People First Housing Association’s Response to Coronavirus

as at 9 April 2020

Lead contacts:

Dianne Sodhi - dsodi@pfha.co.uk
Andrew Barker - andrewb@pfha.co.uk
Claire Bates – claireb@pfha.co.uk

People First (PF) has put in place measures to ensure that we continue to deliver essential services to our tenants in Hulme, community support service users across the city and our wellbeing service users in Hulme and Moss Side in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The situation is in a constant state of flux and we will endeavour to update this as and when the need arises and share with stakeholders. This information is available on our website.

At present our offer includes:

Emergency Food

As a trusted referral agent we are referring tenants and support users as appropriate to Manchester Covid-19 Food Response team which was launched on the 30 March 2020. This provides either a 3 day grocery food parcel or 3 pre-prepared meals or a combination of both delivered to the home. The costs are £7.50 and £6.00 respectively and beneficiaries are asked to pay this or make a donation via the Just Giving website. People First will make a donation to support the sustainability of this service.

We are also linked with the following foodbanks: Wythenshawe, Central, Mustard Tree, Reach Out Community and local Mosques to enable food parcels to be delivered, with staff arranging collection and drop off to the homes of those in need.

We have also been collecting ready-made meals from the Coop foodbank and delivering these. We are also working with WCHG tenancy support workers in the south of the City.

Additionally PF community support workers may also undertake shopping and delivery for people whose needs can’t be met by the above.

 

Support with energy costs

We are supporting customers with pre-pay meters/smart meters who are self-isolating to access the energy suppliers’ offer of 2 weeks’ worth of gas / electricity. We have linked with our community police officer in Hulme, to support our tenants who may be struggling with energy supplies.

We also refer people to Manchester’s Community Response Hub for assistance managing fuel top-up payments where we are not able to assist.

 

Delivery of medication

We are supporting customers to find ways to get their medication delivered including
contacting their GP and local pharmacy as necessary. If we are unable to make satisfactory arrangements for collection and delivery of medication our community support workers are carrying this out.

We are also making appropriate referrals to Manchester’s Community Response Hub, where we are unable to collect and deliver medication ourselves.

 

Combating loneliness

We are contacting our support and well-being service users and vulnerable tenants on a daily basis sometimes more than once per day or as agreed, but at a minimum weekly and referring people to Manchester’s Community Response Hub and Buzz if they require further support. For example, we recently arranged for art works materials to be dropped off to one service user to enable them to commence drawing and painting whilst self-isolating. Additionally we have been posting puzzles, word searches and other useful age appropriate materials that children may read to help them to understand the current situation.

Support workers/housing officers are contactable throughout the day and we have an emergency out of hour’s service for evenings and weekends. All our customers have been provided with three mobile phone contacts, as well as the office number.

We are linking customers with the Be Well service where people feel additional support/ contact is needed. We are contacting customers, who may not yet be signed up for the service, such as
waiting list applicants, to maintain telephone support and sign posting.

 

Support for carers

We have a number of vulnerable older customers who are carers. We are linking these to Manchester carers centre and continue to liaise with care agencies where applicable.

 

Income support

We have been supporting customers with:
- Universal Credit applications
- Maximising benefits
- Providing up to date government guidance
- Rent and housing benefit advice

 

Community safety

We have identified all tenants/support users where domestic abuse is known or suspected and have sensitively arranged regular contact with them to ensure appropriate support/advice is available as and when needed.

We work closely with the Hulme community safety officer, to ensure the safety of our tenants and one of our contractors is ensuring safety of residents by regular estate inspections.

We have sent information by post about the NHS helpline and provided other useful contact numbers i.e. Kingsleigh house and Crisis line.

 

Repairs and maintenance

We continue to provide essential repairs, gas & statutory servicing and heating
breakdowns for our tenants in Hulme.

 

Relets

Wherever possible we will continue to re-let properties which become vacant to assist Manchester in housing homeless households.

 

Rent collection

Our Housing Officers and Money Advice Officer are dealing with any rent payment queries and providing advice or signposting to Government support, whilst dealing with any serious anti-social behaviour or urgent tenancy matters.

 

Cleaning and refuse removal

Communal cleaning continues in our blocks of flats and shared areas and
arrangements are in place to clear any items of refuse dumped in our
neighbourhoods.

 

Voluntary and community sector

We are regularly liaising and updating the VCS on our service and will ensure appropriate links are in place. We continue to do this as and when more information is provided.