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Information for customers about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are continuing to follow Government and Public Health England advice in regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19). For information and updates on our services click here. 

Information for customers about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please see below for the most recent information from Calico Homes regarding COVID-19 and how we are working to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.

This page was last updated on  18 May 2020


Given the recent COVID- 19 outbreak and Government guidelines, we appreciate that there is a lot of uncertainty, so we’d like to provide some clarity and reassuring information to our tenants and customers. The Government has  also issued specific guidance for social housing tenants which you can find here.

Despite the spread of this virus, we are doing our very best to continue providing the most essential services to our customers. At present, our priority is to put as many measures in place as we can, to protect customers and colleagues and to make sure we can continue to deliver our services and support.

We are making sure that our colleagues follow Public Health England advice and Government guidelines on self-isolating and minimising risk of infection. Customers can be reassured that we have done everything we can to minimise the risk from anyone from Calico Homes visiting their property.

 

Frequently asked questions for customers

We have listed below the most frequently asked questions by our customers.

We appreciate that there may be questions we haven’t covered and if that’s the case then please get in touch and let us know.

As new information about Coronavirus becomes available we’ll continue to update this page, so please keep checking back.

If you have read our FAQs and have not found the answer to your question, you can call us on 01282 686300.

Our services and contacting us

I'm self isolating do I need to tell you?

If you are experiencing particular difficulties because you are self isolating, then please let us know so we can see what we can do to help.  We are here for you, please call us on 01282 686300 or email contact@calicohomes.org.uk

Your Centenary Court office is closed, is there any other way I can contact you?

In line with Government advice, we have taken the decision to close our office at Centenary Court, Burnley.

If you would like to get in touch with us please call 01282 686300 or email contact@calicohomes.org.uk

Is Valley Street Community Centre open?

Our Valley Street Community Centre in Burnley is now closed to the public.

We know that the centre is an important part of our community and provides support for all residents, however, we are doing our very best to keep everyone safe and have to prioritise the health of everyone involved during these uncertain times.

In the meantime, Burnley Together is a new service that has been set up to help people in the Burnley area access support with a whole range of things, from collecting prescriptions and food parcels, to housing advice and mental health signposting. They are available seven days a week on 01282 686 402

Will complaints and anti-social behaviour cases still be investigated?
That said, we take genuine cases of anti-social behaviour and people ignoring the social distancing guidelines very seriously and will act upon this according.
You can find more information about our ASB support and how to report it here.
Are you still offering domestic abuse support?

Yes. We’d like to assure you that we are still here to support anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse at this uncertain time and we can help to seek advice and a safe space in refuge if needed.

With current UK Government guidelines urging us all to stay at home for at least three weeks during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are fully aware that this can have a serious impact on victims of domestic abuse.

Even though the recent Government guidelines state that we should all be staying at home at the moment, it is simply not safe for some people to do so. You will not being punished by the authorities for accessing help during the COVID-19 outbreak

It’s really important that we look after each other more than ever right now and we’re asking our communities to please come together and be extra vigilant around any possible signs of domestic abuse.

If you’re worried about your neighbour, you can report this anonymously and may save a life in the process; we urge you to be aware of anything unusual and let us know by phoning 01282 686300 (Lines are open 8am to 6pm Mon-Fri) or email contact@calicohomes.org.uk.

In an emergency situation, always call the police (999)

Lancashire Refuges

National Domestic Violence Helpline

Visit https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/ or call 0800 247 2000. This helpline is run in partnership by Refuge and Womens Aid and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Where can I find the most up to date housing guidance from the Government?

For information on Government guidelines for tenants in the private and social housing sectors during the COVID-19 outbreak, please click here.

What happens if I need to move house during the outbreak?

We are operating house moves on an essential priority basis at present. You can call us on 01282 686 300 if you’d like to discuss this further.

 

Repairs and maintenance

I understand you are only carrying out emergency repairs right now. How do I know what is classed as an emergency repair?

