Coronavirus

20 August 2020 – an update from our CEO Garry King

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Handyman services

On Thursday 28 May 2020 we restarted our repair and maintenance services and we’re doing everything we can to work through the backlog of 1,200 repair jobs that we received during lockdown. As a result we have suspended both our Handyman and Handyman Plus services until further notice. We’ll update our Facebook and website when these services become available again.

Repair and maintenance work at your home

Updates to our repairs service 13 July 2020

Due to the government enforced lockdown, we currently have a backlog of repairs.

We are prioritising these starting with the most essential repairs and those that involve work to the external parts of our properties. 

If you have already logged a repair with us, we will contact you directly to confirm when we will be able to do the work.

If you have not been contacted by our team, your repair has not yet been scheduled and we will be unable to provide any further updates at this time.

If the issue you reported has got worse or you need to report a new repair, please contact our customer service team on 0800 316 0897.

The safety of our tenants and our team remains our priority. Please be assured that we will only undertake repairs and maintenance where it is safe to do so and in line with government advice.

To help support us while we are in your home, please follow this guidance.

We’d like to thank you for your patience as we work through the backlog.

Cleaning of communal areas

The safety of our customers, their families and our team is our number one priority.

As a result of the government’s advice in relation to social distancing, staying at home and reducing non-essential travel, we have had to reduce some of our services.

We have had to reduce or, in some cases, temporarily stop our cleaning services in some communal areas as it is not currently classed as an essential job.

Our top priority is the safety of our tenants and team members.

This was not an easy decision, but we feel the Personal Protective Equipment we would have to provide our teams with if we did continue providing these services, is better used by other sectors, such as the NHS or care providers at this point.

As the current situation continues to change, we will of course review our decision and will restart these works as soon as possible.

Impact on Two Rivers Housing

On Monday 23 March the UK government changed its advice to STAY AT HOME. This means that for the safety of our customers and staff we are further limiting our services.

Until further notice we will only be attending emergency repairs and legally required compliance visits such as gas safety checks.

You can find out if your repair is classed as an emergency by checking our Emergency Repairs List here.

Where a member of our team has to visit your home please be assured that there is a low risk of infection from a home visit.

All of our staff and contractors’ staff are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest government health advice, follow good hygiene practice and to inform their manager if they feel unwell.

Visiting our office

Our offices will be closed to the public from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice.

We will no longer be able to accept payments by cash at our office so please see our website for the alternative payment methods.

Post sent to Rivers Meet will be checked on a weekly basis so there may be longer delays in responding than normal. If possible, please email any enquiries to customerservices@2rh.org.uk.

Calling our team

Our Customer Services team will still be available to take your call, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm. Out of hours cover will be limited to emergency situations only.

Please be aware that you may have to wait longer than normal for you to call to be answered.

Emergency repairs

Please call us immediately on 0800 316 0897 if you have an emergency repair in your home.

At present we will continue to service all emergency repairs. Our customer service advisors will be able to diagnose the repair and its priority during your call. Typical emergency repairs include:

  • No heating or hot water
  • Uncontainable leaks
  • Dangerous electrical faults
  • Disturbed asbestos
  • Health and Safety issues which have potential to cause harm
  • Unsecure properties

When you contact us about your emergency repair, we will ask you some questions about your current situation. This will include whether you are self-isolating or have an underlying health issue and will help us understand how best to protect you and your family, as well as the member of staff that attends your home.

If it is deemed essential that a member of staff does attend your home, they will:

  • Ask some further questions at the front door before entering your home.
  • Distance themselves by at least two metres from anyone in your home.
  • Avoid touching surfaces.
  • Wear protective gloves and other additional protection equipment where necessary.
  • Ask you if they can wash their hands before and after the visit, if you are happy for them to do so.

Please note that, at this point we will not be attending any other repairs until further notice.

Compliance checks

Compliance checks, such as gas servicing, are a legal requirement and it is important that we continue to perform these activities for your safety. We will continue to undertake these services for as long the government advice permits us to do so.

Paying your rent

We know that this is a worrying time for many of our customers and that some people may suffer a loss of income.

If you are concerned about paying your rent and other bills or meeting future payments, please contact us as soon as possible. Email our income team at customerservices@2rh.org.uk or call 0800 316 0897.

While we will still collect rent as we normally do, we will be flexible in response to unexpected events and will make reasonable payment agreements based on individual circumstances impacted as a result of Covid-19.

Our Welfare and Benefit Team will also be available by phone to give advice.

Moving home

If you have been allocated a Two Rivers home, please rest assured that this property is still being held for you. We will contact you via telephone to arrange a viewing of your new home, sign for the tenancy and to explain how to complete the relevant forms.

Remember, you will need to pay a minimum of two weeks’ rent in advance (four weeks if previously advised) before you can sign your tenancy agreement, and this will need to be paid by card as we are currently unable to accept cash.

Please also note that we won’t enter the property with you at any time.

Home visits

We will not be completing any home visits or attending any external meetings, with the exception of emergency situations while the office is closed, however we are out and about doing site inspections.

We understand this may be disappointing, but we have to consider the health and welfare of all our customers and staff.

However, our teams will still be available to provide help and advice over the phone or by email.

HomePlus Schemes

Our HomePlus team are continuing to keep in regular contact with residents and are currently making one doorstep visit and one telephone call to each resident every week.

To help keep our HomePlus tenants safe we have:

  • Closed all communal lounges, kitchens, and common rooms to both external visitors and residents.
  • Limited the number of residents using the laundry services by allocating times to reduce the number of residents coming into contact with each other at any one time.
  • Cancelled all coffee mornings, communal lunches and community for the time being.
  • Closed the guest room facilities and cancelled any bookings after Monday 23 March.
  • Continued to use our best endeavours to keep the communal areas still in use clean and hygienic.

Planned maintenance and adaptations

We want to continue to offer a safe and effective service to our customers, but we also want to keep them and our team safe and minimise non-essential contact and travel.

With this in mind, we will be delaying the start of our planned maintenance programmes, which includes replacing bathrooms, kitchens, windows and doors (excluding fire doors). Works that are currently underway will be completed.

We are also suspending our adaptations service, with the exception of emergency requests, which would allow someone to be discharged from hospital.

We are hoping that this work will resume later in the year and will contact those customers to confirm our plans.

Property Inspections

We will not be continuing with pre repair, post repair or general property inspections at your home.

Instead, our trained surveyors will provide enhanced guidance via telephone and other communications tools to help diagnose and advise on your issues.

Should a surveyor need to attend your home they will discuss this with you first and agree an appropriate time when it is safe to do so.

Where can I find more information?

This page will be updated with any changes to our services or other information relating to the Coronavirus that might impact our organisation.

We will also use our Facebook and Twitter pages to provide updates and useful information for our customers.

For the latest information on Coronavirus you should visit the NHS website or the government website.

This page was last updated on 20 August 2020.