A home for everyone
7 August

Coronavirus: an update on our phased approach to resuming services – 7 August

Our latest advice for customers about resuming our services.
Coronavirus update

An update on our approach to resuming services  
As we move into August, I wanted to write and update you on our phased approach to resuming our services.  We are now in our second phase of our transition plan which means we are now carrying out non-safety related repairs inside your home and repairs in communal areas. 
We are also now able to carry out surveys and inspections in your home. 

Helping you more 
We have been able to attend over 7,000 repairs in the last month these include repairs from our back logs and emergency repairs. We are continuing to contact customers to arrange outstanding repairs and will be contacting you directly to arrange suitable appointments over the next couple of weeks.  Please bear with us as we catch up with our programme of work. 

LiveWest phase 2 resuming services

We have also been able to identify a new technology for us to use which enables us to carry out virtual inspections in your home that lets us interact via your smart phone. Using this new technology is helping us to reduce time spent travelling and to also reduce the impact of time on our customers.  This new technology is being trialed at the moment, so you may be offered this as an option for future inspections or repairs at your home. 

We would like to give you some updates on our services, please see the below information on what phase two means for you. 

Emergencies, repairs and maintenance  
As well as being here for your emergencies, are now carrying out more types of repairs and services inside your home and in communal areas. We will regularly update the list of jobs we can help you with as restrictions ease further. 

We have been able to reduce our back log of repairs and we continue to put additional resources in place with a target to clear these in the next three months.  It is important to remember that some of these jobs will take longer as we must work in different ways, adhering to good health and safety practices and the government’s social distancing requirements.  

For help with simple things like resetting your boiler and lots more handy tips, visit our solve an issue section of our website.  This area of our website provides helpful self-service videos and information to solve an issue. We actively add more videos and information regularly.

You may find it easier to do more things online right now, like paying your rent, raising a query, asking a question or let us know of a non-urgent repair, you may find that faster than calling. It will also help keep our lines free for vulnerable customers and emergencies.  We have a dedicated team available that respond to these queries.

We continue to listen to your feedback and views on what our priorities should be during these challenging circumstances and will continue to update our communications so that you are aware of what to expect during these phases of our approach to bring services fully back online.

Essential safety checks 
To ensure we keep you safe in your home, we are continuing with all of our safety checks and inspections. To find out more about how we are keeping you and our teams safe during these appointments, take a look at our recent update which explains how we are keeping you safe when visiting your home and community. 

Helping our customers move home
Customers are now able to move home with us, where we have introduced new ways or working to support customers and our staff to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Where possible, we are using technology to help with virtual viewings and digital signups in order to avoid physical contact. Our Lettings team will be contacting you as normal if you are applying for a home with us. We are in the process of dealing with existing applications for mutual exchanges and are making good progress in clearing the backlog.  We are working towards welcoming new applications for mutual exchanges in September, but that date may be subject to change.   

Supporting our customers
Supporting our customers is very important to us, especially our most vulnerable customers. With this in mind we have put in place systems to make sure that our vulnerable customers’ needs are the highest priority. 

Since the national lockdown began on Monday 23 March, we have made over 11,000 calls to our customers across the South West, checking on their wellbeing and assisting with things such as accessing food, managing finances or linking in with community services. If you have any concerns, or are struggling to manage and need some help or advice please contact our Tenancy Sustainment team on the following:
West of England and Somerset Duty Line – 01934 526 444.
Devon and Cornwall Duty Line – 01392 302 444. 
You can also complete an online self-referral form
Since the start of lockdown, we have helped local groups and foodbanks who have been supporting their communities during coronavirus. We are continuing this support to help communities stay resilient through our small grants programme.

We are also continuing to offer support to LiveWest customers who are struggling due a change in circumstances through signposting and our crisis and hardship grants.

Affected by Covid-19 and need help? 
We are here to assist you. If the virus outbreak has affected your ability to pay your rent, please contact your income officer as soon as possible. We can help you to come up with an affordable repayment plan to manage your rent payments based on your individual circumstances. If your circumstances have changed in the past few months and your income has been affected, we can provide support to help you access any financial benefits you are entitled to. Speak to our team today to find out more.

We also have a range of job opportunities that we advertise on our website and we would actively encourage our customers to apply. Find out about careers and vacancies here.

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