An emergency repair is required when there is an immediate risk to the health and safety of you and your home.

Examples of emergency repairs are:

  • Severe leaks which can’t be contained
  • Major electrical failure
  • Exposed live electrical wires.

To find out which repairs fall under this category please click here.

To report an emergency repair, you must call us on 01282 686300 and speak with one of our friendly customer service advisors who will assist you.

Can I still report a non-emergency repair?

Yes. We are encouraging customers to please still contact us to report your repair, so that we can log any issues, even if they cannot be remedied immediately.

You can report a repair by emailing contact@calicohomes.org.uk or calling our team on 01282 686300

I have suspected or confirmed Coronavirus. Will you still repair my home?

It is essential you tell us in advance if you, or someone in your property has a suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus as this will help us plan what equipment we need to ensure the safety of our Operatives and your household.

If your repair is inside the property, we will ask you to isolate yourself from the area of repair for as long as possible before and while the repair takes place. We may ask you to undertake other measures, but these will be discussed with you before we arrive.

Will my annual gas safety check be carried out?

Yes, if you have a gas safety check booked in with us, this will be taking place as normal. We will be calling ahead to check if you, or anyone in your household, is self-isolating, presenting symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Annual gas safety checks are there to help keep you and your home safe, ensuring that all of the equipment in the property is fit for purpose and that things are working as they should be. We understand that you may have reservations about visits from our team during the COVID-19 outbreak, however, it’s important that we continue to carry out these vital checks.

We can assure you that the health and safety of our customers and staff is our top priority and we are taking precautions to prevent the risk of infection, such as wearing the correct PPE, social distancing and more.

We really appreciate your help and cooperation at this time.

Rent payments, welfare benefits and money

Do I still need to pay my rent?

You still need to pay your rent but we realise in some cases you may need additional help from benefits to do this, in light of COVID-19.

You will need to make a claim to Universal Credit for help to pay your rent for the period that you are away from work.

If you are worried about falling into arrears you can discuss this with our Tenancy Sustainment Team on 01282 686300.

I pay my rent in person at your office or via PayPoint but this is now closed and/or I am self-isolating so cannot pay my rent this way, what alternatives are available?

You can still call us on 01282 686300 and pay, however, we would encourage people to pay online, set up Direct Debits or Standing Orders. Information on how to do this can be found here.

If you need to check your rent balance, recent transactions and any future repairs appointments, you can also log into our customer portal.

If you’d like to register, please contact us on 01282 686300 and we can set you up, as well as answer any questions you may have.

Is there any help and support available to help me claim benefits?

Yes, there is lots of support available. We recognise that for many people, this will be the first time they have needed to claim benefits.

We are working closely with residents to help them manage their housing costs and ensure they get access to all of the benefits they are entitled to.

If you are facing unexpected financial difficulties or would like support to make a new claim for benefits due to change in circumstances, please email MoneyWise@calico.org.uk or call 01282 686 300.

Will I be evicted from my home if I fall into arrears?

We want to reassure tenants that no one will be evicted from their home as a result of COVID-19. As a not-for-profit organisation rooted in the community, we want to support residents who are facing a tough time because of this illness – and this will continue even when the three-month ban on evictions ends.

If you are facing unexpected financial difficulties or would like support to make a new claim for benefits due to change in circumstances, please email MoneyWise@calico.org.uk or call 01282 686 300.

We will work with our customers on a case-by-case basis to agree the best solution to help with personal circumstances. We have Tenancy Sustainment Officers who can give benefits advice and can support customers to find out if they might qualify for any benefits

I can’t work due to the Coronavirus and am struggling to pay my rent, can you help?

The Government has extended statutory sick pay to people affected by Coronavirus. However, if you’re not eligible for it you could be entitled to claim Universal Credit or New Style Employment Support Allowance.

For more information please visit:

We understand that some customers might experience financial difficulty during this time and our Tenancy Sustainment Team is here to help. You can contact us on 01282 686300 or email moneywise@calico.org.uk