential repairs: There is NO CHANGE to this service. We will continue to carry out all essential repairs, working safely and respecting government and NHS guidelines.
  • Other repairs: At the moment, we are still restricting our service to essential repairs only. If you need a repair in your home but are unsure whether it counts as ‘essential’, do please report it and we will advise you. We are working towards offering a full repairs service soon, but in the meantime, please bear with us.
  • Gas safety checks: We aim to keep all our homes safe, and this includes carrying out the annual safety check when it is due. Our contractors are fully equipped to work safely in your home and have developed safe working practices to protect both you and the gas engineers. We recognise that if you are shielding you will have particular concerns, so please talk to us, and we will look to work with you.
  • Planned repairs: We would normally be making arrangements now with tenants who are due to have replacement kitchens, bathrooms, heating, windows etc this year. These programmes are currently on hold, but we are looking at how we can resume them safely. More information on this when we have it.
  • Moving home: We have been helping a limited number of people to move during the lockdown. This will continue. Where an empty property requires major repair work, we are restricted in what we can do, but we are working on safe ways to deal with this.

Other contact information:

Clairglow staff are working from home:

☎ General enquiries during office hours: 07920 041290

☎ Urgent breakdowns only: 07920 812182

☎ Out of hours breakdowns only: 01892 531421 For all other out of hours repairs emergencies:

☎ BAS – for non-gas emergencies: 020 8854 8700

To pay your rent, you can contact Allpay directly or you can pay online or via the app on a smartphone. You can also phone your Rent Income officer:

☎ 0844 557 8321 @ allpayments.net

☎ 0844 225 5729 @ allpay.net/app

If you have a general enquiry, please email enquiries@kenistonha.co.uk

 

Jonathan Card

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