June 30, 2020


Coronavirus UpdateZebra remains very active doing most of what we have always done but in a different way. You can still phone and email us. We are still providing most of our services to residents and still letting flats (without actually coming into physical contact with new residents) and we making sure you are safe and secure in your homes. We’ve scaled back our maintenance programmes doing what’s necessary and what’s safe and we always do a risk assessment before we send out maintenance staff to your homes. Health & safety remains our top priority.As you will all have seen, we have expanded and enhanced our cleaning service so that every scheme is now cleaned on a daily basis. This includes disinfecting all common areas (including shared bathrooms, WCs, laundries and hard services) and regular steam cleaning.It is really important that as we come out of lockdown all residents continue to follow the advice that Steve has been sending out to you, particularly social distancing. In the next few weeks, we will also be installing hand sanitisers at strategic points in all schemes, which we encourage all residents to use.Once again, we send our thanks to our staff, contractors, wardens, deputy wardens for helping us to keep everything going and keeping you safe in your homes, and to all our residents for the responsible way you lave responded to our rules and guidelines. Re-opening our office – we want to hear your view and ideasWe are now beginning to look at what re-opening means. Many staff remained working throughout lockdown but those that were furloughed are beginning to return. But it’s clear that we need to remain very cautious and vigilant for the foreseeable future. We’ve also learnt some lessons from this period which we’ll want to carry forward.Most residents and applicants choose to contact us by email. A few phone us. Very few call at our office and most of them are residents of Jerome House where the office is located. We’ve also found that we can work as effectively at home as we can in the office. However, it is unsustainable for us to continue using Steve and Heidi’s home as our centre of operations.We need to have a physical office as our centre but we don’t need to open it in the same way as it was open before and not for the same time periods because much of our work can be conducted both remotely and in a different way. We are also investing in new technology which should enable residents to manage their repairs and other services using web-based functions. We are looking at how our local presence at schemes can be improved through the way in which we use our staff, wardens, and deputy wardens.So if any residents have any thoughts and suggestions about this please contact stevem@zebrahousing.com Major RepairsWe put a number of projects on hold and mothballed others when we moved into lockdown. We’ve tentatively restarted some of these including the refurbishing of shared bathrooms at Jerome and the kitchen replacement programme. We are very conscious that work on the staircase at 34 Chalcot Crescent remains unfinished and are looking at restarting it in the middle of July. But it’s difficult because of the constraints of working in a confined area which is used by a lot of people.Scheme MeetingsLast year Steve held a number of meeting with groups of residents at individual schemes. We are now planning on holding a series of meetings in those buildings with gardens, where we can all socially distance safely, and Zoom meetings for those buildings where that is impractical. We will aim to hold these meetings later in the summer, when new residents coming in for the 2020/21 academic year will be able to participate.We want to know how you are doing, what more we can do and how you’d like us to develop services in the future. Perhaps you can comment on our thoughts about re-opening the office?We will let you know when we have set the dates for these meetings. Social ProgrammeThis is just a reminder that we have cancelled our June garden party – this is the first time in our history.We are monitoring accessibility to theatres and exhibitions, and will restart our social programme when it becomes viable.