I have recently been in contact with Orbit Group, who have updated me on the steps they are currently taking to protect their teams and customers from the effects of coronavirus.
Maintenance and Evictions
- All Orbit offices and Orbit Homes sales offices are closed to the public for the moment.
- Building sites will remain open, following social distancing guidelines, whilst all non-essential repair work will be put on hold. Orbit will continue to carry out emergency repairs and safety work (including any work necessary to protect a customer's health and safety, their property or security from risk). Suitably equipped contractors will be trained in social distancing.
- Nobody will face eviction as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis during this period.
Customers who are worried about their rent or financial circumstances as a result of coronavirus are encouraged to get in touch with Orbit. More information and guidance, including an FAQ page, can be found online at https://www.orbitcustomerhub.org.uk/coronavirus/.
Orbit have pledged over £40,000 to support the supply and delivery of essentials to local communities, as well as assisting with funding for school breakfast clubs, to help those children still attending school. Orbit are also helping community cafes transition to delivering hot meals, and staff are lending their services to local volunteering efforts.
- Customers in Independent Living schemes will be checked on by staff during weekly site visits and over the phone. These visits and calls will be made more frequently to those who need extra support.
- Orbit are providing a £150,000 Hardship Fund to provide essential support to the most vulnerable.
- Staff (and specialist partners such as Citizens Advice, Mind and PayPlan) continue to offer free support services to improve mental well-being during this period. More details can be found here.