posted in News on 22nd March

COVID-19 Updates

IMPORTANT: If you begin self-isolation as a result of having suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 symptoms, please notify Cirencester Housing so we can support you and take action to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Cirencester Housing will provide brief updates as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in how we provide services and support to our tenants and residents.

Your Cirencester Housing team is primarily working remotely to provide services.  We will only visit estates and homes after determining it is safe and necessary to deliver customer services. Our offices remain closed to visitors.

We prepared a Covid-19 questions and answers in March which remains relevant today.

7th November 2020 – Covid-19 Update

Cirencester Housing and our repairs contractor, NKS Contracts, are working and providing our customers services during the lock down that started in England on 5th November. The restrictions that now apply in England include:

  • you cannot meet socially with anyone indoors unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you can exercise outdoors, or visit outdoor public places, with the people you live with, your support bubble, or 1 person from another household
  • children under 5, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care are not counted towards the gatherings limit on two or more people meeting outside
  • outdoor public places include: parks, countryside, beaches, public gardens, estate communal gardens, allotments, playground; you cannot meet in a private garden
  • you must not travel in the UK or overseas, unless for a specific reason, like education, work or a caring responsibility

Meeting in larger groups is against the law apart from specific exceptions where people from different households can gather in groups. The police can take action against you if you meet in groups. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Please refer to the government’s website for guidance on the specifics of the restrictions www.gov.uk/coronavirus

11th June 2020 – Covid-19 Update

Cirencester Housing, like all other organisations, continues to assess and respond to the government’s guidance on working, delivering services and staying safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is an update as to our current approach to operating under these circumstances.

Your Cirencester Housing team is primarily working remotely to provide services.  We will only visit estates and homes after determining it is safe and necessary to deliver customer services.

Our offices remain closed to visitors

Some services may require face to face meetings or a visit to your home. In such cases, you will be asked questions about your health and the people you live with. In consultation with you, we will determine the necessity of meeting and any specific arrangements that must be adhered to in order for the meeting to take place.  All considerations and arrangements will comply with government guidelines.  Please respect our staff as they go about their work, following their instructions on how to keep you and them safe. 

Repairs and maintenance services will resume as of Monday 15th June

NKS Contracts has been working with Cirencester Housing to determine how to restart repairs and maintenance services to our tenants. We are pleased to announce that NKS will resume repair services from the 15th of June.  You may request repairs in the normal way:

Phone NKS on 0800 041 8377

Monday – Thursday 8:30AM – 5:00PM

Friday 8:30 – 4:30PM

Email: contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk

Out of hours EMERGENCY REPAIRS are reported by phoning the same number, 0800 041 8377. Some tenants are phoning NKS out-of-hours to report a repair when it is not an emergency. This is not acceptable as the phone line is forwarded to an on-call operative. Going forward, Cirencester Housing will recharge tenants for calls made to NKS out-of-hours that are clearly not an emergency.

If you wish to report a repair out-of-hours, please leave a voice mail on Cirencester Housing’s main number 01285 658377 or email contacts@cirencesterhousing.org.uk you will be called back.

Attached to this letter is NKS’ guidance on what they will do to keep you and their team safe as they perform repairs and maintenance. Please do read this and comply with it. 

Repair completion times will vary depending on availability of materials and tradespersons to do the specific work.  NKS and Cirencester Housing will endeavour to respond to all repair requests within 3 working days from the time you report it to schedule an appointment or to inform you the actions being taken in response to your repair request.

Many repairs were cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. A list of these has been maintained by Cirencester Housing and we are reviewing it with NKS to determine when these may be done. If you

had such a repair, please wait for NKS or us to contact you to discuss rescheduling.  If you have not heard from NKS or us by July 3rd, please contact Cirencester Housing on 01285 658377 to enquire about the status of your cancelled repair request.

Please keep all appointments scheduled for repairs and maintenance. If you are unable to keep your appointment, notify NKS as soon as possible.

Many small repairs around your home may be the tenant’s responsibility or you may be able to perform a repair yourself. Please check with Cirencester Housing before undertaking works as many of our homes contain Asbestos.  Those tenants that live in homes at risk of Asbestos will have been notified at the time of signing their tenancy agreement and annually thereafter that their home is at risk of Asbestos. An Asbestos leaflet is available on our website under the ‘Policies’ section.  You may call during regular business hours 01285 658377 to discuss repairs you may wish to undertake and check on the risk for asbestos in that area of your home.

Communal cleaning services Cirencester Housing’s cleaning contractor, A1 Maintenance, will resume during the last week of June, and continue as normal thereafter. Please respect the operatives by keeping social distances and ensuring you have not stored any items in the communal areas so as to not interfere with their completing their work in a safe manner.

