An update from Incommunities
Following recent updates from Government regarding the Coronavirus lockdown, we want to let you know about the measures we have put in place to keep our customers and staff safe and how we are continuing to deliver some services during this challenging time.
The government has written to all social housing tenants regarding safety and support during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can read the letter here.
Allocations and moving home
We are currently looking at safe ways of working to support customers moving into our homes and have begun some work in identified empty properties to prepare them for allocation.
There is a significant backlog of customers waiting to move into Incommunities homes and we are in the process of getting in touch with these customers. You will need to bear with us while we work through this backlog.
We continue to provide minor adaptations works where specifically required to enable a patient to be discharged from hospital and safe to do so.
Anyone living in Bradford facing homelessness can ring Bradford Council’s emergency accommodation number on 01274 435999.
Grounds maintenance and empty properties
From Monday 11th May we restarted limited work on grounds maintenance (such as grass cutting) and on repairing our empty properties in preparation for customers being able to move.
Throughout the lockdown period we are continuing with some estates services, including removal of rubbish in refuse areas in high rise blocks and the removal of bulk rubbish in communal corridors and stairwells.
We’ve worked with colleagues and union representatives to develop safe systems of working, reviewed method statements and can ensure the appropriate PPE is available.
You might see our operatives working in nearby properties or outside on external repairs and can be assured they are following strict social distancing advice. Please do not approach them while they continue to work.
By abiding by the social distancing guidelines during the works, you are helping keep yourself and our colleagues and communities safe. Thank you.
Gas safety annual inspections
We have continued to undertake the annual gas safety inspections. We have worked closely to make these inspections safe, we will work with social distancing in mind, with appropriate PPE and will clean all surfaces upon leaving.
We have carried out over 2,500 gas services safely since the beginning of lockdown and a further 3,000 gas repairs.
These inspections are essential and if you have any concerns please call us on 01274 257777.
We have continued to provide an emergency repairs service. Since lockdown we have completed over 1,100 emergency repairs for our residents. To understand what an emergency repair is please look here.
We have continued to log routine repair requests and have created a back-log of these repairs. In light of the recent revision to lockdown arrangements we are currently evaluating our approach to the repairs service and the backlog of repairs and we will share updates in the near future.
We will work safely and it will take time to work through the backlog and fully re-open routine repairs so please bear with us. Your safety and the safety of our staff is paramount.
Our Trustcare Mobile Falls and Response Team continue to deliver support to residents across the Bradford District 24/7.
Since lockdown on the 23rd March we have carried out 1,325 falls response and equipment visits ( 753 during the day and 572 at night ).
Rent, benefits and support
Incommunities understands some customers will face difficulties in paying their rent at this time. Our dedicated staff are trained to help and if you call us and explain your circumstances we can agree a plan with you. Our teams can also help with benefits advice and advice about lost wages.
We continue to work with support services and agencies across the district to help you access financial help and advice. Our Income Team are here to help you on: 01274 254777.
It is important you continue to make rent payments. Please contact us if you are facing difficulties doing so. Visit our Coronavirus – Paying your rent – frequently asked questions help page.
The government has introduced new measures to protect the energy supply of those most in need during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you’re struggling with your energy payments, please get in touch with your supplier.
Incommunities continues to investigate incidents of domestic abuse reported to us. If you are living in an Incommunities or Sadeh Lok home and experiencing domestic abuse, we can support you in confidence.
Call us on 078100 57505 or 07837999228 or 07760172823 or email
Our confidential contact form and further support resources are available on our dedicated Domestic Violence page.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police continue to respond to emergency calls.
If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who can assist you without you having to speak.
We appreciate that this time is testing for many, especially for those with a limited use of outside space. Along with children being at home, we are seeing a greater reporting of noise nuisance.
Under these circumstances, our response to reports of anti social behaviour is generally managed over the telephone, with officers taking statements with both complainants and perpetrators.
In serious cases of nuisance, we have deployed staff when necessary to support immediate intervention. We ask that you work with us to seek a reasonable outcome for everyone whilst restrictions in place.
We continue with flat block inspections for your safety. Items stored in communal areas need to be removed, especially where they are deemed to be a fire hazard.
If you receive a notification, we ask that you adhere to the terms set within this and contact us on the numbers below if you have any questions.
The safety of our customers and our staff is of paramount importance to Incommunities.
In necessary situations, our staff are provided with PPE (personal protective equipment) to minimise the risk of infection to both customers and staff. This means our staff may be wearing masks but we will always have our official Incommunities ID for your re-assurance.
You will be asked questions to determine whether you or anyone else in your home is feeling unwell or socially isolating before we enter your property and, following government advice on ‘social distancing,’ we will work a safe distance away from you when we visit your home.
No Incommunities employee is allowed to come to work if they or someone in their household is feeling unwell or socially isolating.
There are a number of service updates/provisions in place for the safety of our customers and staff:
- We continue to provide essential gas servicing and compliance services
- We have reduced access to our Retirement Living schemes, are continuing with welfare checks on our residents, and have increased the frequency of cleaning, particularly touch points and surfaces.
- We have ceased communal events and asked residents and their families to cease non-essential visits.
- We have postponed all neighbourhood walkabouts with immediate effect.
- We have suspended any planned maintenance and investment works, other than that of a critical health and safety nature.
- We maintain our daily cleaning of all touch points in our blocks and sheltered schemes.
- We are minimising face to face and physical contact with our customers where possible and communicating via telephone or digitally ( email, SMS, Webchat etc ).
- We have closed the office at The Quays, Shipley, to the public for the safety of customers and staff.
- We have moved staff, where possible, to work from home and prioritised our resources into essential front line services.
Supporting our customers
Support and help
It is important that our customers have access to the right support and help. We have :
- Made over 3,500 calls to customers aged over 70 to have discussions about their welfare.
- Been in touch with a further 3,600 households who may need our assistance including those who we know are in receipt of Universal Credit or paying rent direct to us, to ensure they too have the right help in place at this time.
- Made over 24,000 calls to residents in our Retirement Housing Schemes since lockdown on the 23rd March.
- Bought food and worked closely with Bradford Council delivering 7000 food and care parcels across the district.
- Assisted customers with shopping and with their energy supply.
All our local authorities are offering support and assistance to those in need and you can contact them as appropriate to where you live:
- Bradford Council – support for vulnerable people 01274 431000 or click here.
- Kirklees Council – Covid 19 Community Response site or Kirklees Better Outcomes Partnership – 7 days a week – 8am to 8pm 07562252940
- Wakefield – For residents experiencing a crisis and needing help with food / fuel : 0345 506 506
- Rotherham – Support available via 01709 807319 or click here.
- Sheffield – Help to collect shopping / medication click here.
Telephone: 01274 257777
Telephone: 01484 435715