20 March 2020
Chief Executive’s Letter to Tenants of Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
I appreciate this is a very difficult and challenging time for you, as it is for many in New Zealand. On behalf of everyone at OCHT, we want to touch base about how we will operate while COVID-19 (coronavirus) requires us to do things a little differently.
COVID-19 is a new virus and it is impacting all across the world. Today (Friday, 20 March 2020) there is no evidence of it being passed from person-to-person in New Zealand as all cases involve people who have been overseas. However, we must be prepared for that to change and there to be more cases in the future.
The Ministry of Health is leading New Zealand’s response and OCHT is following their advice, checking daily for any changes. I have included fact sheets to help you stay well at home, and two useful website addresses at the end of this letter if you’d like further information.
A Gift for You……OCHT and Christchurch City Council Care Packages
We’re really pleased to let you know that we have sourced some essential items for you, and we will distribute OCHT and Christchurch City Council care packages before Easter. The package contains tissues, anti-bacterial soap, Spray and Wipe for surface cleaning, rubbish bags, disposable gloves and cleaning cloths. We will text you when we are due at your complex.
How is OCHT responding to COVID-19
The health, safety and wellbeing of you, our tenants, and our team (including contractors) is our first priority. There’s a lot of work happening at the Trust to make sure that we are well prepared to work through these challenging times. We will regularly share updates on any action we take to protect your health, our team and contractors.
Today’s OCHT Plan
Based on the Ministry of Health’s advice to reduce the chances of catching the virus, OCHT is likely to reduce our face-to-face visits.
We will pause routine inspections for the next few months so that our Tenancy Managers can better support our tenants who are most in need, while also supporting the call centre and our Warm & Dry initiative.
Warm & Dry Initiative
At present, we are continuing full steam ahead with Warm & Dry and heat pump installations.
Look Out for Your Neighbours
During this time, it is really important that you let us know if you are worried about a neighbour. For example, if you don’t see their lights on when they normally would be, please let us know by calling us.
Taking care of yourself
Please remember to wash your hands with soap and water often and if you are feeling unwell, stay home! We have enclosed some useful posters to remind you how you can protect yourself and those around you (see links below). Here are some other things you can do that will help:
- Keep in communication with people – whānau, friends and workmates
- Keep to usual routines – mealtimes, bedtime, exercise and so on
- Keep active – continue enjoying your leisure activities, seeing friends
- Look out for our care package that you will receive before Easter (Good Friday 10th April)
Healthline has a dedicated COVID-19 number– 0800 358 5453. It’s free and 24/7. You should call that dedicated number:
- to register if you have self-isolated yourself
- for any coronavirus health advice and information and any questions you have about coronavirus, self-isolation, your symptoms etc. They can advise about how to get
Let us know if you are unwell
In the unlikely event that you test positive for COVID-19, you must let us know by calling 0800 624 456. If you are self-isolating as a precaution, we would also like to know. Thank you!
Our communications with you
Things are changing quickly and with more change almost certain, please check our Facebook page if you can: https://www.facebook.com/otautahicommunityhousingtrust/ or OCHT’s website www.ocht.org.nz. We will communicate with you there as often as possible. If there are any other changes, we will text you or send you a letter.
You can call us on 0800 624 456 anytime 24/7 or call your Tenancy Manager during office hours. Wishing you all the best from the OCHT Team and remember we are here if you need us.