Do you need some advice or extra support?

Cirencester Housing is very aware of the financial, health and mental health pressures that are occurring as a result of Covid-19. We truly want to support our tenants and their families to be happy and safe in their homes.

If you are having trouble and need some guidance on where you might find assistance, please contact Tom Coggins on 01285 658377 or contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk. We have identified many resources to refer you to that will help with different situations including social isolation, loneliness, family matters, mental health, meeting your household needs and/or securing food.

If you are having trouble paying your rent or managing rent arrears, please contact Tom as soon as you become concerned. Communicating with Cirencester Housing to discuss options does help as we take an understanding approach to help you identify how you may maintain your tenancy and stay in your home.

We have identified many useful links to services and charities in the Covid-19 FAQ’s link on the website which we also posted to you with our last letter. If you are uncertain where to turn to, please contact us as we will do our best to assist you in identifying options and support that may meet your circumstances. 

We will keep you updated and provide new information on our website:

www.cirencesterhousing.org.uk

On behalf of everyone at Cirencester Housing, we are wishing you well.  Stay safe, everyone!

27th April 2020 – Repair Service Update

Cirencester Housing, like all other organisations, continues to assess and respond to the government’s guidance on working, delivering services and staying safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This letter provides you an update as to our current approach to operating under these circumstances.

Your Cirencester Housing team is primarily working remotely to provide services.  We will only visit estates and homes after determining it is safe and necessary to deliver customer services.

Our offices remain closed to visitors

Some services may require face to face meetings or a visit to your home. In such cases, you will be asked questions about your health and the people you live with. In consultation with you, we will determine the necessity of meeting and any specific arrangements that must be adhered to in order for the meeting to take place.  All considerations and arrangements will comply with government guidelines.  Please respect our staff as they go about their work, following their instructions on how to keep you and them safe. 

Repairs and maintenance services will resume as of Monday 15th June

NKS Contracts has been working with Cirencester Housing to determine how to restart repairs and maintenance services to our tenants. We are pleased to announce that NKS will resume repair services from the 15th of June.  You may request repairs in the normal way:

Phone NKS on 0800 041 8377

Monday – Thursday 8:30AM – 5:00PM

Friday 8:30 – 4:30PM

Email: contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk

Out of hours EMERGENCY REPAIRS are reported by phoning the same number, 0800 041 8377. Some tenants are phoning NKS out-of-hours to report a repair when it is not an emergency. This is not acceptable as the phone line is forwarded to an on-call operative. Going forward, Cirencester Housing will recharge tenants for calls made to NKS out-of-hours that are clearly not an emergency.

If you wish to report a repair out-of-hours, please leave a voice mail on Cirencester Housing’s main number 01285 658377 or email contacts@cirencesterhousing.org.uk you will be called back.

Attached to this letter is NKS’ guidance on what they will do to keep you and their team safe as they perform repairs and maintenance. Please do read this and comply with it. 

Repair completion times will vary depending on availability of materials and tradespersons to do the specific work.  NKS and Cirencester Housing will endeavour to respond to all repair requests within 3 working days from the time you report it to schedule an appointment or to inform you the actions being taken in response to your repair request.

Many repairs were cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. A list of these has been maintained by Cirencester Housing and we are reviewing it with NKS to determine when these may be done. If you

had such a repair, please wait for NKS or us to contact you to discuss rescheduling.  If you have not heard from NKS or us by July 3rd, please contact Cirencester Housing on 01285 658377 to enquire about the status of your cancelled repair request.

Please keep all appointments scheduled for repairs and maintenance. If you are unable to keep your appointment, notify NKS as soon as possible.

Many small repairs around your home may be the tenant’s responsibility or you may be able to perform a repair yourself. Please check with Cirencester Housing before undertaking works as many of our homes contain Asbestos.  Those tenants that live in homes at risk of Asbestos will have been notified at the time of signing their tenancy agreement and annually thereafter that their home is at risk of Asbestos. An Asbestos leaflet is available on our website under the ‘Policies’ section.  You may call during regular business hours 01285 658377 to discuss repairs you may wish to undertake and check on the risk for asbestos in that area of your home.

Communal cleaning services Cirencester Housing’s cleaning contractor, A1 Maintenance, will resume during the last week of June, and continue as normal thereafter. Please respect the operatives by keeping social distances and ensuring you have not stored any items in the communal areas so as to not interfere with their completing their work in a safe manner.

Do you need some advice or extra support?

Cirencester Housing is very aware of the financial, health and mental health pressures that are occurring as a result of Covid-19. We truly want to support our tenants and their families to be happy and safe in their homes.

