How we are responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the ongoing outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the increased number of cases in the UK and Scotland we felt it is was important to update you on the further actions we are putting in place here at Berwickshire Housing Association.

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 Leadership 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 will be closed to the public from Wednesday 18th March until further notice. 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.

Phased Re-introduction of Repairs & Maintenance

We have been carrying out emergency repairs and essential safety works, such as gas servicing since lockdown in March 2020. We are working with our contractors to put the Covid 19 safety measures and controls in place so that we can start some of our services.

Repairs

From Monday 10th August we will be phasing in non-emergency repairs, with safe controls. We will not be able to provide a full repair service immediately due to the continuing issues Covid 19, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. Some of the things that can prevent some works being carried out are:

  • Contractors having limited operatives available, increased workloads,due to Covid 19 symptoms, self-isolating etc;
  • Materials and parts not being available – there are some shortages due to Covid 19;
  • More than one trade is required, and one of the trades has the above issues with operatives or materials, so affects the others works required.

We are prioritising works that have already been reported to us, where the contractors are available, and have materials available. Our Repairs team will be contacting tenants to arrange suitable access as soon as possible.

We will continue to log all repairs we cannot carry out, and will regularly review these, and carry them out as soon as we safely can.

We ask that when a contractor visits your home that you follow these Covid 19 safety measures:

 

Out of Hours Service

Our Out of Hours Emergency Repairs service will continue as normal. To report an emergency repair phone our 24 Hour Repairs Hotline on 0800 652 8104 and Hanover will deal with your request.

Heating Repairs

You can continue to report Heating repairs to Dalex on 0800 038 5599. The same issues apply as above and Dalex will explain if for any reason they cannot carry out a repair, and they will let us know.

The safe visit measures we ask you to follow when a contractor visits your home are set out above.

Gas Safety

We continue to carry out gas safety services and will contact you if your service is overdue due to Covid 19 non-access.

Maintanance

We planned to carry out heating replacements, insulation, energy efficiency improvements and new windows to some properties this year. We have been working with our contractors to put safe measures in place, in line with the guidance. Our contractors will be organising survey appointments from mid August 2020 onwards, and if your home is included in these planned maintenance works we will contact you to let you know.

We will be undertaking various pieces of external maintenance such as roof and gutter repairs, path and fencing repairs when we have safe measures in place with our contractors.

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, from Wednesday 18th March, we have asked our staff to engage with you either on the phone or email.

Independent Living

As from Monday 16th March all gatherings in 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.