September

September 2, 2020

ZEBRA NEWS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020

Covid-19Obviously, things are different and we don’t really know what the next few months might bring in terms of Covid-19. But Zebra 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 by email, Zoom and WhatsApp, and we making sure you are safe and secure in your homes.A number of new residents are now joining us, and we are helping them if they have to quarantine by providing essentials.We’ve learnt a lot and have made some improvements to our services. There are hand sanitisers in strategic positions in every building. Our cleaning regime is now much more thorough with disinfecting and steam cleaning. We have resident wardens and deputy wardens to make tenants feel more at home and deliver a personal, local service. And we will be introducing a residents’ IT portal to further improve communications and accessibility to services.Our maintenance service has now largely returned to normal – although every job is risk assessed to ensure the safety of residents and staff. We are completing a number of projects we started at the beginning of the year.But it is really important that all residents continue to follow the advice that Steve has been sending out to you, particularly social distancing and that you remain vigilant and cautious. Your example will help new residents settle in and observe the practical rules we have introduced to ensure everyone is safe.Once again, we send our thanks to our staff and contractors for helping us to keep everything going and keeping you safe in your homes, and to all our residents for the way you have responded to our rules and guidelines.Major RepairsWe put a number of projects on hold and mothballed others earlier this year. We are now completing them. The shared bathrooms at Jerome are now largely completed and in use again. The refurbishing of the staircase at 34 Chalcot Crescent is now underway again and will take about another 4 weeks to complete and this includes updating lighting and fire detection equipment..Scheme MeetingsAs new residents move in this late summer/autumn Steve is going to organise meeting with groups of residents at individual schemes in gardens, where we can all socially distance safely, and by Zoom where that is impractical. We want to find out what your concerns are so we might be able to help out, and what our priorities should be for the next 6 months.Re-opening our office – we want to hear your view and ideasWe are not minded to re-open our office to visitors until, probably, next year although staff might occasionally work alone there. We’ve got on quite well without an office and whilst it was difficult at first we’ve adapted and we think our service to residents is as good as ever.Most residents and applicants choose to contact us by email. Very few ‘phone and very few call at our office and most of those are residents of Jerome House. We have also found that we can work as effectively at home as we can in the office.But we do need to have a physical office as our centre although 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 housing@zebrahousing.comSocial ProgrammeSadly, this is still on hold. We continue to monitor accessibility to theatres and exhibitions and will restart our social programme when it becomes viable.