Warrington Housing Associations Director of Operations, Niki Stockton, sums up the year of 2020.
I hope you, your families and friends remain safe and well.
We are really proud of the commitment our colleagues, contractors and partners have shown in supporting our customers and communities through these challenging times and to our customers for the support they have shown in their own communities.
Our colleagues are mainly still working from home, attending schemes and the office when necessary. We have continued to provide all frontline landlord services, including repairs, gas servicing, electrical checks and communal inspections, lettings, rent collection and money advice and additional support for our vulnerable customers.
We also restarted our planned maintenance programme, focusing on external works, such as roofs, communal works or works that limit the time we need to spend
in residents’ homes and can be safely carried out in accordance with Government advice.
We took handover of our first new build homes in over a decade at Wimborne Close and are really pleased we have a pipeline of new homes, some for rent and others for shared ownership so we can play our part in providing much needed affordable new homes in the borough.
People have a right to enjoy their homes and are entitled to go about their daily lives in peace. As people have spent more time at home, we have sadly seen an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour over recent months. WHA takes anti-social behaviour seriously and would like to remind residents of the importance of considering your neighbours and not doing anything that is likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance, or annoyance to their neighbours.
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank our scrutiny panel (WHASP) for their continued close working with us, holding us to account and shaping service improvements. We had held virtual meetings and they have provided feedback on our response to the pandemic, helped develop our customer offer, review the information available on our website, test our new customer portal which has recently gone live and review our complaints policy.
Customers can now access their rent accounts, report repairs and provide feedback on our services via the portal and we will be supporting customers to use our new portal and asking for your ideas on what you would like to be able to do through the portal in the new year.
Retirement Living Service
We have just relaunched our retirement living service, which has been reshaped in consultation with our residents, colleagues, and partners and some of our learning from responding to the impact of Covid-19.
It puts residents firmly at the heart of our service and provides a more ﬂexible offer and is designed to support residents to continue to live healthy, happy, independent lives. Our Independent Living Co-ordinators will provide further details in the newsletter.
Our Lifetime service has continued to provide popular online activities to connect people over 55 across the borough and provide access to activities as varied as drawing, Zumba, photography and mindfulness and we are working to better join up our services for the benefit of our older residents in retirement living and our wider communities.