We are currently facing an unprecedented global health situation with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In these extremely challenging times the safety and wellbeing of our residents and employees remains our priority and we are doing everything we can to ensure their wellbeing and to continue to support the Government in controlling the spread of the virus.
We have robust Business Continuity Plans in place and our Strategic and Operational Coronavirus Response Teams are convening regularly to evaluate and assess our response and actions as the situation changes.
Whilst these are difficult circumstances, we have been able to respond quickly and move the majority of our employees smoothly on to a home working basis and we continue to deliver essential services for our customers.
Adhering to the strict Government and Public Health England (PHE) Guidelines, measures we have taken to ensure we can safely and effectively deliver our services during this time include:
- Carrying out emergency and urgent repairs – routine repairs have been suspended
- Continuing all statutory health and safety compliance checks
- Maintaining caretaking services to ensure essential facilities such as tower block rubbish chutes remain operational
- Works on essential areas of the home that have been started for residents e.g. fitting a new kitchen or bathroom are completed, with the consent of the occupier
- Maintaining our high level of cleaning services across our Retirement Living schemes
- Continuing our rental collection – liaising with those residents who may be experiencing financial difficulty due to the impact Coronavirus
- Maintaining our Money Advice service to our residents
- Aiming to complete the sales that have reached exchange of contracts strictly following PHE guidance – we will not be undertaking new viewings until the guidance changes
- Fulfilling those ‘new’ home sign ups that have been allocated to ensure, wherever possible people, are able to access the homes they need
- Continuing work on our vacant properties where possible, in line with Government advice
- Communicating consistently with our residents and employees on an ongoing basis to keep them informed and updated with regard to the developing Coronavirus situation and its impact on our organisation.
Our Strategic View
Whilst the effects of Coronavirus have been both immediate and far reaching, we maintain our long-term view and are working to mitigate any potential financial implications.
We continue to have a strong liquidity position, augmented by a successful US private placement in February 2020, which provides sufficient funding headroom for the business for the next couple of years.
We are currently reviewing our future development plans and re-profiling our programme in response to the short term impacts of Covid 19 on both the sales market and the construction.
We are also reviewing our operating costs and budgets in line with the impact of Covid 19 to ensure that our core business can continue to run efficiently in these difficult times whilst we support our customers with financial difficulties they may face which may make rent collection more challenging for a period of time.
Our annual stress testing exercise, which is currently underway, takes account of the potential implications of Covid 19 on our business, sector and the wider economy and seeks to identify any necessary mitigating actions required to minimise financial impact on bpha, our employees and customers.