Barnet Homes has been adapting to the Covid-19 emergency situation and realigning services to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable residents.
The status updates below were last changed at 4pm on Monday 6 April April. We will be updating this page regularly.
Our main Customer Contact Centre remains open and is being operated from our main office in Colindale. We are currently experiencing a reduced number of calls from residents. This has in large part been due to the fact that we have moved to an emergency-only repairs service from 23 March 2020 in order to support those who need it most.
Rental Income, Leasehold Services and Neighbourhood teams are prioritising helping those most affected by Coronavirus, and are redeploying their staff to support our contact centres.
Major Works and other property services are continuing as much as possible, but are being flexible in their approaches, especially around self-isolation. We continue to prioritise aspects of service which are about safeguarding resident safety such as gas servicing and fire risk assessments and actions.
Housing Options, BOOST and our Welfare Reform Taskforce have moved to offering online and phone-only services, except in emergencies.
Sheltered Housing and Floating Support are helping vulnerable residents, especially around the provision of food and medicine. The Community Development team are Leading on a Covid-19 Community Task Force, combining public and 3rd sector organisations.
Our caretaking service has moved to an essential-only service with caretakers prioritising on cleaning blocks, while grounds maintenance has been paused for now.
Customer Contact Centre: We have seen a reduced number of calls to our main Customer Contact Centre, mainly due to the change in repairs service provision. We have begun using a new system for our Contact Centre, and have recorded a large increase in call quality.
Housing Options: The service’s face-to-face reception has closed, with contact moved to phone/online. Members of the public will not be able to enter Barnet House. The service is working with partner organisations to support and provide accommodation for those who are street homeless during this period. While the service is no longer running an open reception, there will still be an element of face-to-face contact for individual circumstances.
If you are dropping off keys, please call 020 8359 4785 in advance. You will need to drop your keys off through our letterbox, but there is also some paperwork which needs to be completed.
Major Works and Adaptations: Teams are continuing as normal as much as possible, but are working with contractors to assess each programme on a daily basis. We are increasingly seeing residents not wishing to allow access into their homes at this time and respecting their requests. There are some sites where work has stopped or will stop altogether, but we will contact residents individually in these cases.
Electrical works: Compliance inspections are carrying on as normal, but no domestic electrical testing will be undertaken until at least the 15th of April, though this date is subject to change.
Gas Safety: Our gas servicing programme is continuing as normal, but we are increasingly seeing some residents not wishing to allow access and are keeping this under close review.
Fire safety: Our fire risk assessment programme is carrying on as normal at the moment and we are considering reallocating some fire safety actions to third-party contractors to ensure they are completed on time.
Repairs and Maintenance and Void Property refurbishment: Until Wednesday 15th April we will be providing an emergency repairs service and urgent repairs service only. Emergency repairs include those which affect the security of your property, total loss of electricity, gas or water, total loss of heating, serious water leaks that cannot be contained, blocked toilets or any leaks involving foul waste. We will also respond urgently to any reports of gas leaks or carbon monoxide alarms. We will prioritise repairs for our most vulnerable customers where their repair problem is having an adverse impact on them. If you are calling to report a repair that is not an emergency, please call back after Wednesday 15th April. The void service is operating, but is facing some material supply issues, as suppliers have stopped services, or offer collection-only services. Some suppliers are beginning to offer pre-order and delivery services, meaning we can maintain operations.
Lifts: Services are operating as normal, with all passenger lifts being serviced and repaired. Stairlifts are not currently being serviced, but emergency repairs are taking place.
Rent: Resources have been realigned to focus on repayment arrangements and supporting residents through this difficult period. Customers have been encouraged to pay their rent via the automated telephone line. No new possession orders are being taken, and evictions have been suspended. The team is also providing increased welfare benefits advice to those who need it.
Leasehold: Resources have been realigned to focus on priority tasks and supporting our Customer Contact Centres.
Anti-Social Behaviour: High priority case management is continuing, but officers will only attend emergencies situations.
Neighbourhood management: The team have prioritised the most essential work and are planning for future changes to support the Customer Contact Centres.
Community Centres: Based on government advice it is likely that these will be closed to comply with social distancing measures.
Environmental services (Caretaking, Grounds Maintenance and Bulk Refuse): Our caretaking service has moved to operate an essential-only service, with caretakers focusing on cleaning blocks. Grounds Maintenance will be mowing grass to ensure it does not become too tall, but most services will no longer be carried out. Grounds Maintenance staff will focus on supporting caretakers. The Bulk Refuse Service is operating at full capacity. Residents should be aware that Barnet Council have moved to a fortnightly collection for recycling.
Sheltered Housing and Floating Support: Staff are supporting vulnerable residents, especially around the provision of food and medicine.
Community Development: Leading on a Covid-19 Community Task Force, combining public and 3rd sector organisations. We will be focusing efforts on working with the most vulnerable in our community, especially those aged over 70.
BOOST & Welfare Reform Taskforce: Operating a phone and email-only service but experiencing higher levels of demand which are being managed.