Coronavirus – CHISEL’s approach

This page will be updated as the situation changes.             [Updated 18 May 2020]

See below for sections on

  • Contacting CHISEL 
  • Repairs
  • Rent
  • Sources of advice and government support
  • Managing Agents
  • Avoiding Scams

CHISEL are taking the situation extremely seriously. Your health and safety is our main priority and we are dedicated to managing the situation in line with government advice around Coronavirus. We understand that these are extremely worrying times and we are working hard to manage the impact on our services.

If any CHISEL tenant feels at risk or knows of others that need help, please contact CHISEL. We can put you in touch with various advice services.

We are following government guidance to limit the spread of coronavirus and staff will normally be working remotely, away from our offices. Our contractors are also continuing working to guidance and keeping communication open with us.

If you’ve been told to self-isolate and we are due to visit your home, it is critical you let us know beforehand. This is vital for the safety of our staff and contractors, and your neighbours.

We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on the services you receive from us.

How to contact CHISEL

We are asking residents to contact us on the phone (020 8692 5258), by email, or through our website , rather than coming into our offices, wherever possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this current time while we manage such a high number of calls in this situation.

Repairs

We will assess repairs on a case by case basis – however essential repairs and visits to our most vulnerable customers will be our priority.

Emergency Repairs are classed as anything causing immediate risk to health, safety and security of our residents or causing immediate damage to a property’s structure, fixtures and/or fittings.

We will log all other repairs that are reported - these will be carried out once the government issues new guidance that enables CHISEL to resume normal services.

This does mean that some of our planned repairs and investment work may be postponed until further notice. We will keep you updated on this, and thank you for your patience.

We will continue to carry out all health and safety-related works such as: fire risk assessments and remedial works that arise from these assessments; gas safety checks; water hygiene assessments; communal electrical checks.

If CHISEL’s employees or its contractors visit your home, they will wear protective clothing and take extra precautions for both your safety and theirs. CHISEL and its contractors will not send anyone who is sick or has been confirmed to have the Coronavirus/Covid-19.

What residents can do: please do work with us to keep our communities and surroundings clean, and limit any bulk waste. As ever we need to ensure all fire exits are clear. Please ensure that you wipe down door handles and all hard surfaces on a regular basis.

Paying Rent

we are aware that measures to combat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 are creating financial pressures for many people, and so if you have any concerns regarding your payment of rent and/or service charge, please contact us.

We cannot accept rent in cash – see How Do I Pay Rent for other ways you can pay rent, including by the ALLPAY app on mobile devices.

Sources of Advice

CHISEL cannot provide specialist benefit and financial advice, but we can suggest where to get it.

Welfare Benefits and government support

To support people with reduced or no income, the Government has made changes to the welfare benefit system. Click https://www.universalcredit.co.uk/coronavirus/

to find out about what support you may be entitled to if:

  • You’re in work and not claiming benefits
  • You’re already claiming benefits
  • You’re making a new claim

The government has announced two schemes to support people who cannot work due to COVID-19.

Employed (PAYE) people: the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - speak to your employer about this.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Self-employed people: though payments are not expected to happen till June.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Lewisham have launched an emergency grant to cover the cost of food and fuel, to help offer extra support to residents who are facing immediate financial hardship due to the impact of coronavirus. For more information on who is eligible and to apply click here.

Advice on finances and housing

Two agencies

Advice on Coronavirus

Detailed government advice on protecting each other from infection, including the vulnerable is here:

For health advice, please visit the NHS website:  nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

Our residents managed by other organisations

(Three Boroughs HC in London, Dryad HC in Brighton, and Colne Housing in Essex):

Most services you receive are provided by your Co-op or managing agent, and so they will be making their own arrangements for the services they provide you.

Colne Housing have a COVID-19 webpage https://www.colnehousing.co.uk/covid-19

Avoiding Scams

Not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing.

Here are just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.
  • Home cleaning services
  • People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal and bank details.
  • There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to take your money.
  • There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
  • People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
  • Take your time; don’t be rushed.
  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front.. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
  • If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as .gov.uk or NHS.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don’t click on links in emails.
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
  • Know who you’re dealing with – if you need help, talk to someone you know or get in touch with us.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don’t know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.

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