Our services during COVID-19 outbreak Updated 18 May 2020

Following a change in recent Government guidelines we have been reviewing our services and looking at how we can continue to provide vital services whilst restarting other services within social distancing guidelines.

Staying safe for both employees and residents remains an important part of our service delivery and we understand the ‘Staying Alert’ Government message supports that with social distancing.

Services resuming in coming weeks

We’re now in a position to resume a number of services that won’t adversely impact anyone’s health and wellbeing. Therefore over the coming weeks we are looking to restart the following:

  • Next month we’ll begin responding to “essential” repairs as well as emergencies and then proceed, on a phased basis, to all other types of repairs. A list of the type of repairs that we will be able to undertake will be posted on our website shortly.
  • Our external consultants will start to inspect some fire doors to flats and communal doors, on a trial basis. If successful this will be rolled out further.
  • Lettings will be extended to all available properties (moving from urgent only). This will happen from Monday 25th May, where it’s safe to do so and continuing to use digital sign up technology. Properties will start to be advertised on Bucks Home Choice from 23rd May; mutual exchanges can start from June.
  • Some of our contractors have now started works either within void properties or when they can work on the external parts of occupied properties. 
  • It is also expected that estate works (fencing and paths) and minor external aids and adaptations, such as handrails, will begin in June.
  • We’ll be re-starting rent visits soon, with residents who may have experienced a change in their financial circumstances but haven’t been in touch with us yet to see how we can help. By providing this preventative support we can hopefully avoid problems later. These visits will be pre-booked and social distancing guidelines will be observed at all times.
  • Our Neighbourhood Managers will also be getting out and about more so you may see them driving around some of our neighbourhoods.

Government advice continues to change and as such we may need to amend the above should the national situation alter. Please check back here regularly for the latest information.We’re also working really hard to re-open Fairfax House safely and will let you know when this happens.

As well as reintroducing some services, we continue to provide:

  • Gas servicing and electrical testing. These remain vital safety measures to protect you within your own home. We are legally obliged by the Government to continue to carry these out, even during this lockdown period, and you are obliged to allow us access to complete these. Should you receive notification of a forthcoming gas service or electrical test, and you are concerned about allowing us access, please do contact us so that we can agree with you, the best, and the safest way to keep you completely safe.
  • Emergency repairs
  • Works being undertaken in empty properties to ensure we can continue to let properties to those that need them. This will continue with one or two operatives working in a property at any one time to allow for social distancing.
  • Weekly reassurance calls to our most vulnerable tenants will continue for those that have requested them.
  • Support for residents with rent or benefit claim queries.
  • The caretaking team continue to work outside in communal areas
  • Our Customer Contact Centre remains open

At present we are looking at how we can safely recommence other improvement works such as kitchens, bathrooms, electrical re-wires, boiler installs and aids and adaptations within your home; we will let you know when we have more detail. We continue to follow government guidelines and as soon as the situation changes we will be in touch with affected residents.

Our independent living schemes remain closed due to social distancing guidelines; if you need to visit one to drop off essential supplies, for example food or medication, please ensure you follow the displayed signage and advice for washing your hands.

How you can help

Where possible, we would also like to bring back our services when you, our residents, really need them. Social distancing may prevent us from doing this in all cases, but wherever possible we would like to involve you in the services that we can offer and would encourage you to email us at hello@vaht.co.uk with any specific needs or recommendations that you may have.

New tenant portal coming soon!

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new Tenant Portal and web chat channel which will be available soon. Both these new services help residents access information quickly and easily. Watch this space for further updates.

In the meantime don’t forget you can still contact us via phone on 01296 732600 or send an email to the contact centre on contact@vaht.co.uk.

And finally a thanks to all our residents for your patience and understanding during what has been a challenging time for all concerned.