How we are responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We continue to take a sensible approach to the situation to ensure you, our tenants, and our contractors in our wider community are as safe as possible. We will continue with business as usual in the coming weeks but there will inevitably be some changes to the services we can provide you with.

Our main focus will be to support our tenants in cases of emergencies, financial hardship and assist in identifying individuals who require support.

What are we doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Berwickshire Housing Association?

We have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure that we identify all existing and emerging risks in order to enable our Executive Team to take the necessary actions. This plan will be reviewed on a daily basis and updated and changed accordingly to ensure our tenants and staff remain safe.

Further information and appropriate updates will be given, based upon public health advice, on our social media channels (Facebook) and here on our website.

Our staff have been advised not to hold external meetings in any of our locations, or to attend external meetings or events. Any meetings that are required will be held by the use of digital technology.

Both of our offices in Duns and Eyemouth have been closed to the public since the 18th March 2020 and will continue to remain closed. You will still be able to contact staff members to discuss your existing home, pay your rent, report an emergency repair, view and apply for our homes and obtain financial advice from our Customer Accounts and Financial Inclusion teams. You can contact us on 01361 884000 and to report an emergency repair you can call our Repairs Hotline on 0800 652 8104.

About repairs to your Home

Important update on the repairs service to your home

At the moment we are preparing with our contractors the additional safety and hygiene measures that need to be in place for non-emergency repairs to be carried out safely in your home, in line with the Scottish Government guidelines .

We are continuing to deal with emergency repairs as usual, and now non-emergency repairs can be carried out in your home from Monday 26th April 2021.

It may be that we cannot carry out all non-emergency repairs at the moment, because of contractors are not available or cannot get materials, due to the covid situation. If that is the case, we will take details and contact you to arrange the repair as soon as possible.

Our Repairs Team are contacting those tenants who have previously reported a repair and  arranging suitable appointment times for the work to be carried out.

We are working to keep you, our staff and our contractors as safe as possible during this very difficult and unusual time, and thank you for your continuing patience.

The process for reporting a repair and precautions you need to take when the contractor arrives at your home, are the same as before :

How to report a repair?

There is no change to how a repair is reported, call our free phone repairs line 0800 652 8104.

What happens when I report a repair?

You will be asked the following questions. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, the repair will not be carried out in order to keep people safe.

  • Have you been to an affected place in the last 24 hours? or
  • Had contact with somebody with Coronavirus? or
  • Do you have any symptoms?

What happens when the contractor arrives at your home to carry out the repair?

The contractor will ask the questions again, in case anything has changed. If it is safe to do so, the contractor will take these precautions:

  • Operative’s will use hand sanitiser to sterilise their hands and wear latex gloves where possible prior to entering.
  • Customers should open the door, then remove themselves to another room
  • Operatives will enter the property, locate the fault and make safe and/or carry out any works.
  • Once the service or repair is completed, the operatives will ensure the work area is left clean, advise the customer and leave the property.
  • As soon as the operative is outside the property, they will remove and bag the gloves for disposal.
  • Finally, the operative will use hand sanitiser to sterilise his hands.

Important information about Gas Safety Inspections

One of our key priorities during these challenging times is to ensure your home is safe and meets the statutory obligations to service any gas appliances on an annual basis, where it is safe to do so.

During this period we will continue to work with our specialist contractors Dalex to ensure any gas services which are due for renewal are completed on time. It is important that these gas services are completed as it has been classified as essential work due to the safety implications.

We would ask that if your home is scheduled for a Gas Safety Service that you allow Dalex to carry out this service, following the procedure set out below.

Please be assured that these additional procedures are within Government guidelines and have been put in place to ensure both our tenants and contractors remain safe.

Following a call from either one of our members of staff or a representative from Dalex you will be asked the following key question-

  • Have you had contact with somebody with Coronavirus? or/are showing any symptoms ?
  • If you have been in contact with anyone who has COVID or/are showing symptoms we will postpone the service for a more suitable and safe time.

What happens when Dalex arrives at your home to carry out the Gas Service Repair?

The contractor will check again and ask the same question just in case anything has changed. If it is safe to carry out the safety service, the contractor will take these precautions:

  • Dalex Engineer will use hand sanitiser to sterilise their hands and wear appropriate PPE where possible prior to entering.
  • Customers should open the door, then remove themselves to another room.
  • Dalex Engineer will enter the property, locate the gas appliances and carry out the service.
  • Once the service is complete, the engineer will ensure the work area is left clean, advise the tenant and leave the property.
  • As soon as the engineer is outside the property, they will remove and bag the gloves for disposal.
  • Finally, the engineer will use hand sanitiser to sterilise his hands.

If you are due a gas safety service visit and would like to discuss this further please contact us on 01361 884000.

How we are supporting our tenants?

We will need to restrict face to face contact with our tenants. We do have a high number of tenants who could be considered ‘at risk’ due to underlying health issues or age. Therefore currently our staff engage with you on the phone or by email, to ensure everyone’s safety.

Independent Living

Since the 16th March 2020 all gatherings within the common spaces were suspended. This includes all anticipated external partners visiting the services. A record of all visitors will be monitored and we are urging that it is only essential visits to the Courts, such as delivery of prescriptions, personal care and emergency repairs. Our contractors have been briefed on a preferred service delivery and they have introduced a model of pre-health screening questions prior to appointment bookings.

If you are on Benefits?

If you are currently receiving benefits the Department of Work and Pensions is continually providing updates which we will share with you. If you wish to speak with a member of our Financial Inclusion or Customer Accounts team about your benefits or rent please call us on 01361 884000.

Paying your rent

If you are having difficulty paying your rent or managing your money please tell us straight away. Please contact our Customer Accounts Team on 01361 884000.

Our local community

We live in a rural community and services are limited for some of our tenants. This is the time when you and your community need each other. If you have neighbours that are self-isolating or feel vulnerable please see if there is any way you can help or assist.

Keeping yourself safe – What is the best way to prevent the spread of (COVID-19) Coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands often with soap (or soap substitutes) and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Adopt social distancing by keeping a 2m (6ft) space between you and other people. You should not shake hands or make close contact where possible.
  • If you have concerns that you may have been at risk of spreading the infection you should consult the NHS Inform website for initial guidance and seek medical advice when appropriate.

Keeping your contact details up to date

It is important that you keep your contact details up to date. This is  so we can contact you through either your mobile telephone number or email address.  If this has changed recently please call one of our members of staff to update your details.

If you have any further questions around the information please contact at one of the numbers below:

Due to Coronavirus our offices are closed to the public. But we are still working for you during our opening hours.

Address

Berwickshire Housing Association
55 Newtown Street
Duns
Berwickshire
TD11 3AU
Phone #1 01361 884000

Opening Hours

  • Monday

    8:45 am - 5:00 pm

  • Tuesday

    8:45 am - 5:00 pm

  • Wednesday

    10:30 am - 5:00 pm

  • Thursday

    8:45 am - 5:00 pm

  • Friday

    8:45 am - 4:00 pm

  • Saturday

    Closed

  • Sunday

    Closed

* Due to the Cornavirus our offices are closed to the public. However our staff will still be avaliable to contact by phone during the opening hours above.