I hope that you are safe and well during these challenging times.
When I last wrote to you in March 2020, we were in the initial phase of lockdown as a country, and I explained that we had been left with no choice but to close our office to the public and ask our staff to work from home following government advice.
Over the last two months, we have changed our services to only provide emergency and urgent responses around repairs and maintenance and have continued to keep you safe in your homes by undertaking the necessary checks and servicing for gas safety and in other health and safety areas. We have not advertised or allocated any empty homes during this period as part of the lockdown measures imposed.
I am pleased that our staff have been able to keep in contact with you during this period and assist or signpost you to relevant agencies for any additional support that you may have needed. We recently carried out a small survey with a selection of tenants to ask how you felt MHA had kept you informed during this period and I am pleased that 90% said we had kept you informed and up to date and were either very satisfied or satisfied with this communication.
You will have noticed that our Estate Caretakers and Cleaners have continued to work on-site during this period to keep the estates looking presentable and the communal areas of flats clean and sanitised. They have done a great job!
From 1st June 2020, the government announced some more easing of the lockdown measures but with strict guidelines still remaining in place on social distancing which means we have taken the decision not to re-open our office to the public and people will only be able to visit by appointment. Our staff will continue to work from home the majority of the time and will only be in the office when necessary. Whilst social distancing measures are in place; we will review this situation regularly and on the advice of the government. The safety of our customers and staff is our priority, and we have measures in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We have been advised that we can commence letting empty homes and start to undertake more general day to day repair work in tenant homes subject to strict guidelines. This means you are now able to start to report any general repair requests in the usual way. I understand that some tenants may still be apprehensive about having people in their homes. We will only undertake routine and non-urgent work in your home if you are comfortable with this.
We will also be commencing this year’s major repairs programme and external painting. We will contact you if your home is planned for any of these works. Once again, if you do not feel comfortable or apprehensive about contractors coming into your home to carry out major works such as kitchen and bathroom replacements, then please do let us know.
I want to thank you for the support you have shown your community through such testing times as the level of compassion and community spirit has been truly outstanding. I would also like to thank you for the patience, support and understanding to MHA as this is very much appreciated.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to the people whose lives have sadly been lost to this terrible pandemic both in the UK and throughout the world. Heartfelt sympathy to their families and loved ones left behind. I am sure you will join me in remembering them.
I wish you well and that you remain alert.