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Our services during coronavirus - Updated June 2021

25/03/2020

 
Are Partners Offices Open?

Partners Colebrooke Row office is now open between 8.30-17.00 Monday-Friday. Our Roman Way office remains closed while we follow the government restrictions and roadmap to 21 June. 

The reception will operate in a covid secure way to ensure the safety of staff and residents.  

We recommend that residents continue to contact us by telephone or email. If you are unable to do this and need to meet a specific member of staff in person, please contact us to make an appointment before coming to the office.  

Will staff wear a mask in my home?

All Partners staff will wear masks in residents' homes and in the communal areas.

Are Partners continuing with the gas servicing?

Yes, the gas safety checks must continue, unless a household has a confirmed case of Covid-19. If the household is self-isolating, then please inform Partners so that the relevant steps can be taken to re-arrange the appointment as soon as possible. 'No access' letters are automatically triggered if appointments are missed, not made or if we are not contacted, so please contact us as soon as possible to avoid further action and discuss your concerns. 

I am concerned that my neighbour is not following social distancing/isolating guidelines and is breaking the law, what should I do? 

We have received several reports that residents are concerned about their neighbours not complying with Government guidelines. This is not a breach of tenancy but a Police matter and should be reported to the Police. Islington Council have taken the same position. For more information on what can be investigated, please visit www.met.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/. As this is not a tenancy breach, we are not able to take any action. We completely understand your concerns and share them, and want everyone to stay safe, healthy and help the national effort to help our NHS.

How can I resolve problems with my neighbour?

If you know who is causing the problem and you feel safe to do so, speak to your neighbour. Explain how their activity or behaviour is affecting you. They might not be aware and are likely to appreciate you letting them know. This approach can often help to build and sustain neighbourly relationships. We’ve put together some tips below, to help you resolve problems with your neighbours, you can also download our ‘Dear Neighbour’ cards. You can still report nuisance and harassment to us by contacting us on 0800 587 3595 or by emailing us enquiries@partnersislington.net or complete our online contact form on our website. If you think your neighbours are breaking the social distancing guidelines, then you should alert the Police by calling 111. Many neighbours will naturally have different values or opinions and sometimes this can cause problems. We need to remember though; we all have a right to live our lives and part of being a good neighbour is about allowing some give and take. Use our online ASB tool kit to find out what is and what is not antisocial behaviour.

Step one: Try talking

Most people do not realise they are causing a problem and are reasonable if approached in person. So why not try talking to the person/people responsible for whatever is causing you a problem. However, if your neighbour is unreasonable, leave the discussion.

Step Two: Mediation

If after listening to each other’s views, you’re unable to reach an agreement, mediation might be of help to you. It’s an informal, confidential and independent service available to help neighbours sort out their differences and reach an agreement. Mediators are experienced in dealing with a

range of disputes including noise, behaviour of young people/ visitors, fences and boundaries, parking spaces, rubbish. They can help you and your neighbour(s) understand each other’s point of view and reach a solution by:

1. Setting ground rules for discussions

2. Making sure the views of both sides are heard

3. Suggesting ways forward

Everyone involved is spoken to separately first and then a meeting is arranged with all parties. Meetings work best face-to-face, so if you’re worried about meeting your neighbour(s), you can take someone with you, or the mediator may be able to act as a go-between. A neutral

venue can be arranged for the meeting, so that both parties can feel comfortable when they meet up. Agreements that are made can be verbal or written down.

Although, they aren’t legally binding, both parties are likely to stick to an arrangement that they’ve worked out and which they’ve freely signed up to.

What can Partners do if things don’t improve?

We’re committed to promoting a safe and secure environment so that all residents can live peacefully in the community and we’ll work positively with all relevant agencies to achieve this outcome. Please contact us with any question . We’ll let you know that we’ve received your report and help you understand what options are available. Find out more about what Partners will do after you report antisocial behaviour.

I want to see a member of the Housing Management Team – can I still make an appointment?

Our Housing Officers are all still available to speak to residents on the telephone, as are our Accounts Advisors and Anti-Social Behaviour Officers, but face to face appointments are not routinely taking place. Should you have an urgent issue you want to make us aware of, such as reporting ASB, any income related queries or you just want some information on the housing services we are currently providing, please contact us on 0800 587 3595 or enquiries@partnersislington.net and we will direct your enquiry appropriately.

Are Partners staff still working on the external decorations programme?

