Covid-19 Updates

Spring Newsletter - April 2021

This newsletter contains information on the following:

  • Covid-19 Service Update
  • Change of Duties within the Housing Management Department
  • Update of Office Phone Options
  • New Bulk Uplift Service
  • Garden Maintenance Programme
  • Welfare Rights News
  • Window Wanderland
  • Committee Member Vacancy
  • Factoring News - new factoring charges from 1st April 2021.

A copy of our Newsletter can be viewed here.

New Bulk Uplift Service - 1st April 2021

Following our consultation on the introduction of a new bulk uplift service to replace the former service provided by Glasgow City Council, the Association will introduce a new service.

From 1st April 2021, Cathcart & District Housing Association will add bulk uplift to our list of services that we provide.

Our contractor CleanScene will be carrying out the service and will be in the area every Tuesday and Wednesday.

CDHA tenants and factored owners can request an uplift by emailing bulk@cathcartha.co.uk. We ask that you provide your address and a list of the bulky items requiring removal.

We are hoping that the implementation of this service will result in a significant improvement to our local area.

Our area will be divided into two. Each week half of our stock will have the bulk removed, and the second week the other half.  In this way we hope that all bulk will be removed within two weeks of it being put out.  It is important however, that when you put it out you let us know using the above email address or calling our office.

Our tenant engagement team will be working on using the tenant portal for this purpose going forward as another way of reporting things to us and Allan and Grant will be in touch about this in the near future.

 

We will be seeking your feedback on this new service in order that we can monitor it and address any issues that arise. 

Update of Phone Options and Change of Roles - 1st April 2021

We have recently updated the options on our office phone number. Please see below for our new updated options:

Option 1 – Repairs and maintenance, garden maintenance & gas servicing
Option 2 – Rent accounts and rent payments
Option 3 – Factoring payments and all other financial enquiries
Option 4 – Waiting list applications and allocations enquiries
Option 5 – All other general enquiries

Please ensure that you select the correct option so you are transferred to the relevant department.

 

Following a review of our Housing Management department and the various tasks each member of staff performs we have made some changes to the way in which we deliver this service.

From 1st April 2021 we will introduce the following:

Arrears and Debt Control Officer

Lynsay Gallagher
Housing Officer (Arrears and Debt Recovery)
Email: Lynsay@cathcartha.co.uk
Mob: 07972 083 324
Tel: 0141 251 0417

 

Collecting arrears and ensuring tenants engage consistently with the organisation by way of payment plans is perhaps the most challenging of areas and especially in difficult times. Our rental income is our main source of income and in order to provide all the improvements in our houses we require to maximise our income. Lynsay has a wealth of experience in debt recovery and is both consistent and determined to ensure that arrears do not escalate once a tenancy has started.  From 1st April Lynsay will deal with all cases where an account has fallen into arrears.

 

Tenancy Engagement Team

Allan MacDonald
Housing Officer (Tenancy Engagement, Sustainment and Tenant Welfare)
Email: Allan@cathcartha.co.uk
Mob: 07903 263 891
Tel: 0141 251 0384

 

Grant Dyer
Trainee Housing Officer (Tenancy Engagement, Sustainment and Tenant Welfare)
Email: Grant@cathcartha.co.uk
Mob: 07884 206 218
Tel: 0141 251 0473

Allan and Grant will deal with any tenancy related issues, assisting with benefit claims, working with tenants on the new tenant portal, any difficulties being experienced with a tenancy and carrying out regular tenant visits which will assist in identifying any tenant in need of support.  They will then ensure that the correct support is put in place.   They will also be working on our Digital Inclusion policy to try and get as many people connected to Wi-Fi as possible. They will carry out Tenant Satisfaction Surveys both annually and following all our major repairs contracts.  

 

Voids and Allocations Team

Nicole McMaster
Trainee Housing Officer (Voids and Allocations)
Email: Nicole@cathcartha.co.uk
Mob: 07966 100 874
Tel: 0141 251 0383

 

Nicole will work with James O’Hanlon, Maintenance Officer to ensure that all voids are inspected timeously and flats allocated in the quickest possible time. Nicole will also deal with anti-social behaviour issues and ensure that your housing benefit entitlement is up to date on our system. It is important that any changes to your benefits or universal credit are advised to Nicole so she can update our system and hence your account has up-to-date information on it at all times.

