Update on Covid 19
We are continuously monitoring the advice from government at a national and local level, to ensure we are keeping our residents and colleagues safe and secure.
We review this information regularly and will update this page and the documents shared below in the event of any developments.
Where localised restrictions have been put in place, we are following this and providing extra guidance and support where appropriate to our colleagues and residents.
The Government has announced a new three-tier COVID-19 alert level system in England.
Sandwell, Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton are all included in the high alert tier. This further means that when in these areas you:
- Must not meet with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- Must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space
- Aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. If you need to travel, you should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
Dudley is placed on the medium tier, in which current national restrictions apply. This advice is:
- 6 person limit to social gatherings
- Stay 2m apart from anyone you do not live with
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wear a face mask on buses, in shops, in hospitals and in any confined space
- Don’t meet up with people in their homes or in any indoor space, or in private gardens
- Book a test and self-isolate as soon as symptoms appear
- If you test positive, continue to stay at home for at least 10 days and until you feel better. Members of your household should stay at home for 14 days.
The advice for all in England (hands, face, space):
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
- Stay at least 2m apart or 1m with a face covering or other precautions.
We are specifically encouraging all staff and residents to wear a face covering in corridors and inside communal spaces at schemes.
The following websites also contain useful guidance:
Sadly we know this Pandemic is taking a toll in many ways, mentally, physically and financially. We have provided below websites that can help you during this time. If you need to speak to us, we are available on 0121 561 7934. You can also contact your Customer Relations Manager here
Mental health - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/
Safeguarding - Call 0121 569 2266 if you have a safeguarding concerns in Sandwell and 0121 303 1234 for help in Birmingham.
Domestic abuse – For the Black Country, contact Black Country Women’s aid on 01215530090 or send an email to email@example.com
For Birmingham, contact Birmingham and Solihull Womens Aid on 0808 800 0028
Fraud and scams – protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime by following advice at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime
DWP for Universal Credit help - https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/contact-universal-credit or call 0800 328 5644
Repairs & Maintenance
We can now carry out routine as well as essential repairs for most households. We have a small backlog of repairs that we will need to address, so it may take longer than normal to carry out more non-essential work.
You will be notified in advance that Operatives will be entering your home; they will maintain a safe distance and follow hygiene procedures, as set out in this guidance.
Gas Safety Checks
We must abide by statutory safety obligations and carry out annual gas safety inspections, even more important now as people are spending most of their time at home.
If you are self-isolating, you should inform your landlord who will rearrange the gas safety check to take place after your isolation has ended. If you are shielding, we will assess the risk taking into account factors such as the age and type of appliance, previous maintenance history and date of the last gas check.
We are clear that making buildings safe, including remediating or maintaining fire safety equipment. We will keep you informed of any fire safety measures we need to take in your building.
The Government has made changes to legislation to make clear that people who wish to move home can do so. This change will apply to tenants who are seeking to transfer, move into alternative accommodation in the private rented sector, or mutually exchange. You are strongly encouraged to read the Government’s guidance if you are considering moving home during this time.
If you have any questions about the guidance or how it applies to you, you are encouraged to speak with your Customer Relations Manager.
During this period, you should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of your tenancy agreement to the best of your ability. If you have trouble paying your rent, you should speak to your Customer Relations Manager as soon as possible.
Local Council Tax Support
The Government has provided councils in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. The majority of this fund will be used to provide working-age Local Council Tax Support claimants with a further discount in their Council Tax bill. Please contact your local council to find out if you are eligible for this additional support.
The coronavirus outbreak has had an effect on everyone’s daily lives. The Government has produced a number of guides that provide advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Read the guidance here.
The Government is determined that for those staying home to stay safe does not need to lead to loneliness. If you are feeling lonely or isolated there are a number of organisations that you can talk to. You can find more information here.
Social landlords, the police and councils have a significant range of powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. Please contact your landlord for assistance if you are concerned. You can also contact your local council’s community safety team for advice and support.
Support for victims of domestic abuse
Staying at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. For anyone who is or feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.
Alternatives to 'Over The Counter' Payment Collection
Coronavirus is causing unprecedented disruption to society with precautionary measures already affecting people’s normal movements. Although we do not foresee major interruptions to the Post Office or PayPoint service, many customers who make payments “over the counter” will now be advised or reluctant to visit these outlets. We therefore wanted to remind you of alternative allpay payment collection options that could be used to pay your rent.
- Internet payments – you can make secure online payments at any time at www.allpayments.net using yout Payment Reference Number (PRN) from your swipe card or barcode and your bank card
- Telephone payments – for those customers who do not like to make online payments, this simple automated telephone system takes you through every step of the payment process which fully meets PCI compliance requirements, again using your PRN
- Mobile APP – available on both Apple and Android devices, this secure app can easily be set up with a bank card to make payments on a regular basis after a simple registration
- Text payments – even without a smartphone you can register and make payments after a brief registration online
If you require your Payment Reference Number please Contact Us
Important Information about our service in the light of COVID 19
We know these are worrying times for us all, impacting our normal way of life and causing untold hardship. I am writing to assure you that the health and safety of you, your neighbours and our staff colleagues is important to us. We are doing all we can to minimise the impact of the virus, and following the latest Government Guidance.