Service Update – Tuesday 24 March

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You will be aware that Government advice changed yesterday and and everyone has been advised to:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Our repairs contractors, DWSS (for responsive repairs) and BSW (for heating and hot water repairs) have now moved to an emergency service only. This means that routine repairs have been postponed until further notice. Our contractors will be carrying out risk assessments to ensure that your safety and that of their operatives is observed at all times.

We are still organising the most urgent urgent health & safety checks in and around our estates. We will also continue to carry out annual gas servicing and safety checks in your home, and would ask that you continue to co-operate by allowing access should our contractors need to access.

Our staff are working from home and can be contacted directly via direct line numbers. You can also leave a message on 01372 461440 and we will aim to respond as soon as we can but please note that we are prioritising the most urgent calls at this difficult time so please remain patient.

Helping Us

To help us continue to provide services effectively and safely, please let us know if anyone in your household has a confirmed case of Coronavirus or you are following guidance for self-isolation by calling us and leaving a message on 01372 461440 or emailing enquiries@crownsimmons.org.uk.

Cleaning Services

 

Where we provide cleaning of communal areas, Cleanscapes are issuing anti-bacterial cleaning chemicals to their staff and providing additional guidance around their use.  These products are primarily designed and used for regular, light cleaning and therefore may not be quite as effective as the products used in high traffic areas.  Cleanscapes  have asked staff to prioritise contact points such as handrails, push plates, taps, window cills, doors, bin lids etc. and to be extra vigilant in Sheltered & Supported properties. You may see slightly wetter than normal handrails, smeary finger plates and more floor signs left out as the contact time for the chemical is vital for any effectiveness. Vacuuming and sweeping of floors will not always be carried out as cleaners focus on high contact areas. Some residents have asked whether additional cleaning or deep cleaning of sheltered housing can be arranged. Regrettably, this is not possible as our contractor is already working at full capacity and some of their staff are currently self-isolating, following Government advice.

Grounds Maintenance Services

For the time being our contractor (Burleys) will continue to provide grounds maintenance services on our estates with operative observing social distancing guidelines but this may change. This applies equally to Gunters Mead in Esher where we provide direct gardening services.

Sheltered & Older Peoples Housing

As you may be aware the Government announced on 16 March that people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions should be prepared to distance themselves from others for a period of up to 12 weeks..

We understand that this will be a stressful situation for many of you and we want to make sure that we can continue provide you with a service while protecting your health and keeping you safe. Our staff will be making contact with our most vulnerable residents by telephone and will prioritise people without immediate support networks.

Where communal facilities are provided in sheltered housing our advice is that you should avoid using them. We realise that this may be difficult in the case of communal laundry facilities and we strongly advise that you follow Government guidance on social distancing and no more than one person should be using the laundry at any one time. We recommend that you don’t use communal toilet facilities at the moment and continue to follow guidance on hand washing at all times.

Deliveries

Many of you will be getting food and other essentials delivered at the moment. Delivery personnel are providing a crucial service across the country as we are all being advised to stay at home. We would ask that if you are having goods and services delivered you ask the company concerned to ensure that their personnel follow guidance being issued to all delivery drivers (who will also be concerned about their own health), particularly if your home shares an entrance hallway.

Problems with your rent or service charge

If you are concerned about being able to pay your rent, please get in contact with us early so that we can help. Crown Simmons Housing promises that anyone who falls behind on their rent as a result of this crisis will not lose their home.

We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time for many of us.  Crown Simmons Housing is committed to supporting our residents and customers during this time.  During this period, we will continue to charge rent and service charges to your account.  If you are concerned about paying your rent and service charges during this period, please contact us.

Calling us means we can discuss your situation and find out how we can best help.  This would involve discussing future repayment arrangements, and whether you are able to claim any benefits to support you at this time.

If you are worried about your ability to pay your rent or have a change in circumstances then please contact us.

Changes to Service Delivery Arrangements – Monday 23 March

In view of Government advice around the rapid spread of Covid-19, we’ve taken the decision to move to a remote service with our staff working from home from Monday 23 March. Our office will be closed until further notice to minimise the risk of contracting and/or spreading Coronavirus.

Our planning and technology will allow us to maintain business as usual as much as possible but the way we deliver our services will change. So we can prioritise the most urgent calls, we would ask that you leave a message on our main switchboard number 01372 461440 or email enquiries@crownsimmons.org.uk.

We will be regularly checking messages throughout each day and our staff will continue to work normal office hours (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday).

We are streamlining services to ensure that we can offer support to those who need it most. We would therefore ask you for your patience if you are unable to speak to a member of our team immediately as we will be focusing on urgent matters.

Our staff will also be keeping in touch with our elderly and vulnerable residents during this time. Please continue to look out for your neighbours also.

All our staff direct line numbers will be diverted to mobile devices and our contact details are all available via our website. Please do check our website regularly for any changes to service arrangements.

Our contractors continue to work normally with general repairs to be reported to DW Support Services on 01372 619519. Heating and hot water repairs should be reported to BSW on 0800 012 6991. In order to protect their operatives our contractors will be asking additional questions about your health if they need to visit your home.

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