 

All of the above tasks will be overseen by our Senior Housing Officer Morna Smillie.

GCC Food Waste Collection for Flatted Properties

The Association has received correspondence from Glasgow City Council regarding food waste collections. Please find this information below. 

GCC will resume food waste collections in the South area of the city from 15 February 2021.

A review of food waste bins has been undertaken in the South of the city and this has identified two specific issues in flatted properties, these are -

  • Significant levels of repeated contamination in bins within specific backcourts
  • Unacceptable risks to staff in terms of servicing bins – this is largely around stairs, access and weight of bins

As a consequence of these issues, bins will be removed from around 2,300 backcourts (2,700 bins) in advance of the service resuming and removals will commence on 8 February 2021.  For those properties where bins are being removed, a letter will be issued to residents, week commencing 1 February 2021, advising them of alternative ways to recycle food waste.  For properties where bins have been removed, residents who still wish to recycle their food waste will be able to access an enhanced network of public food waste bins sites across the South of the city.  A list of these locations can be found on the Council’s website - https://glasgow.gov.uk/RecyclingPoints.  The location of these public/on street facilities means that bins will be place a short distance from areas where bins have been removed from.

Food waste bins that remain in backcourts will move to a 16 day collection frequency, which mirrors the implementation of the Bin Replacement Programme blue bin frequency, and ensures that the same vehicle, driver and crew will service the same properties on each shift.  We are committed to improving our services therefore we encourage households to continue to fully utilise all recycling bins which have been provided, helping to increase recycling in the city and reducing our carbon footprint. The average family household could also save up to £460 per year by throwing away less food.

As noted above, residents will continue to have the opportunity to recycle food waste.  It is anticipated that that there will be efficiencies in terms of vehicle movements leading to a reduction in our carbon footprint and also increasing the quality of food waste collected.

Food Waste Collection Leaflet

Changes to Services - January 2021

From Tuesday 5th January 2021, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary lockdown. The Association’s close cleaning service will be suspended for the month of January and we will be carrying out emergency repairs and gas servicing only during current lockdown restrictions.

Changes to Repairs Service

From 26th December 2020, the Association will be carrying out emergency repairs only as our local area falls into tier level 4 restrictions. Therefore, routine repairs are currently suspended. Gas servicing will still continue as normal. We are hopeful that these restrictions will ease after the three-week period, however, this may be subject to change.

 

Please check our website and Facebook page for regular updates.

Rehab 4 Addiction

Rehab 4 Addiction serves as an online resource for those dealing with substance abuse. They have created educational guides to help increase the understanding and awareness of all aspects of dealing with the stress of lockdown and bereavement. With the current Covid-19 pandemic, many who live with depression are struggling to stay afloat during self-isolation. The aim is that this resource can be one of the many stepping stones for those struggling and their loved ones, to better understand their situation and lead them to find a safe and supportive environment, especially during these times.

For more information, please check out the following guide.

Repairs

Following the Scottish Government's announcement on 18th June 2020, our repairs contractor will be returning to work soon. Our Maintenance team can now report repairs requested from Monday 29th June 2020.

If you have a repair that needs to be actioned, please report this by phoning 0141 633 2779 (option 1).

Please note, repairs can be processed but will not be carried out until the week commencing Monday 29th June 2020.

Close Cleaning Service

As phase one of easing lockdown has now been introduced by the Scottish Government, we can now confirm that our close cleaning service will resume on Monday 15th June 2020.

If you see the Estate Assistants working, we politely ask that you minimise contact and adhere to social distancing by maintaining a 2 metre distance at all times.

Foodbanks and Other Support

This guide contains details on foodbanks and how to access the services. Also included is the contact details for energy companies. Click here for more information.

Coronavirus Financial Guide

This guide contains information about benefits and schemes put in place by the government, and other assistance available. Our Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service is still in operation, our Advisers are working remotely, therefore, if you would like any further information or support to apply for welfare benefits or assistance dealing with creditors then please contact us on 0141 422 1112 or advice@southside-ha.co.uk. Click here to access the financial guide.

Out of Hours Emergency Repairs

Due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) only emergency repairs will be attended to.

