Forest Gate

Reviewed 27 April 2021

Essential Services

Essential services continue to be delivered but the Forest Gate Office is closed in line with Government Advice. Staff are still available to help residents online at www.swan.org.uk where you can use Live Chat. We are also available on the telephone 0845 601 2289 or on email at forestgate@swan.org.uk. We are unable to hold holding face to face meetings during this time but rest assured that we are here to support you in other ways and our Estate Officers are available to respond to vital matters on the estates.

Having carefully considered Government guidelines on the current Covid-19 health issue, we will continue to provide a prioritised caretaking and cleaning service in areas that have been identified as needing to be cleaned regularly to limit the risk of infection and where it remains safe for our staff to do so. This includes carrying out important checks on fire safety where possible.


Our staff have adopted safe working procedures and will practice social distancing as appropriate. There may be some tasks where staff will be required to work together e.g. bulk rubbish removal which is necessary to prevent fire safety risk. If this is necessary, additional health and safety measures will be put into place. 

Repairs

In line with current Covid-19 Government advice, our repairs partner Axis, is continuing to carry out repairs in both homes and communal areas. They will also continue to carry out Gas Safety checks. You can report repairs in the usual way.

While Axis will be working to provide a full repairs service, there may be some delays or last-minute cancellations due to staff self-isolating. All cancelled appointments will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

We understand you may be concerned about letting people into your home at this time. Please be assured that while working in your home all our contractors will use one time protective equipment and wipe down any surfaces they touch.

We appreciate your help in helping everyone to stay safe by maintaining a two metre distance (including from staff undertaking communal repairs), opening windows in rooms where work is being carried out and staying out of that room while our operatives are in there.

If you prefer for your repair not to be undertaken while we are in lockdown, please let us know as soon as possible on 0800 783 2768 so that we can allocate the appointment for another repair.

If you are self-isolating, it is essential that you let us know as we must reschedule your appointment. Only emergency or health and safety related repairs can be carried out in homes where someone is self-isolating. (In these cases, protective measures will be taken as outlined above.)

Communication


We have already been contacting our vulnerable residents who are elderly and/or live alone and will continue to contact them. We are directing them to agencies and support groups to assist them.

Communication is currently being provided via telephone, email, live chat and text. We're currently in the process of moving to a new digital telephone system and so some calls to the Forest Gate Office phone line are may be diverted to our Housing Officers on a rota basis. We are receiving lots of calls so do bear with us. We would like to direct residents to the Swan and Newham websites for further information and we encourage residents to look at this regularly for the latest updates.

Impact

We have seen an increase in the number of residents contacting us as they are struggling financially. Swan has specialist Welfare Benefit staff available to support you and they have seen a huge increase in requests for help. They are supporting residents with claims for Universal Credit and providing advice on arrangements to make rent payments. The team have issued a range of guidance on income, welfare, and benefits and will keep this updated on our website www.swan.org.uk/coronavirus-update

Where we are aware of tenants in hardship, we are providing extra support to ensure they receive the help they need to manage payments. Those with mortgages have been given the Government advice on the current support that is available.

We continue to maintain our direct links to the Police and enforcement team for serious ASB and are still available to offer support and advice via the above communication lines for all reports of ASB and neighbour nuisance. 

What is the latest advice for social housing residents?

You can find the full government advice for social housing residents here.