An update from Gareth Swarbrick, RBH Chief Executive

An update for tenants and customers from the RBH Chief Executive

Gareth Swarbrick

Hello there,

I want to provide you with a further update on RBH services in view of the continued coronavirus restrictions in Rochdale and across Greater Manchester.

Our top priority remains the safety, health, and wellbeing of our tenants, employees, and communities. I remain extremely proud of how RBH tenants and employees have worked together throughout the pandemic to keep our communities safe and to protect vulnerable residents.

Please continue to follow the advice of the Government, Rochdale Council, and the local NHS. The latest RBH information continues to be available at www.rbh.org.uk/coronavirus.

Our HomeChoice lettings service is fully operational, and our team have put in place additional measures to keep applicants and RBH employees safe. These include new virtual viewings for some homes, and new digital and contactless tenancy agreements.

Our repairs and maintenance team are working tirelessly to clear the backlog of work caused by three months of lockdown, but this will take time and there is also a continued national shortage of some materials - for example for plastering and fencing. We are doing all we can to make sure that we obtain the appropriate materials as quickly as we can. I want to be honest with you therefore that it is likely to be several months before the backlog is fully cleared. We are very grateful for your patience and understanding. Repairs can be reported using our MyRBH portal, by telephone on Freephone 0800 027 7769, or by email to rbh.repairs@rbh.org.uk.

I am very aware of the challenges caused by the uncertainty of the pandemic, both for RBH employees and for our tenants. With children returning to school this week, many colleagues and tenants are looking to make childcare arrangements. To provide some certainty, we have taken the decision to keep our offices closed until at least March, and to ask those colleagues who are currently working from home to continue to do so.

Unfortunately the layout of our customer centre at St Alban’s House means that it is not currently safe to open it to the public. St Alban’s House will remain closed until further notice. We are currently reviewing our arrangements for customer access, and I will make sure that you are informed of any changes as soon as possible. You can currently contact us via our MyRBH portal, by Freephone telephone on 0800 027 7769, or by email to customerexperience@rbh.org.uk.

Finally, I want to end by letting you know about two great opportunities to get involved this month.

Over the past few months, we've seen the real benefits of RBH tenants and employees working together as part of our mutual society. This year we are holding our Annual Members' Meeting online on Wednesday 16th September - you can register to attend at www.rbh.org.uk/amm. If you are not yet a Member, visit www.rbh.org.uk/join to join now.

Alongside this, nominations for our 2020 Values In Practice (VIP) Awards close on Friday 18th September. Do you know a hero in your community who deserves a nomination? We'd love to hear about more RBH tenants and community organisations who have gone above and beyond over the past few months. You can visit www.rbh.org.uk/vip now to make your nomination.

Kindest regards,

Gareth Swarbrick - RBH Chief Executive

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