Coronavirus

Last updated: 31 March 2020

In line with UK Government advice, our office was closed from the evening of Friday 20 March and will remain so until further notice. We have made this decision because it’s vital that we do everything we can to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect our customers, our staff, our contractors and members of our community.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our tenants and other customers.

Although the office is closed, our staff are working remotely, and we will continue to provide services so long as it is safe to do so.

 

1. Service updates

Stair cleaning

In line with government advice on social distancing, we have been forced to suspend our regular stair cleaning service until further notice. Where any cases of coronavirus are reported in one of our stairs, we will do everything in power to disinfect the stair provided it is safe to do so.

Urgent repairs

To report an urgent repair, please call TB MacKays on 0131 552 6103 (during office hours).

Emergency calls outside office hours should still be requested as normal through Response 24 (Bield) on 0141 959 8948.

For any other repairs and enquiries, please email propertyadmin@polha.co.uk 

Responsive repairs and planned maintenance

We will be prioritising essential health and safety inspections (for example fire system testing, lift inspections, electrical testing, asbestos inspections and legionella checks) and emergency repairs.

As of 1 April 2020, we are suspending gas servicing appointments. However, our gas engineers will be available to attend to any emergencies.

We are continuing to assess all other repair requests on a case by case basis before instructing contractors and will therefore be asking you about the health of your household.

A small number of major repair contracts carrying out external works will remain on site and you will continue to see both contractors and our own project team on site as long as it is safe and essential to do so.

We reiterate that this is a postponement of work, not a cancellation. We will continue as planned as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Contacting the office

We are only able to operate a limited customer contact service due to the current situation.

Our main point of contact will be through e-mail at propertyadmin@polha.co.uk which will be regularly monitored and actioned by a team of staff.

For urgent repairs, please call TB MacKays on 0131 552 6103. 

In an emergency, please call 0131 554 0403 where you will be given emergency contact numbers you may use. Please only use these numbers rather than emailing propertyadmin@polha.co.uk as a last resort.

Tenancy sustainment support

We are continuing to try to provide help over the phone for welfare benefits, money/debt advice and tenancy support.  Please email propertyadmin@polha.co.uk and your request will be forwarded to the Tenancy Sustainment Team.

Community Works

All planned training has been postponed with new dates to be announced at an appropriate time. Unfortunately, we cannot take any new referrals until further notice. All customer assessments and interviews have been postponed or moved to remote contact only eg telephone or email.

 

2. Here to help you: Worried about paying rent?

Information for social rent customers

Worried about paying your rent?
We know that the coronavirus pandemic is having a negative impact on the finances of some of our tenants. If this applies to you and you are worried about keeping up with your rent payments, please let us know by emailing propertyadmin@polha.co.uk and your housing officer will get in touch to discuss the different payment options and support available to you.

Your home is safe. No one will lose their home owing to financial hardship caused by coronavirus.

Did you know?

  • People affected by coronavirus who are concerned about paying their rent can apply for Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions. Universal Credit is available to some working people as well as unemployed people. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make applying for Universal Credit easier. Find out more about how to apply for it at www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
  • When completing applications for Universal Credit, please remember to state that your landlord is PORT OF LEITH HOUSING ASSOCIATION, 108 Constitution Street, Edinburgh EH6 6AZ. It is important that you give this accurate information to prevent your application from being delayed.
  • If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can’t afford your housing costs, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). Further information on DHPs and how to apply is available here.
  • You may also be able to get support through the Scottish Welfare Fund. Further information on how to apply is available here.
  • Our Tenancy Support Team can give advice on applying for benefits if you’ve lost your job or had your income reduced. Again, please email propertyadmin@polha.co.uk and one of the team will get in touch with you.
  • If you are currently a student there may be other funds you can access – contact your college or university and ask for help and read this guide to support from Citizens Advice.

Here to help you
Please do keep in touch so we can support you through this challenging time and follow the updates here on our website.

Information for MMR customers

Worried about paying your rent?
We know that the coronavirus pandemic is having a negative impact on the finances of some of our tenants. If this applies to you and you are worried about keeping up with your rent payments, please let us know by emailing perseveremmr@polha.co.uk and we will discuss the different payment options and support available to you. 

Your home is safe. No one will lose their home owing to financial hardship caused by coronavirus. 

Did you know?

  • People affected by coronavirus who are concerned about paying their rent can apply for Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions. Universal Credit is available to some working people as well as unemployed people. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make applying for Universal Credit easier. Find out more about how to apply for it at www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
  • When completing applications for Universal Credit, please remember to state that your landlord is PERSEVERE DEVELOPMENTS c/o Port of Leith Housing Association, 108 Constitution Street, Edinburgh EH6 6AZ. It is important that you give this accurate information to prevent your application from being delayed.
  • If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can’t afford your housing costs, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). Further information on DHPs and how to apply is available here.
  • You may also be able to get support through the Scottish Welfare Fund. Further information on how to apply is available here.
  • If you are currently a student there may be other funds you can access – contact your college or university and ask for help and read this guide to support from Citizens Advice.

Here to help you
Please do keep in touch so we can support you through this challenging time and follow the updates here on our website.

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