COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

Published 26 March 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Service Update – 26.3.20

We are regularly reviewing our business operations in relation to the emerging Government information on Coronavirus COVID-19. We are making every effort to continue to deliver our services and we have now put measures in place to help reduce the risk of further spread and to keep our staff and residents safe.


Office Closure

As of 18th March 2020, and for the foreseeable future, our offices and remote sites are now closed and our staff are now working remotely. This is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our staff will be carrying out appointments via telephone.


Repairs

Our priority is to complete emergency repairs only at present.

  • An emergency repair is classed as something that can immediately impact the health and safety of our residents, staff and the general public and/or something that may cause significant damage to our buildings.

If you have a routine non-urgent repair, we can still log your request and will store this for a later date.

You may notice a longer wait to get your routine repair appointment booked in and you will be kept informed if this is the case. All our contractors will be equipped with personal protective equipment and will operate safe working practices.  

If you are raising a repair or requesting a service, you will now be asked the following questions by our staff and this information will be shared with our contractors undertaking works:

  1. Have you recently returned from travelling to countries listed on the government website?
    • Have you had any contact with anyone travelling from these countries?
  2. Have you been suffering from potential symptoms?
  3. Are you self-isolating?


Rent Payments

Should you have any concerns regarding paying your rent, please contact us on 020 7501 6120 or review the following information:

Universal Credit

If you are currently in receipt of Universal Credit and have an upcoming job centre appointment but are self-isolating due to Government advice, you will not be sanctioned if you inform the Department of Work and Pensions in good time.

You can inform the Department of Work and Pensions by updating your online journal or by calling the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644.

For more information please visit, https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/.

Unemployed due to Coronavirus COVID-19?

If you have been made unemployed as a direct result of the coronavirus, you can apply for Universal Credit and could receive up to a month’s advance payment upfront without having to physically attend an appointment at the job centre.

For more information on Universal Credit, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Statutory Sick Pay

The Government has made changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to make sure that people in work can self-isolate as a result of Coronavirus.

  1. If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness.
  2. Statutory Sick Pay will be payable to people who are staying at home on government advice and not just to those who are infected.
  3. If you need to provide evidence to your employer confirming you need to stay at home due to coronavirus, you will be able to get this from NHS 111 Online instead of a fit note from your doctor – this is currently under development and will be made available soon.

For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

Health and Safety Compliance Work

We are continuing to complete compliance works such as risk assessments and/or remedial works to ensure that residents health and safety are protected. This covers fire, asbestos, gas, water (legionella), electricity and lift work.

All our contractors have procedures in place to be able to work safely in residents’ homes and we would ask residents to be cooperative in allowing access.

Stay Updated

Housing for Women recommends that you stay up to date with the latest advice from the Government regarding COVID-19 to keep yourself and others protected. Please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response for more information.

Self-Isolation Checklist

Mind (a mental health charity) have provided a useful checklist, should you need to self-isolate.

Checklist: are you ready to stay at home for two weeks?

  • Food: do you have a way to get food delivered?
  • Cleaning: are your cleaning supplies stocked up?
  • Money: can you budget for any higher bills or expenses? Will you save money from lower transport costs that you could spend elsewhere?
  • Work: can you work from home or not? If not, what are your rights to payment or benefits?
  • Medication: do you have enough medication, or a way to get more?
  • Health: can you reorganise any planned therapy or treatments?
  • Commitments: can someone else help you care for any dependents, walk your dog, or take care of any other commitments?
  • Connectivity: have you checked the contact details of the people you see regularly, like their phone numbers or email addresses?
  • Routine: can you create a routine or timetable for yourself? And if you live with other people, should you create a household schedule? Do you need to agree how the household will run with everyone at home all day?
  • Exercise: is there any physical activity you can do inside your home, such as going up and down the stairs, using bean tins as weights, or exercises you can do in your chair?
  • Nature: have you thought how you could access nature? Can you get some seeds and planting equipment, houseplants or living herbs?
  • Entertainment: have you thought about things to do, books to read or TV shows to watch?
  • Relax: have you got materials so you can do something creative, such as paper and colouring pencils?

You can find more useful advice from Mind on maintaining your wellbeing here (click here).


Local Authority Coronavirus Advice and Support

If you need help or support, please visit your local authority's dedicated Coronavirus update page below.

Barnet

Brent

Camden

Ealing

Kensington & Chelsea

  • Mutual Aid Kensington and Chelsea - A grass roots non-political group of neighbours who have volunteered to come forward to support their fellow neighbour.

1. If you need some help close at hand, contact:
    07561 493 519 or kcmutualaidzone4@gmail.com

2. If you want to volunteer, contact:
    K&C C-19 Area 4 - Earl’s Court, Abingdon, and Queen's Gate via Whatsapp

Greenwich

Hounslow

Lambeth

Lewisham

Southwark

Westminister

Beware of Coronavirus (COVID-19) scams

Please beware of scammers who are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Scams include:

  • pretending to be NHS staff and offering to go to the shops for a payment, or seeking donations to fund a vaccine
  • offering to go shopping for older people as a means to get and keep their money
  • selling bogus tests for the virus.

There are also emails attempting to trick people into opening attachments that can harm your computer or revealing personal and financial details.

Examples include:

  • a text message claiming to be from GOV.UK stating ‘Enter Your Post Code to Apply for COVID-19 Relieve
  • a so-called urgent text to say the UKGOV has issued a payment to all residents as part of its promise to battle COVID-19
  • emails from scammers claiming to be from research organisations affiliated with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisations (WHO), offering people a list of coronavirus-infected people in their area via a link leading to a bogus website, or requesting payment in Bitcoin.

We ask residents not to click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Do not let strangers into your home, particularly at this time of self-isolation and social distancing.

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