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Freebridge and the coronavirus

UPDATED ON 19/05/20

Yesterday the Government published a letter to all social housing residents in England, following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10 May about the steps that the Government is taking to “reopen society and support you and your family to move on with your lives”. You can read the letter here in full.

The letter details what approach housing providers like Freebridge Community Housing should now be taking in respect of the services we provide, and as such we are working on how to ensure we can follow the Government’s instructions while at the same time ensuring that the health and safety of our customers and our workforce remains a priority.

In the next few weeks we will be adjusting the level of service that we are currently providing, as detailed below, by using a staged approach and when we do make these changes we will of course let you know.

What is Freebridge Community Housing doing to protect customers?

Our top priorities during this period of uncertainty continue to be the health and safety of our customers and our workforce, while following government advice.

We have and are continuing to implement plans to reduce face-to-face contacts in the hope that by taking these actions now we can continue to provide as many of the services we do normally, for as long as we can.

We are still able to handle day-to-day enquiries through our normal telephone numbers and email enquiries within the workforce we have available, but we may deal with them in a different way to how we have done previously as many of our employees are now working from home. Please be patient if it takes a little longer than normal to contact us – we will definitely get back to you.

Our repairs service

As this situation has developed we have continued to complete repairs as far as we have been able, however currently we are only carrying out urgent and emergency repairs. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Emergency repairs include anything that puts the health, safety or security of a tenant or third party at immediate risk or which affects the structure of the building, and includes things like:

• Repairs where there is a risk to safety, a danger to health and/or to prevent serious damage to a building/loss of service

• A blocked toilet or drain

• A leak of waste water or sewerage

• No heating or hot water

• A leak of water that cannot be contained resulting in significant damage to the building fabric

• Gas safety/servicing

• Making a building/dwelling safe and secure

Urgent repairs include anything that although not a cause of immediate risk to the health, safety or security of a tenant or third party still needs to be carried out quickly to ensure that the risk does not increase, and includes things like:

• A defective cistern or overflow

• A leaking or faulty radiator valve

• A faulty extractor fan

How should I report an emergency repair?

Emergencies should be reported to us in the normal way by calling 03332 404 444.

I am self-isolating, but need an emergency repair carried out – what should I do?

If you are self-isolating and have an emergency repair, we will attend but will need you to co-operate with us.

Please tell us you are self-isolating when you contact us to book your repair, we will then advise you of the procedure that you will need to follow when we attend.

What about Gas Safety?

During this time our priority is keeping you and your household safe at home. Where you have a gas supply, this includes continuing our normal gas safety checks, so we would urge all customers to continue to allow us access to carry out these important checks.

If you or any member of your household are self isolating, or have become unwell, please call us on 03332 404 444 so that our gas contractors can take appropriate measures to keep both you and their staff safe when they visit.

My rent

We understand that this very difficult situation is likely to affect lots of people in different ways – and paying your rent is likely to be a big concern for some of you. We want to confirm that we really are here to help you, so if you have any worries about your rent please do call us on 03332 404 444.


Another real concern for many of you will be making sure you are receiving any benefits you are entitled to, to help you in this we have a small team who can help provide advice and support who can be contacted by calling us on 03332 404 444.

The Government has posted information on the coronavirus and claiming benefits which may be helpful to you here: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

How should I get in touch?

As of Friday, the 20th March our offices are now closed to visitors.

If you need to contact us you can telephone on 03332 404 444, email at enquiries@freebridge.org.uk or via our social media accounts.

You can also use our online tenant portal that can be accessed from our website at www.freebridge.org.uk


There is a lot of information about the coronavirus online.

If you are concerned you could have the virus or want more information, then please go to see the advice on the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

And further information is also available on the Government’s main website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response


Finally, we would like to thank you, our customers, for your patience and understanding during this very difficult period, and our employees for their efforts in continuing to provide the services they do – by being positive and working together we can get through this.

Tony Hall
Chief Executive

Andy Walder