Important Covid-19 (coronavirus) and service provision update
First and most importantly of all I hope this letter finds you safe and well. The international coronavirus Pandemic means that we find ourselves in unprecedented times, but I want to reassure you that everyone at Red Kite is doing all we can to keep delivering our service to the local community.
Clearly the current lockdown announced by the Government means there has to be some changes, so I ask you take a few minutes to read this letter and keep up to date with all the latest information and advice. The best place to keep up to date is our website.
Paying your rent
We realise this will be a major concern for many of you. As an important community business we need to ensure we remain financially viable, but at the same time I want to reassure you that we will work with those financially impacted to ensure you can maintain your tenancy. So we will not be taking any court action for those impacted by reduced income for an initial three months whilst we are in this crisis and we will work to support you through your options to ensure that your rent is covered. Where this is not possible, we will develop repayment plans that will enable your household to get back on its feet and to be able to maintain your home after this period has ended. The government has also announced a range of benefits that will be available to people who are unable to work during the next three months, and more money has been made available through Universal Credit. We will work with you to understand how to access alternative funding where necessary.
Please do not sit at home worrying, we aim to be proactively supporting residents through this difficult time and the last thing we want is for anyone to be worrying unnecessarily. So please make sure you contact us as soon as you can, and we will do our best to help and advise you.
If you usually pay your rent by cheque, or at your Post Office, we ask that you consider an alternative method such as Standing Order or Direct Debit. This will avoid delays in the money reaching your account as well as keep you safe by avoiding you having to leave home. You can find more information about this on our website, or please give us a call so we can advise you.
We are committed to working to protect you, our residents, and the local communities during the current challenges.
Being asked to stay at home without being able to visit play facilities or have family and friends to come and visit is going to prove extremely challenging for a lot of people.
Over the coming weeks we ask that you try and be as tolerant as possible. This is a situation that none of us want to be in. Families self-isolating will mean more people being at home during the day with children likely to be making more noise than usual. Please do your best to be good neighbours. Be understanding and remain respectful of each other.
We will continue to be here to deal with cases of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and will work with you to resolve issues, but home visits have been postponed. You should report all crimes, including threats or acts of violence and incidents of hate crime and domestic abuse, to the police. We do however promise that we will adopt a zero-tolerance approach to these issues, and we will take all necessary action at the appropriate time either now or in the future as the lockdown subsides.
Following Government advice we have changed our policy for repairs categorisation. If you need to report a repair, we ask that you provide accurate information when answering the health screening questions which will ensure we keep all members of your household, our staff and contractors safe.
Emergency repairs - something which could cause danger to someone’s health and safety or cause serious damage and destruction to property, home or building - will now be carried out within 24 working hours.
All other repairs will now be classed as a ‘30 working days priority repair’, this is likely to be subject to change as the lockdown restrictions become more apparent. Should this be the case, we will update our website with further details, so please keep an eye out for any changes.
We will try and continue to provide critical services and those that protect the health & safety of our residents for as long as we can. We will put in place revised cleaning schedules and grounds maintenance works, as well as other support services for the community. We want to ensure that our vulnerable residents, including those who live in sheltered accommodation are protected as much as possible, so we are working with local charities and business to do all we can to minimise the impact of the crisis.
Weed killing schedule
As of 1st April our contractors John O’Connor will carrying out our annual grounds’ maintenance weed killing schedule. This year they will be taking on board the government advice and wearing full protective clothing. Please don’t be alarmed if you see them, this has nothing to do with coronavirus.
Finally, although we will always try to keep you updated whenever we can, we may find that printing and postal services are limited in the coming weeks. So please wherever possible look out for useful updates on our website.
If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact us via our web chat, firstname.lastname@example.org, our social media channels, or you can call us on 01494 476100.
Red Kite Community Housing