As we prepare for a second national lockdown, the National Housing Federation has published some helpful initial guidance on the key issues that providers will face.
Some of the greatest challenges in the first lockdown arose from the need to maintain health and safety compliance.
Providers will have gained valuable experience in the first wave in balancing their competing compliance, health and safety and Covid-19 safety risks. They should therefore be well placed to adapt to the new lockdown.
However, they should ensure that they don’t automatically adopt the same approach without considering what worked well and what could be improved.
In all cases they will need to ensure that they comply with the most recent government guidance, conduct a careful risk assessment taking into account the lessons learned earlier in the pandemic and keep careful records of the decisions made and the actions taken to ensure compliance.
Providers must also recognise how the risks to the safety of their employees and tenants may have changed as we enter the new lockdown and adapt their relevant policies, procedures and measures accordingly. For example, there is likely to be an increased risk of employee fatigue and stress as employees deal with difficult and changing work and personal circumstances.
The government has published some initial guidance on the new lockdown, and we coordinated an urgent roundtable with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) this morning to discuss a number of points for our sector. The Housing Minister, Chris Pincher, was keen to stress in the roundtable that the government recognises both the economic contribution of the housing association sector and our positive impact on public and social services.