Putting residents first in challenging times

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Posted on20 Jul 2020

During the Coronavirus crisis, the safety, health, and wellbeing of Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) residents and staff was always our main priority.

Our dedicated teams worked hard to ensure that residents continued to live in safe and welcoming homes, during the lockdown period and that they were provided with individual support where needed.

Chris Welch, Head of Property Services, said; ‘Despite the obvious challenges of securing staff, resource and equipment during lockdown, from March to mid June we've managed to provide 258 emergency repairs and over 300 gas services. He continues, ‘It was crucial that with people needing to live, work and stay at home, their homes needed to remain safe and secure.’

The Customer Services Teams handled almost 6,500 calls and emails from concerned residents, with everything from emergency repairs to accessing money and benefits support.

In addition to dealing with enquiries from residents, our Housing and Community Services team put in place additional support to those who were most vulnerable to the crisis and to the implications of lockdown. Angela Dearing, Deputy Director, Housing explains:

‘As soon as we went into lockdown, 2,000 calls were made to our residents, to help us identify those who were in most need and who needed additional support from us. Priority was given to those over the age of 70 and those who we knew had a disability or were particularly vulnerable.’

She continues, ‘From there we are able to identify who wanted regular calls from us and we could plan our response accordingly. For some this meant help with doing online grocery orders or picking up prescriptions for medication, for others it meant accessing money and benefits advice, or just a regular call to check they were well.”

As the UK emerges from the pandemic and with the stronger relationships that were forged between staff and residents over the past three months, JRHT feel that we have an even greater understanding of the needs of our residents. Going forward, this will allow us to shape our services accordingly.