The latest changes in coronavirus restrictions have created new challenges for believe housing’s biggest service to customers.
believe housing is responding quickly to ensure the reliability of home repairs during the latest challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like many other large organisations in the north east, believe housing is facing reduced staff availability due to isolations.
In mid-July more than 10% of believe housing’s frontline workforce were isolating after coming into contact with someone who has had a positive coronavirus test. This is having the greatest impact in believe housing’s Repairs and Maintenance teams.
To ensure that customers know what they can expect when booking a repair, and to ensure the reliability of key repair work, believe housing has introduced some temporary changes to services.
From Tuesday, 20 July customers won’t be able to report new non-essential repairs work. All repairs jobs that have already been booked will be completed. This change means the only new appointments available at present, will be for essential repairs and safety critical work like gas and electric checks.
However, some staff who are isolating, will be available on the end of the phone to talk to customers about smaller repair jobs that they may be able to remedy without a visit, such as bleeding a radiator or topping the pressure in a central heating boiler.
The temporary changes will be reviewed on a weekly basis and a full repairs service will be resumed as soon as possible. If any other services see a substantial rise in coronavirus related isolations, alternative ways of working may be introduced too. Updates will be posted on the believe housing website and in customer newsletter ‘believe housing news’.
Director of Property Repairs at believe housing, Rachel Cox, said: “None of us wanted to be in this position, but we’re one of the many large organisations battling with a significant number of coronavirus isolations among our workforce.
“We have the highest possible standards of covid safety to protect our customers, so our staff are doing the right thing by isolating if there is a risk. And we’ve continued to bring in extra resources as we try to overcome this issue.
“But we have to be open and honest with our customers that this is now going to have an impact on some repairs work.”
All believe housing staff continue to have full access to personal protective equipment to minimise coronavirus related risks, safety of customers remains believe housing’s number one priority. Any staff needing access to homes will continue to check-in with customers before they arrive to talk through any concerns and make sure that nobody has coronavirus, is suffering from symptoms, or isolating.
“We really do appreciate that this will be a very frustrating thing for many of our customers to hear. Their frustrations aren’t going unheard. But we have to keep our focus on safety and do everything in our powers to offer a reliable service,” Rachel added. “We’ll do everything we can to keep customers informed.”
For more information on repairs, click here.