Here for you in difficult times

Please remember we are here to support you and your family during these extraordinary times.

Staff member on phone

We are doing everything we can to provide as wide a range of services as we can during the new national lockdown introduced on 5 January, 2021.

The tighter restrictions and the over-riding need to limit the spread of the virus are, however, impacting some of our services. Our priority, as always, is to keep customers and our staff safe.

Please remember we’re here for you 24/7 and will do everything we can to support you and your family through the challenges you’re facing as a result of the pandemic.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we work together to combat Covid-19. Please continue to check our website regularly for the latest information on our services and get in touch if you have any questions.

Here we explain how our services are currently affected.

Housing offices and staff

Our housing offices are still closed and our housing officers are working from home in line with government guidance. They are supporting customers daily in a wide range of ways by phone and online.

Housing officers will only be able to visit people at home in exceptional circumstances, such as where there are serious welfare concerns.

We are still here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over the phone and online.

Repairs

The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority and as a result we are concentrating on carrying out essential repairs where we can do so safely.

Essential repairs are where there is a risk to the health and safety of customers and their homes. This includes things like repairing heating and lighting, sorting a persistent leak, and repairing security entry doors and controlled entry. We always take the circumstances of the household into account and if we can’t do something right now, we’ll try to explain why and make arrangements for work to be done when it is safe to do so.

Unfortunately, it’s just not possible for now to do repairs where it’s difficult for our tradespeople to socially distance. Thanks for your understanding on this.

Please be assured staff follow strictly all health-and-safety guidelines, including wearing Personal Protective Equipment – as and when appropriate – while carrying out essential repairs.

If you need an essential repair, call us on 0800 479 7979 or speak to your housing officer.

Keeping you safe

Annual gas safety checks are not only essential, but a legal requirement. Please do all you can to ensure yours goes ahead – when it’s arranged – at the time we’ve agreed with you.

Our programme of upgrading heat and smoke detectors in tenants’ homes is also continuing. Again, please be at home at the agreed time to ensure your smoke and heat detection system is fitted to the current standard. You’ll receive a letter with an appointment, and how to rearrange it if it doesn’t suit.

Remember also our Home and Fire Safety teams are available to give you information and advice on keeping your home safe and secure.

Letting homes

We are continuing to let homes as before, and continuing to prioritise letting homes to people most in need, including the homeless, those living in overcrowded conditions or who need an adapted property and older people looking to move to a home with LivingWell services.

Our online housing application system, MyHousing, is available if you want to apply for a home, update your application or note interest in available properties.

Anti-social behaviour

Our anti-social behaviour officers are working hard with housing officers and others to deal with issues that cause upset and alarm.

As your landlord, we take this responsibility very seriously and work closely with Police Scotland and the local authority to ensure our communities are great places to live.

If you’re affected, call the police on 101 and let us know too.

Environmental services

The new variant of Covid means there is a greater risk to staff working in narrow closes and stairwells, where it is more difficult to socially distance. As a result we’re having to pause our close cleaning services for safety reasons.

A mobile team will respond to urgent issues you might have. Call us on 0800 479 7979 or talk to your housing officer.

Staff at our multi-storey flats will continue to clean lifts and communal areas as before, as well as carry out fire safety checks. They will again follow all health and safety guidelines as they carry out their duties.

Wraparound services

Despite the restrictions in place, we are doing all we can to support our customers during this difficult time.

EatWell has provided over 28,000 emergency food packages to people in need in Wheatley communities since the start of the pandemic. EatWell delivered almost 15,500 Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda food vouchers in the lead-up to Christmas.

We will continue to make welfare calls to customers, and EatWell will continue to provide supermarket vouchers to vulnerable customers. Food parcels will be available for those who are unable to get out to the shops or use home delivery services.

Our Emergency Response Fund has provided almost 6000 tenants in Wheatley communities with essential household items, while our staff continue to help tenants with Universal Credit claims and support to pay their fuel bills.

Remember, we are always here for you. Please speak to your housing officer if you need help.

Here to help

If you need help, TALK TO US.

If you’re finding it difficult to pay your rent, or need support on Universal Credit, there are many ways we can help. Our housing officers, welfare benefits and fuel advisors are calling and supporting tenants and their families every day.

Our Group Protection team offers support on everything from suicide prevention and adult and child protection to illegal money lending, hate crime and domestic abuse.

Our message is simple: we’re here for you, if you need us.

Please remember, you can contact us through our website and by email and phone.

Now is the time, if you haven’t done so already, to open an online account. You can register for or login to your My GHA account at register/login.

Also remember, you can pay your rent by:

  • Direct Debit: once this is set up using My GHA, your payment will come out of your bank account on a date and at a frequency that suits you;
  • an online account: it’s free to register for My GHA (register/login).

Thursday, January 07, 2021