If your repair is an out of office hour’s emergency, please call the appropriate contractor from the list of emergency numbers listed below:

GAS/BOILER 

City Building 0800 595 595

ROOFING/GLAZIER 

City Building 0800 595 595 

PLUMBING AND DRAINAGE

Power-lite 0800 028 6734 or 07836 700 754  

ELECTRICIAN/JOINER

Power-lite 0800 028 6734 or 07836 700 754  

24th March 2020 Update

Following the message from the Prime Minister last night we have no option but to withdraw the remaining back court cleaning service with immediate effect. We will also now only be attending to emergency repairs and our staff will follow screening procedures when organising these repairs.

As you are aware from our letter of last week, GCC have stopped picking up bulk items. You should refrain from putting bulk items out for uplift in the coming weeks/months. This will help keep the back courts tidy and reduce any vermin.

These are unprecedented times and if everyone makes that little extra effort, we will get through this.

We would encourage people to continue to use sensible precautions and wipe down door handles, when coming in and out.

Thank you for your co-operation.

16th March 2020 Update

During these uncertain times the health and wellbeing of our customers and staff is very important to us and we are taking steps to minimise risks where we can.

As there have been increasing numbers of Coronavirus (COVID -19) reported in the news recently we are taking guidance from the Scottish Government, Official Health authorities and our affiliated bodies. We will continue to post information on our Website and Facebook accordingly.

We have activated our Business Continuity Policy and are working through operational plans to continue to deliver our services through this period.

From March 16 we have the following contingencies in place.

  • We have closed the office to visitors to reduce face to face contact
  • We will contact all pre-arranged appointments over the next week and agree alternative arrangements.  We will wherever possible replace face to face appointments with telephone appointments or conduct the matter through e mail.
  • We will carry out essential home visits only and these will be pre-arranged and both staff and contractors will ask you some screening questions to protect you and them before an appointment can be made.
  • You should let us know if you are self-isolating or have recently returned from any of the countries in lockdown.
  • You can contact us by email at info@cathcartha.co.uk or by phone at 0141 633 2779 (calls may divert to a mobile phone)

We appreciate you co-operation and patience in this matter

Paying Rent or Factors Bill

As our office is closed due to COVID-19 we are unable to take rent or factoring payments in the office (in cash or by telephone).

You can still pay your rent in the following ways:

  • using your Allpay card at any Pay Point
  • using the Allpay app - download from the App store or Google Play (you will need your reference number from your rent card)
  • Standing Order - you can contact your bank to do this or set it up using online banking
  • Bank Transfer using the below details - you can phone your bank or use online banking to do this

RENT:

Cathcart and District HA

Sort Code: 83 21 07
Account No: 0012 7537
Ref: Surname & Property Reference
Branch: RBS

FACTORING:

Cathcart and District HA
Sort Code: 83 21 07
Account No: 0012 8924
Ref: Surname & Property Ref
Branch: RBS

Coronavirus and Claiming Benefits

If you think your income is going to be affected as a result of the Coronavirus then apply for universal credit right away. Below is a link from DWP providing further information on Universal Credit and Statutory Sick Pay as a result of the virus. 

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/  

 

 Helplines

Coronavirus general helpline

If you don't have symptoms and looking for general information call 0800 028 2816.

Housing helpline 

Call Shelter Scotland on 0808 800 4444 for advice and answers on homelessness, evictions, housing benefit, repairs and more.

Helpline for elderly people

Call Age Scotland on 0800 12 44 222 for coronavirus advice, help, or simply a friendly voice of support.

Business support helpline

Call the Scottish Government's official helpline for businesses on 0300 303 0660 for all questions related to coronavirus financial support and essential advice.

Mental health helpline 

Call Breathing Space Scotland on 0800 83 85 87 for listening, advice and information for people in Scotland feeling low, stressed or anxious.

Employers' helpline

Call Healthy Working Lives on 0800 019 2211 for practical workplace advice on health, safety and wellbeing information.

Parents helpline

Call Parentline Scotland on 08000 28 22 33 for tips, advice and support for parents, or if you simply need to talk.

Due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus, there are some changes to how you access some Homelessness services:

Out of Hours Homelessness Services
If you are homeless and need a service after 4:45pm Monday to Thursday or 3:55pm on a Friday and weekends, then please call 0800 838 502.

Asylum and Refugee Team (No Change)
44 South Portland Street
Glasgow
G5 9JJ
Telephone: 0141 222 7352

If you need an asylum service, then please use the address/phone number above.

Useful Links

For further information and advice on Coronavirus please click on the links below:

NHS Inform website
Scottish Government Updates