With 10,000 households and more customers than ever to support, Ongo has introduced a number of new measures and services throughout the COVID-19 crisis, explains CEO Steve Hepworth…
From the start of lockdown in March, we prioritised supporting our older and most vulnerable tenants, moving internal resources round to deliver 6,171 food parcels, 21,767 safe-and-well calls, over 32,000 text messages, and more than 44,000 letters and emails.
Despite the challenges a pandemic brings, we’ve found new, safe ways to offer assistance virtually, giving tenancy and benefit advice to more than 582 tenants, mental health support to 116, and employment support to 259.
Business as usual carried on in vital areas with offices closing and a high percentage of staff working from home. We carried out more than 170 standard and emergency lettings, 3,155 gas safety checks, and 162 fire alarm checks in communal buildings.
A huge benefit for us in this period is a spike in the uptake on our online app, MyHome, with more than 72% of customers now using this method to book their non-essential repairs. This is down to upgrades to the technology, meaning it is always faster than ringing up and tenants can book at a time to suit them.
Our priority, as always, is the health and safety of customers and colleagues. It has been both a challenging and worrying time for us all, but I am so proud of what we’ve achieved in delivering vital services and supporting those who need us most.
There has been good and bad to come out of this crisis. The fact we’ve been able to work through a huge backlog of repairs so soon, and get even more people using our app is just fantastic.
We know it’s not over yet and there is still a long way to go, so we want to reassure everyone that our measures are under constant review and we will do as much as we can to provide support and services in a safe and appropriate way.
Our website has been kept up to date throughout for customers, and has had more than 6,500 visits to Coronavirus specific pages.
We can’t say for certain what will happen in the near future, but, as we have so far done, we will do our utmost to ensure tenants are kept safe and secure.
Image: Steve Hepworth, CEO, Ongo