Zebra News and Services

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.     
June 30, 2020

ZEBRA NEWS JUNE/JULY

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.     
May 18, 2020

ZEBRA NEWS MAY 2020

Coronavirus Update

Since our office closure in March we’ve adapted our service (and all our lives) to a very different world. But you can still phone us - ‘phones are diverted to Steve and Heidi’s home, and all of our email addresses are active, regularly monitored and emails responded to. We are still providing a basic service to residents and still letting flats (without actually coming into physical contact with new residents), and our one aim is to keep you and your families safe and secure in your homes.

We’ve scaled back our maintenance service 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.

The one area where we’ve actually expanded our service has been cleaning and every scheme is now cleaned on a daily basis. This includes disinfecting all common areas (including shared bathrooms, WCs, laundries and hard surfaces) and regular steam cleaning.

It is really important that all residents continue to follow the advice that Steve has been sending out to you. This will ensure that we are all do everything we can to keep our residents, staff, and cleaning and maintenance contractors safe.

Once again we really want to thank our wardens, deputy wardens, building contractors and cleaners for helping us to keep everything going and keeping you safe in your homes.

Board News

Our Board met last week for the first time since lockdown. The meeting was conducted by Zoom. It of course focused on the actions we have been taking to safeguard our residents, staff and contractors and how we are continuing to operate the Zebra business. The Urgency Committee (a Committee of the Board) consisting of the Chair, Vice-chair and Treasurer continues to meet fortnightly.

Major Repairs

We’ve obviously put a number of schemes on hold whilst others have had to be mothballed until we get through this crisis. This includes the work at 34 Chalcot involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering and redecoration and the bathroom refitting programme at Jerome. As soon as we are able, we’ll resume work and we are very sorry for the inconvenience.

Scheme Meetings

Last year Steve held a number of meeting with groups of residents at individual schemes. We’re now thinking these meetings would adapt very well to Zoom. We are now planning on holding a series of Zoom meetings over the next two months. 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.

When these are arranged, Steve will contact you with the details on how to participate.

Social Programme

We’ve cancelled our June garden party – this is the first time in our history. Here are some personal suggestions for various events

The National Theatre is streaming different shows every week. Try Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Anthony and Cleopatra or the adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Go to nationaltheatre.org.uk for more information.

The BBC has a recording of the adaptation of Angela Carter’s Wise Children. Go tohttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0892kf6

Please refer to our previous updates for further online suggestions for you and your families.

April 15, 2020

OUR LOVELY CLEANERS

Our lovely cleaners, working over Easter – and they left an Easter Egg for Every flat. We are terribly grateful to them and as one resident commented “ the building is especially sparkling these days, unsurprisingly, so many thanks to the cleaning crew for all the extra work. Feels very safe!"