Coronavirus update: service changes and support

UPDATED 09/04/2020

In response to the latest Government advice to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19) we are changing how we deliver your services.

We are focussing on delivering essential services such as emergency repairs (e.g. gas, electricity and leaks), cleaning and looking after our vulnerable residents.

Our offices and community centres are closed. All our construction sites will be temporarily closed too, once they have been made safe.

You can still access our services by logging onto MyHARCA. Here you can view your statement and pay your rent or service charge.

Alternatively, you can call 0800 035 1991 to make a payment or report an emergency repair. You can also email us at info@poplarharca.co.uk.

We can’t currently accept or issue cheques. For alternative ways to pay, please click here.

If you feel you may need extra help, or are worried about an elderly or vulnerable neighbour, please let us know.  We will find out what support is available, and make sure they know about your concerns.

We will keep you updated if we make further changes as we respond to the advice from Public Health England and want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to reduce the risk to both residents and staff.

We are sharing important coronavirus updates in our e-newsletter. Sign up now, or read the latest edition.

We appreciate your understanding during these exceptional circumstances.

For more information on how you can take action to protect yourself and others, visit the NHS website.

Helpful links and information

Health information
Official information from NHS
Answers to 5 common questions from NHS
Useful information for the elderly from Age UK

Information from the Government
Official information and updates from the Government
Useful updates from BBC news

Information from Tower Hamlets
Official information from Tower Hamlets Council
Useful local advice agencies and national helplines

Financial information & Universal Credit
Universal Credit - making a claim if your circumstances have changed
Money Saving Expert - financial help and to know your rights
The Money Advice Service - employment rights
Citizens Advice - work, benefits and travel

Local foodbanks
Foodbanks across the country are experiencing high demand. You can support local organisations by making a donation online.
First Love Foundation
Bow Foodbank
Newham Foodbank

Covid-19 Mutual Aid community groups
Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK
Bow (E3)
Bromley North
Bromley South
Lansbury & Poplar
Limehouse
Mile End
Royal Docks
Tower Hamlets

Mental health support
Samaritans
Mind
Mental Health UK

Support for our business tenants

Poplar HARCA has temporarily suspended credit control activities and business tenants won’t be charged interest on late payments. 

Find more advice and support for our business tenants here.

Tower Hamlets Council – new grants for eligible local businesses and support and advice.

Fraud

The Metropolitan Police have received reports of coronavirus-related scams:

  • NHS tests: Fraudsters claim to be doing coronavirus tests on behalf of the NHS. If anyone knocks on your door, ignore them and call the Police.
  • Phishing emails: Fraudsters claim to be from research organisations linked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious or unsolicited emails, and never respond to emails, calls or messages that ask for your personal or financial details. 
  • Free school meals: Fraudulent emails ask for bank details to support those entitled to free school meals. Do not open these emails, and delete immediately. Find out more.
  • Shopping for the elderly: Fraudsters claim to be from supermarkets, take money from elderly residents for shopping and then don’t return. Do not hand over money to anyone knocking on your door and call the Police. 
  • Online shopping: If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first and use a credit card if you have one. Find out more.

Install the latest software and updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

Keeping safe at home

Our Safeguarding team is here to support residents who may be at increased risk of domestic abuse during this stay at home period.
We want to assure those who may use work as a safe haven and are now unable to do so, that we are here to listen and advise you.
If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and you’re concerned for your or their safety, please call us on 0800 035 1991 (ask to speak to the Safeguarding team) or report it to us online.
If anyone is in immediate risk of harm, please always call 999.

There are various national support agencies who may also be able to provide you with advice and support:
Refuge Charity on 0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid live chat or email helpline@womensaid.org.uk
Respect Helpline for Men on 0808 801 0327
Galop National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 999 5428

Repairs in your home

Our contractors are continuing to carry out essential repairs. They are taking extra safety measures to help keep you and themselves healthy while they work in your home.

  • They will wash their hands when they arrive and before they leave your property
  • They may wear masks, gloves and use hand santiser
  • They may use an antibacterial cleaning solution or wipes on surfaces in the area they are working in

In line with Government advice, please keep your distance while they are working. If possible elderly, pregnant or vulnerable residents should stay in a different room or keep at least 2 metres away.

Our emergency contractors also have steps in place to help people in isolation as much as possible, for example, they can drop off temporary heating equipment with no contact.

Non-essential repairs

From Monday 23 March 2020, we will only carry out emergency repairs to residents’ homes. This means if you had a non-essential repair booked on or after 23 March, this has been cancelled.

         Essential repairs

         Non-essential repairs

  • heating or hot water and gas servicing
  • electrical emergencies
  • security locks and window restrictors
  • severe leaks
  • work required to preserve the safety of residents or the structure of a building
  • communal and estate repairs including lifts
  • works in our empty properties
  • minor day-to-day repairs, adjustments or inspections
  • mould and condensation
  • finishings including decoration, plastering, tiling and flooring
  • bath panel renewals
  • replacements
  • any repair required as a result of damage, neglect or misuse by the resident

Communal and estate works will continue as usual because there is no risk of close contact between people.

We are not logging or booking non-essential repairs at the moment. If in a month’s time the repair is still needed, please contact us for advice.

For emergency repairs, please call us on 0800 035 1991.

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