Limerick City and County Council has drawn up a Business Continuity Plan to ensure that services continue to be provided to the citizens of Limerick as we all deal with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the unknown environment that we are living and working in.
The Council’s overarching responsibility is to its staff and the provision of services to the people of Limerick.
Therefore, regrettably, the Council has taken the decision to restrict Housing Maintenance activity as part of efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
From 24 March 2020, all maintenance requests are being screened and assessed by staff.
Requests deemed essential will be addressed immediately, while non-essential requests will be logged and dealt with at a later stage.
Priority will be given to elderly and/ or vulnerable tenants.
Tenants will be advised with regard to the categorisation of their request and the level of response.
Critical items include (but are not restricted to):
- Where there is a smell of gas
- All electrical faults
- Carbon Monoxide alarms triggering
- Heating system failure (i.e. no heating)
- Significant building or structural issues:
- Ceiling sagging excessively
- Any wall leaning excessively
- Any wall where there is significant cracking
- Plumbing issues:
- No hot water
- Overflowing external foul drains
- Notable internal leaks from potable mains/ foul water system
- Any item that is deemed a risk to Health & Safety by the Engineer/ Supervisor (e.g. loose roof tiles)
Items categorised as non-critical include (non-exhaustive list):
- Replacement windows and doors
- Boiler servicing
- Draught issues
- Sanitary ware issues
- Minor leaks in radiators ('Weeping’ radiators; more significant leaks may need attention)
- Dampness/ condensation/ mould issues
- Minor wall cracks
- Leaking gutters and downpipes
- Fascia and soffit repair
- External repairs to chimneys (unless deemed Health & Safety concern; may require Supervisor/ Engineer opinion)
Tenants are also being advised to refer to their Tenant’s Handbook as some of the requests for repairs may be their own responsibility.
Non-essential maintenance requests will be logged but not progressed for the duration of the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. This is because staff may be redeployed to other duties in the Council such as fixing up vacant units etc, so that more people can be housed.
In addition, Limerick City and County Council has instructed all its staff to practice social/ physical distancing.
This means that maintenance staff will only be able to carry out the maintenance work scheduled once the room/ area is vacant.
It is important that tenants are aware of this, and they will be told this before the works begin.
They will also be told that if they fail to allow staff to carry out the work in the room alone, this will result in staff leaving the house and the work undone.
These measures are being put in place for the safety of staff but also for the safety of the tenant, as priority is being given to the elderly and/ or those tenants who are vulnerable.
This plan will continue until the government or Department of Health gives updated guidance on Covid-19.