Coronavirus Advice and Info

Updated 8 April 2020

We are here if you need us 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we have needed to revise our plans and adapt our working arrangements in response to Government advice about measures to reduce exposure to this virus. People First staff will now be working from home. We will be able to continue to deliver as full a service as is possible with staff using laptops and mobile phones. We will review this process again at the end of April 2020.

 

For Support Clients:

For our support clients we will be making daily telephone calls. This may not be from your usual support worker, as our staff will be working on different rotas to maintain business continuity.

We can be contacted on 0161 235 6900 from 9.30am to 4.00pm between Monday and Friday switching to our emergency service at other times. This telephone number will predominantly be a message taking service with queries being forwarded to the appropriate staff member within People First.

For our tenants:

As above, we can be contacted on 0161 235 6900 from 9.30am to 4.00pm between Monday and Friday switching to our emergency service at other times. This telephone number will predominantly be a message taking service with queries being forwarded to the appropriate staff member within People First.

Members of the Housing Team can be contacted directly by telephone or email:

Where possible we will continue to share information with our tenants by letter. We would also encourage you to check our website www.pfha.co.uk and our Facebook page for updates about the services and support that are available across Manchester during the current pandemic. Examples of services that have been set up in the response to the pandemic are included at the end of this letter.

We have been speaking with the most vulnerable tenants known to us to discuss the support that they currently require. We are making daily/weekly telephone calls to tenants who have asked for this level of contact to ensure that they can access support networks to avoid them becoming completely isolated. If you would like staff at People First to be in regular contact with you to discuss your concerns, please let us know so that we can tell you about the services that will be available to help you.

 

Rent Payments – We would like to reassure all tenants again that we won’t be starting any possession proceedings and we will not be evicting any of our tenants because of rent arrears during this period of crisis.

Manchester City Council have reassured us they will continue to manage the payment of Housing Benefits.

We are still able to process telephone payments with the same level of security as if we were logged on to our computers within the office. Please contact members of the Housing Team using the telephone numbers above. We will be able to email copies of rent receipts provided by Elavon. Elavon is the secure online terminal we use to process rent payments.

A key focus for us at this time will be in supporting those tenants whose work patterns and income will be severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. If you are worried about any financial difficulties, we urge you to get in touch with us. We will do everything we can to offer help and support during this challenging time, including help claiming benefits such as Universal Credit.

However, it is extremely important that those tenants that can pay their rent continue to do so, to avoid the stress of having to deal with rent arrears and potential legal action in the future once things get back to normal.

 

Repairs Service - Carrying out gas servicing and emergency repairs will continue to be a priority for People First. However, it is inevitable that we will have to provide a scaled down service as our repairs contractors are likely to have reduced capacity to carry out works. Our priority will be to maintain the health and safety of our tenants, so we have suspended non-urgent repairs. Although urgent repairs will be ordered if it is crucial to do so.

 

Symptoms of Coronavirus - Based on current evidence Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing. Most cases appear to be mild.

Our main concern is your health and safety, and that of our employees and contractors. All of us are encouraged to take preventative measures to reduce our potential exposure to Coronavirus. As we have previously advised when arranging for a contractor to visit you at home we will need to ask you if:

  • If you have symptoms as described above;
  • are unwell;
  • have Coronavirus or you think you have been in contact with someone that has the Coronavirus;

In some cases we will need to re-arrange appointments with you when you let us know that you are no longer affected by the virus or need to self-isolate. We are aiming to continue to deliver our emergency repairs service irrespective of whether tenants are affected with Coronavirus even if this means a temporary repair to ensure a tenant is safe.

More advice and information about health symptoms is available online at:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

We want to ensure that the contact details we hold for you are up-to-date. Please phone us or email housing@pfha.co.uk or admin@pfha.co.uk if you have recently changed your phone number or email address so that we can amend our records.

Yours sincerely and best wishes,

 

Andrew Barker

Head of Housing Services

 

Support that is available in Manchester

The Council has set up a hub to support Manchester's most vulnerable people, and help them cope with the impacts of the COVID19 outbreak. People First is a ‘trusted referral’ agency.
The Hub will help you if you are:

  • over the age of 70, are self-isolating and have no support network,
  • if you have received a letter from the NHS advising you are high risk, or
  • you are medically vulnerable according to the government criteria.

They can help with things like:

  • Delivery of food
  • Delivery of medication
  • Combating loneliness
  • Managing fuel top-up payments

 

Help is also be available for other reasons, for example if you are a carer, care leaver or young carer.

Across the City a community of charities, businesses, community groups and the Council have all come together to make sure you have the support you need during this challenging time.

If you need help you can get it now by calling 0800 234 6123. Please let People First know if you need help making a referral.

NHS Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH)

24/7 Helpline 01204 483071

For the latest updates and information, you can visit: www.gmmh.nhs.uk/coronavirus-updates

manchester (head office)

address No1 City Road, City Road East, Manchester M15 4PN
phone 0161 235 6900
fax 0161 235 6919
text-phone 0161 235 6903
job-line 0161 235 6907
e-mail (general):  click here
e-mail (repairs):  click here