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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for residents

Questions and Answers for Residents (as at 17th March 2020)

How is the Association responding to the spread of the Covid-19 virus?

We are well prepared for disruption caused by the virus and have a tested business continuity plan. Our response will be ‘business as usual’, however, we have already taken some steps to prioritise the safety of residents and staff along with core business functions. Our aim will be to minimise disruption to our everyday activity and services. Where there is disruption, we would ask for your understanding and patience.

Are the offices still open?

Our office remains open, but we have reduced the level of staff in the office by enabling more mobile working. This decision will help to reduce the risk to staff of catching or passing on the virus. It will also help to safeguard the services we offer to residents and core business functions.

Some staff already mobile work and we have IT arrangements to support flexible working.  We have introduced new ways of digital working, including myhomeonline for residents. All of this means we are well prepared for this change to working arrangements.

Should I sign-up to myhomeonline, the resident portal?

If you have not already done so, we would ask that you now sign-up to use myhomeonline. The portal offers a range of self-service options and will help to minimise calls during what we expect to be a busy and pressurised time.

It is quick and easy to sign up, you can register using the following link: https://www.myhomeonline.org.uk/midsrur/www/dashboard.  If you need help, email us at enquiries@midlandsrural.org.uk and we can register for you.

Will the Association’s staff and contractors still attend appointments?

They will only when necessary and safe for both parties. We may decide to offer alternative options in place of physical meetings, such as a telephone call. Some contractors are already limiting the visits their operatives take to non-urgent repairs, to safeguard longer-term services focused on emergency and safety activity. This may mean that they are slower to respond to non-urgent repairs than usual.

Has the contact number changed?

No.  The contact number is the same. Our phone systems allow us to re-direct phone lines to different locations if required,  if this happens, it may take us longer to answer calls because it can only transfer to one person. To help us deal with this, residents should use myhomeonline or email us on enquiries@midlandsrural.org.uk.

Can I still report repairs in the usual way?

Yes, but to help us manage pressures, please consider delaying reporting any non-urgent repairs.  If circumstances get worse, we may prioritise repairs that relate to health and safety.

Do I need to tell the Association if I or anyone in my household have symptoms; have Covid-19; or self isolating?

If you display any symptoms like those of the virus you should seek immediate medical advice and follow guidance available from public authorities. Current advice can be found on the NHS website.

You should inform the Association so we are aware, you can email enquiries@midlandsrural.org.uk your name, address, and period you are self isolating for.

If you have an appointment with the Association’s staff or contractors, you should let us know so we can rearrange this for a later date, when it would be safe to attend. If the appointment is to resolve an emergency, staff will talk through options with you based on the circumstances.

I am calling on behalf of a relative, friend or neighbour who is a resident. Will the Association be able to talk with me?

Data protection restrictions can make it difficult for us to talk about residents without consent. The best approach would be to call with the resident present, so they can verify that you have their consent. We will always try and be as helpful to callers as we can.

What should I do if I am struggling to pay my rent?

We recognise that one impact of the virus might be on the ability to work or access financial support. If you are having any problems paying your rent discuss these with your Housing Officer, who can offer further advice based on your circumstances.

How will the Association keep me updated with any changes to its response?

We will be posting future updates on our website and facebook page, so please check this regularly.

Online links to useful information:

Advice published by the Government is available from the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Advice published by the NHS is available from the following link:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Advice published by the Citizen Advice Bureau is available from the following link:
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/getting-financial-advice/
Advice published by the Red Cross, including how you can support through volunteer work, is available from the following link:
https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/uk-emergency-response/coronavirus

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