UPDATED: FEBRUARY 2021
SUPPORTING YOU DURING LOCKDOWN AND COVID-19
The impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions it brings continues to affect everyone. With the vaccination programme now well underway we can start to look forward, with some optimism, that our lives can begin to return to normal soon.
At Inquilab, our primary focus is to support you through these challenging times.
Getting in Touch / Office Closure
In accordance with Government guidelines, our office remains closed. We will reopen our office when we can (a) legally do so and (b) when we are confident and feel assured that it is safe for our staff to return.
In the meantime, we continue to operate a full service
Our team is working from home and we are supporting our staff as much as possible to help them deliver our services and support our residents.
Home working can be challenging for our staff, particularly those with children and who are juggling home schooling with work. If you are in touch with a member of our staff, please be aware that there may be some background activities and noise going on, but that they remain committed to supporting you.
Our phone lines are for emergencies only
Due to the increase in resident calls during this time and limited phone resources, we are only taking emergency calls. It is therefore essential that our phone lines are available to those who need immediate support. If your call is not an emergency, please contact us via the Residents Portal where a member of our staff will deal with your enquiry as quickly as possible.
Paying your rent
To avoid accruing rent arrears we urge you to continue to pay your rent on time. If you are facing financial difficulties, please contact us via our Resident’s Portal.
- If you are not claiming any benefits, please use Allpay, Standing Order and / or internet banking to pay your rent.
- If you are already claiming benefits, please be aware that all face-to-face assessments have now been temporarily suspended by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
- If you experience any financial hardship due to COVID-19, ie. you are required to stay at home or your job or income has been affected, please follow DWP guidelines for new claims or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and inform us too. (Please note that SSP is only payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by the Coronavirus and only applied for seven days.
Please refer to the Government Guidelines for the most up-to-date guidance and advice.
Maintenance / Repairs
Due to the spread of the new Covid variant, our gas engineers – K&T Heating – have introduced video conferencing where possible to our residents to first determine whether an engineer needs to attend the property. These video conferencing calls will be conducted by its Qualified Gas Technicians.
For all other work, we are still undertaking repairs / maintenance and dealing with requests as normal. However, please be advised that Inquilab’s staff and also our Contractors will ask you some Covid-19 health screening questions before raising any repairs or visiting your home as part of our precautions for Coronavirus. Our team will be wearing the necessary protective equipment, including face masks, and we ask that if you are present in the property during a maintenance visit that you – and all other members of your household – keep at least two meters distance and where appropriate, you also wear a mask.
Prior to a contractor coming out, you must let us know if:
- You or someone in your household have been tested for Covid-19
- If you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19
- If you or anyone in your household is ill or has recently been in contact with anyone with Covid-19
- You are currently self-isolating
- If you have travelled abroad in the last 3-months.
The information you provide will enable us to assess whether it is safe for you and our contractor to carry out a repair at this time. If it is not, all but except emergency repairs will be suspended to your household until it is safe to do so.
As the Covid-19 vaccination programme rolls out across the country, with millions of people successfully getting ‘the jab’, there are still some who are unsure about the vaccine.
While we fully understand these concerns, we support the vaccination programme as the only way to protect yourself, and our communities, against the effects and spread of this deadly disease.
The vaccine is not mandatory; it is up to you whether or not to be vaccinated when it is offered to you. Knowing the facts, so you can make a responsible and informed decision that you are comfortable with, is important.
Concerned about getting the jab? Know the facts
People from BME backgrounds have a higher risk of long term illness, and death, from contracting Covid-19. Young people, as well as our older generation and those with underlying health conditions, are also at risk.
In supporting our communities, BME London Landlords group (of which Inquilab Housing Association is a member) has produced an informative and helpful leaflet about the Covid-19 Vaccine.
You can also contact the following organisations for advice and information:
- The NHS – for a full guide to the vaccine programme click here
- The Voice newspaper put readers’ questions to a Black vaccine expert, Dr Tolullah Oni:
- Written/audio advice in 60 languages from Doctors of the World:
- Video advice for the Bangladeshi community from Bangla Housing Association:
- Short videos in Sylheti, Gujarati, Tamil, Punjabi, Urdu explain Covid-19 vaccines:
- Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis explains it is a ‘religious imperative’ to take the vaccine: