Stakeholders

A2Dominion's coronavirus (Covid-19) position on 11th May 2020

The on-going coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for our organisation and customers. We are continuing to keep operations and services as close as possible to business as usual with minimal disruption for our customers.
We are continuing to keep operations and services as close as possible to business as usual with minimal disruption for our customers.
We are continuing to keep operations and services as close as possible to business as usual with minimal disruption for our customers
Our business continuity plans remain robust and we are closely monitoring the situation. A more detailed update on key areas can be found below.

Supporting customers

We are providing as much support as possible to our customers during this difficult time. We are encouraging those who need individual support to contact us about their individual needs.

Where required, we are streamlining and prioritising our services to ensure we offer essential support to those who need it most, such as care and support customers and vulnerable people. All customers over the age of 70 that are not in supported accommodation are being contacted to discuss their wellbeing with follow up support offered to those in need.

For any customers worried about their financial situation, we are offering support and signposting through our Tenancy Sustainment team. We are monitoring this closely. We will not take any new possession proceedings or evictions until 30th September 2020.

Our anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse services are operating remotely, including the domestic abuse helpline.

Customer communications

All front desk offices are closed to customers, in line with government advice. Residents can continue to contact us through our other usual channels, including the customer contact centre and online.

We have issued updates to customers through our website, email and social media channels. We have sent letters to all customers offering advice, and guidance on the provision of services.

Updates for customers can be seen on our customer website here.

We continue to handle complaints as normal.

Repairs and maintenance

At present, we are operating cleaning, repairs and maintenance services broadly as normal but this is under continuous review.

There are co-ordinated plans in place between our teams and contractors to ensure we can continue to provide emergency repairs, as well as compliance work such as fire and gas safety checks. Essential estate inspections for fire and health and safety continue.

We have started to reduce grounds maintenance to focus on cleaning where workforce resources and management allows.

We have developed guidance to ensure customers and staff are protected during property visits, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Development and sales

Our directly managed sites for new homes started to reopen from 27th April, following closure on 25th March. To be confident reopening sites, we have strengthened our health and safety procedures in line with new guidance from the government and the Construction Leadership Council.

Full details can be seen here.

All sales sites have closed and we are not conducting sales viewings. Enquiries and ongoing sales are being progressed by staff working remotely.

Lettings

Unless the viewing is urgent, we are offering virtual viewings for social housing. For urgent viewings, such as a homeless person without internet access, we have developed social distancing procedures to allow viewings to take place of properties that are ready to let.

All nominations must have access to an email address as sign-ups and communication will be conducted via Docusign, email and telephone.

Care and Support services

We have taken steps to protect vulnerable customers in our care and support schemes. These include procedures and PPE for staff, restrictions on visitors and reduced movement around schemes. All communal activities and areas, including restaurants, remain closed and a tray service is being provided for meals.

Staff are checking on vulnerable residents regularly and information about staying in touch has been provided to next of kin.

Students and Key workers

Our student and key worker accommodation services are temporarily restricted to essential visitor access only where possible. We are taking this approach to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus. Our site offices have closed but can be contacted by phone or email.

We will not charge rent for those students who vacate their accommodation for the rest of the academic year.

Governance

Our Executive Team remains in close contact with the Board through our Chair, Ian Cox.

Finance

Payment runs to suppliers are continuing as normal. We have procedures in place should there be any requirement for emergency payments outside our normal weekly cycle.

Our treasury policy requires the Group to maintain a high level of liquidity at all times and as a consequence the Group is well placed during these challenging times.

In addition to over £100m currently on short term deposit with various financial institutions we have nearly £450m of undrawn committed loan facilities from a range of banks, which we are able to draw at short notice if required.

We will continue to maintain significant liquidity and continually monitor our financial situation carefully.

Our Fitch Outlook has changed to negative following the UK sovereign downgrade. This change in Outlook is not a reflection of our business or a change in our rating. Instead, it reflects our position close to the government’s current rating and continued negative Outlook. We remain amongst the highest rated organisations by Fitch in the sector.

Business operations

The majority of staff continue to work remotely where possible.We have placed a very small number of staff on the government’s furlough scheme. To support these staff, A2Dominion will cover the 20% of pay not covered by the scheme.

Business contacts

Care and support – Pam Vasir, Director of Supported Housing

Development – Danny Lynch, Director of Land and Development, Steven Waite, Director of Technical & Commercial, Doreen Wright, Commercial Director (Programme and Compliance)

Housing – Dawn Wightman, Director of Housing

HR – Penny St Martin, Director of HR

Finance – Jason Adams, Assistant Director of Finance

Private rent and leaseholders – Nicki Morrison, Acting Director of Residential Services

Repairs and maintenance – David Lingeman, Director of Property Services

Treasury – Ellie Lodge, Director of Treasury