Repairs service update

In order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our customers and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been carrying out an emergency and essential repairs service only. As the Government restrictions have eased and guidance changed, we are restarting our non-emergency repairs service.

  • From Monday, 15 June 2020, we are contacting all customers who had a non-essential repair booked prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, to arrange an appointment.
  • From Monday, 6 July 2020, customers can begin to report new non-essential repairs. Please note due to a national shortage in the supply of plaster, customers are unable to book appointments for plastering work for the time being. We will update you when supplies are back in stock and appointments can be arranged.

Health and safety risk assessments have been carried out to ensure it is safe for you and our staff when carrying out repairs in your home. When booking a repair, you will be asked whether you or any member of your household is shielding or is confirmed to have or be displaying symptoms of COVID-19. If this is the case, an appointment will be booked for after the isolation period.

Depending on the type of repair, staff may wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for example masks or gloves and will ensure a 2m social distance at all times. You may also be advised of other measures to keep you safe, such as waiting in another room while the repair is carried out.

Office and face-to-face appointments

As of Monday 23 March 2020, our office at 17 Raby Cross was temporarily closed. This will remain the case until further notice. We are working really hard to make the office ‘Covid-Secure’ and we hope to welcome you back soon, albeit with strict social-distancing measures in place. In the meantime here is a summary of how we are delivering services:

Rent

We don’t want anyone to be at risk of losing their home because of the virus. If you are having any difficulties, we would advise you speak to a member of staff as soon as possible so that we can discuss how we can help you. Please call 0800 5335 442, selecting Option ‘2’ for Rent.

Sheltered Schemes (Tom Collins House and Mount Pleasant)

For those residents in our sheltered schemes, we are continuing to contact residents through their intercoms or mobile phones. Residents are still be able to contact us for help and support in the same way. To protect some of our most vulnerable residents, we are taking additional measures and stopping unnecessary visits to our schemes.

Neighbourhood and Estate Management

Cleaning and security services continue as normal with necessary precautions for now until Government advice changes.

Following Government advice, our grounds maintenance service was temporarily suspended across the Estate. The team have been back on the Estate carrying out grounds maintenance work in accordance with Government safety guidelines since 20 April 2020.

Our neighbourhood housing officers are not carrying out any home visits although they can still be contacted by telephone, email or through our social media channels. All estate walkabouts and drop-ins remain postponed for now, although issues can still be reported to a neighbourhood housing officer. Should you have any problems or questions, please contact us using any of the methods below, or please call 0800 5335 442, selecting Option ‘3’.

Lettings and Allocations

Our housing allocations service resumed at the beginning of June with a number of strict new procedures and measures in place:

• Available properties can be viewed weekly via Tyne and Wear Homes, customers are encouraged to view properties virtually and only physically visit if necessary.

• Where a physical viewing is necessary, customers will be given a specific time slot and will be accompanied by a member of staff. Limits have been put on the number of people attending a viewing and a 2m distance must be maintained. Where social distancing is not possible BCT staff will wear appropriate PPE.

Additional Support

We have been contacting any customers over the age of 60 or who fall into vulnerable groups. We continue to do this regularly to provide as much advice and support as we possibly can.

Contacting Byker Community Trust

The ways to contact us have not changed. You can still contact us in the following ways:

Freephone:    0800 5335 442                     

                                Option 1 –            Report a repair

                                Option 2 –            Rent

                                Option 3 –            Housing Management and Anti-Social Behaviour

                                Option 4 –            General business enquiries

Email:  customerservices@bykerct.co.uk

Website: https://bykercommunitytrust.org/

As always, Byker Community Trust are here. This is an extremely challenging time for us all, and we will do our best to keep you all up to date as we move forward. We thank you for your support whilst our staff continue to provide services during these challenging circumstances.