You may have seen members of our Cyclical Works Team on site, working to complete the properties that are having their external decoration works carried out. These teams are working in line with the Construction Industry’s revised Site Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and only where the current social distancing directives can be observed. For instance, we will carry on painting the external areas – where no residents or members of the public are present, remove scaffold where works have been completed and also finish up existing works, where access to the internals of the property is not required and social distancing can be fully maintained. If you see any issues with our staff observing the social distancing guidance on site, please contact us at enquiries@partnersislington. net or on 0800 587 3595.

Will customers get a rent payment holiday? 

We collect rent on behalf of Islington Council, and we are currently in daily contact with Council officers to ensure we are informed about the Council’s response to this public health emergency. The Council relies on rents to deliver vital services for all council tenants, so it is important to continue to pay your rent. But please contact us if you run into difficulty. As we have always done, we will compassionately look at each case on an individual basis. We urge any customers who are struggling to contact us as soon as possible to discuss their situation.

What help is available financially to cover rents for people who have been laid off, have no money coming in, or on a reduced income?

We understand this is a difficult time. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation if you are having financial problems. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made temporary arrangements for benefit claimants impacted by coronavirus. Please check the DWP’s information about coronavirus and claiming benefits page regularly for updates www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support.  You can also get advice from Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

What are the arrangements for those having to self-isolate and go on statutory sick pay?

We will continue to follow government guidelines. If you are self-isolating and have concerns regarding finances due to receiving statutory sick pay, please contact us. If you’re receiving benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made temporary arrangements for benefit claimants impacted by coronavirus. Please check the DWP’s information about coronavirus and claiming benefits page regularly for

updates: www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support

Will you stop the eviction of anyone unable to pay their rent?

We are keeping Government guidance under constant review. Partners and Islington Council do not want to see anybody made homeless during this public health crisis. We will always explore every opportunity before eviction is considered as an option. This is an uncertain time and we understand that there are residents who are experiencing financial hardship owing to coronavirus. It is very important that you get in touch with us to discuss your situation if you are struggling to keep your rent payments up to date.

Will those who are self-isolating only have emergency repairs?

Yes – this also includes any residents who are following the advice given as part of the Governments Track and Trace programme. We understand circumstances are difficult, but this measure is taken to protect the safety of our staff and other residents. Any repairs required will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

What other support can I access? 

Partners, Islington Council, the voluntary sector and mutual aid groups are working together to provide support. This could include help with getting food or medicine, online group activities or a friendly phone conversation. The Council has set up the “We are Islington” helpline on 020 7527 8222. Partners are contacting residents we know are over 70 or vulnerable to see if they need help. Please don’t wait to hear from us if you need support, or if you’re concerned about a friend or neighbour: contact the “We are Islington” helpline on 020 7527 8222. You can also email weareislington@islington.gov.uk Minicom: 020 7527 1900. Age UK are providing the following services: Coronavirus updates & Wellbeing calling service. This will run weekdays, 9am – 5pm. Phone number: 020 7281 6018

What domestic abuse support is available?

Domestic abuse or violence is a crime and should be reported to the police - there are also other organisations who can offer you help and support.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call the police immediately on 999

Domestic violence and abuse services are still operating and if you are concerned about a resident, or for yourself or a colleague, please get in touch. For some people being at home  with someone who is abusive may not be the safest option. Call Solace on 020 3795 5070 or advocacy@solacewomensaid.org. If you are concerned about one of our tenants, please contact us on 0800 587 3593. Or, if you are concerned about a child, please contact Islington Council’s Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400. The Government has produced an extensive list of support services: www.gov.uk/reportdomestic-abuse. We have also included them here:

Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge 0808 200 0247

www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) 0800 999 5428 www.galop.org.uk

Men’s Advice Line

0808 801 0327

www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Rape Crisis (England and Wales)

0808 802 9999

www.rapecrisis.org.uk

Respect phoneline

0808 802 4040

www.respectphoneline.org.uk

SignHealth Domestic Abuse Service

SignHealth work closely with mainstream domestic abuse services and Deaf people can either use this service or, with their support, access mainstream services. Their aim is not to duplicate or replace mainstream services, but to complement existing services, and to remove the barriers that prevent Deaf people seeking support to escape domestic abuse.

Visit https://signhealth.org.uk/ for more information

Do you need NHS guidance translated?

You can read the NHS translated guidance provided by Doctors of the World by visiting www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirusinformation

Islington Council’s Helpline

For news on Islington Council’s new ‘We are Islington’ helpline and what the Council are doing in response to COVID-19, please visit www.islington.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/coronavirus-covid-19/need-help

Do you have a medical condition?

Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else. Please visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19