We are starting to complete routine repairs once more


22/06/2020

Due to coronavirus, we have been unable to carry out routine repairs to your homes since lockdown began in March. Now lockdown measures have started to ease slightly, the Housing Minister recently sent a letter to all social housing customers to let you know how social housing associations are planning to resume usual procedures.

We’re pleased to say that FCHO is now able to resume routine repairs, but as you can imagine, this is an extremely busy time while we catch back up, so please bear with us as we begin to get back to normal.

What’s going to happen?

As we restart operations, there is a large backlog of repairs which we need to prioritise. New routine repairs will be actioned at some point, however emergency and urgent repairs will be addressed first, followed by existing repairs made prior to lockdown which we have been unable to carry out. 

When we make repairs appointments with you, please also be aware that these are going to take a little longer than usual to carry out due to the increase in risk assessments and safe working practices.

What should I do?

  • If you need to report a new routine repair, do this in the usual way by calling our Contact Centre on 0161 393 7117 or emailing servicecentre@fcho.co.uk but be aware this may take longer than usual due to how busy we are at the moment. You can also raise a non-emergency/urgent repair through My Account which can be accessed through our website
  • If you made an existing report for a repair prior to or during lockdown, we are working through the backlog and will get to it as soon as we can. Please help ease pressure on our Contact Centre and don’t call for an update on the status of your existing repair – we will be in touch with you
  • Wherever you can, please wait a few days/weeks after we start working again before logging a new repair (unless it is an emergency or urgent). We received thousands of reports during lockdown which we have been unable to carry out, and also had to cancel many existing appointments. Our operatives are working tirelessly to get through this backlog as quickly as possible
  • Please bear with us. We understand how frustrating it is when a repair needs completing in your home and we’re working hard to get through the backlog as quickly as possible but appointment times are much busier than usual. It’s going to take longer for us to visit your property and complete the work, especially if your repair is a new report, so please be patient
  • Use our call-back service. Our phone lines are very busy right now so if you haven’t got time to wait on hold until a member of staff is available to speak to you, make use of our call-back service. When you’re on hold, press ‘7’ on your keypad, followed by your call-back number, and a member of staff will aim to get back to you within three hours (during working hours)
  • Take an all-day appointment slot. As some customers are still at home for the majority of the day, please take advantage of our all-day appointment slots, rather than requesting specific times (such as early morning)


How we’re minimising the risk of coronavirus

  • All our operatives are equipped with a full range of PPE and will be wearing the appropriate protective equipment at all times as well as observing social distancing guidelines.
  • If your repair is for external works only (such as a repair to your front-gate) we will not make an appointment as we do not need to enter your home and the risk of spreading coronavirus is much lower. We will simply arrive at your property, complete the works and post a card through your letterbox to let you know what work has been done
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating or shielding – we will only be carrying out emergency or urgent repairs as per government guidance, in order to protect both you and our staff
  • For those customers who have symptoms or are shielding/self-isolating and need to report an emergency or urgent repair, all necessary precautions will be taken before we arrive at your property. We’ll ring on arrival, ask you to open the door and ask you to clear the area where we will be working and stay in another room until the repair is completed. We will then leave your home, return to our vehicle and ring you to advise what’s been done and any next steps. We will clean the area before and after carrying out any work