If you are having trouble and need some guidance on where you might find assistance, please contact Tom Coggins on 01285 658377 or contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk. We have identified many resources to refer you to that will help with different situations including social isolation, loneliness, family matters, mental health, meeting your household needs and/or securing food.

If you are having trouble paying your rent or managing rent arrears, please contact Tom as soon as you become concerned. Communicating with Cirencester Housing to discuss options does help as we take an understanding approach to help you identify how you may maintain your tenancy and stay in your home.

We have identified many useful links to services and charities in the Covid-19 FAQ’s link on the website which we also posted to you with our last letter. If you are uncertain where to turn to, please contact us as we will do our best to assist you in identifying options and support that may meet your circumstances. 

We will keep you updated and provide new information on our website:

www.cirencesterhousing.org.uk

On behalf of everyone at Cirencester Housing, we are wishing you well.  Stay safe, everyone!

27th April 2020 – Repair Service Update

During the Covid-19 Lock-down we are offering EMERGENCY REPAIR service only. To request an emergency repair, please phone Cirencester Housing’s repair free phone 0800 041 8377.

In preparation for easing of the lock-down we are beginning to review potential repairs. To help us do this, we ask tenants to report potential repairs to contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk or by phoning us on 01285 658377.

Working with our contractors, we will identify repairs that can be done as circumstances allow. We are unable at this time to provide any indication when the repair request will be acted upon. Reporting the repair will help us and our contractors plan for the next weeks and months.

We will continue to arrange critical maintenance and inspections, such as gas servicing.

Many small repairs around your home may be the tenant’s responsibility or you may be able to perform a repair if we are unable to arrange a contractor to attend. Please check with Cirencester Housing before doing so as many of our homes contain Asbestos.  Those tenants that live in homes with an Asbestos risk will have been notified at the time of entering their tenancy and annually thereafter that their home is at risk of Asbestos.. (please reference our Asbestos leaflet).  You may call during regular business hours 01285 658377 to discuss the repair you wish to undertake and check on the risk for asbestos in that area of your home.

26th March 2020

Today we are posting a letter to all our tenants informing them that the offices of Cirencester Housing are now closed. However, staff are continuing to work remotely answering the phone and emails as well as doing their normal work as we have successfully implemented home working.

Importantly, our repairs and maintenance contractor, NKS Contracts, is offering an EMERGENCY REPAIR SERVICE in line with Cirencester Housing’s emergency out-of-hours services that are enumerated in the tenant handbook.  This includes:

  • Unsecured property 
  • Total loss of water supply 
  • Uncontrollable water leaks 
  • Unusable taps in the ‘on’ position 
  • Blocked toilet or soil and vent pipe if it’s the only one in the property 
  • Blocked drain that are backing up and causing flooding 
  • Missing inspection chamber covers 
  • Severely damaged or dangerous roof 
  • Electrics sparking or smoking, or bare wires 
  • Total loss of electric power 
  • Total loss of heating (October – March) 
  • Items that may pose a risk to health (NKS will assess the situation) 

To request an emergency repair, please phone 0800 041 8377 free from any UK mobile or landline. It rings direct to NKS. You should report emergency repairs to NKS even if you are in self-isolation.  NKS has agreed a protocol with Cirencester Housing on how to respond in these circumstances. 

With any other repair, please consider the necessity of reporting it straight away and think about whether reporting a repair could be delayed until a later date. If you are unsure about the detail of a repair and need to discuss the situation, please email contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk or phone Cirencester Housing on 01285 658377. 

22nd March 2020

Office closed to visitors

Cirencester Housing regrets that it must close its offices to visitors.  Services and support to tenants and residents will be available by phone, email, text and post.

We have increased our availability to answer phones during our business hours to respond to tenants. We have also introduced a new Repairs Free Phone 0800 0418377 to assist us in providing services and support to our tenants.

Any face to face meetings will be assessed for viable alternatives and assessed for risk to all parties.  If there is no alternative to a face to face meeting and the assessed risk is minimal, all parties must following government guidelines for social distancing and cleanliness.

Repairs & Maintenance

Cirencester Housing is working closely with its contractors to determine what works will continue. During this time, we may only respond to EMERGENCY and URGENT repairs.  All non-emergency or urgent repair requests should be submitted to Cirencester Housing in writing (email to contact@cirencesterhousing.org.uk or by post) so that we can log the request for future consideration.

18th March 2020

The letter and Q&A posted to residents on 18th March 2020 is available to view by clicking on the following links.

Letter to Tenants

Covid-19 Q&A

2019 Annual Review Download