At Together Housing providing excellent service to our customers and communities is our priority and we need to continue to do this in the most efficient and effective way.
Last year we temporarily closed some of our offices to make things safer for our staff and our customers, including our Rawtenstall office. The office space in Rawtenstall, based at the Old Town Hall, was previously used by a small number of our staff and was open by appointment to customers. We have taken the decision not to reopen the Rawtenstall office following a review of usage and need and potential cost savings that we feel could be better invested elsewhere across our services.
Since the office has been closed due to COVID-19, a few things have been updated:
- Our staff have been working differently depending on the job they do, either working from home or working out in our communities or a blend of both.
- Our neighbourhood officers are available to visit residents in their home, and home visits are available to book.
- We have extended our service and now offer an evening telephone appointment service if residents want to arrange to talk to a neighbourhood officer about anything to do with their tenancy.
- If a resident wants an appointment away from their home, for example if the matter they need to discuss is sensitive, we will do our best to agree an alternative. If a resident has access to digital technology, we can talk face to face via a video call.
- We have launched a new website and a customer app for those who are online and there is the facility to pay rent, report a repair and watch videos. There is lots of useful tenancy information online. This website has a browse aloud and translation facility and fonts can be enlarged as required.
- For those without access to digital technology, we can arrange to visit face to face or talk over the telephone and provide information on request in the post. We are still doing estate inspections and our officers are more accessible within our communities.
We consulted by letter with all of our Rossendale customers and stakeholders about the plans to close the office. We carried out risk assessments to ensure that no one would be disadvantaged by this proposal. We assured everyone that our services would be un-interrupted and opened up a period of consultation, inviting comments and feedback. We received two comments and we have proactively responded to these two comments with the individuals that made them to address their concerns.
The office will not reopen and is now permanently closed. Our Neighbourhood services will continue in Rawtenstall without disruption and we are confident we can deliver our services in the same effective way.