Information for everyone

Last updated: 05/01/2021 at 11.20am

In this section you'll find information about the following:

> Why we've asked you to move
> Your caseworker
> Impact of Covid-19 restrictions
> Immediate alternative accommodation
> Office accommodation
> Access and security arrangements
> Utilities, council tax and post
> Your belongings and storage
> Your mental health and wellbeing

Why we’ve asked you to move

Your safety is our priority. We asked you to move following new advice from our appointed engineers that has raised significant fire safety and structural concerns. This advice follows a series of more extensive safety checks to better understand the fire safety protection measures built into Paragon. In light of those findings, our advisers told us that the safest approach was to move everyone out.

Due to the complexity of the building issues, we don’t yet have a holistic plan to fix the buildings so cannot guarantee that you will be able to return to the estate. This is why we are working with you all to find other options.

Your caseworker

Everyone has a named caseworker. They have already worked with you on your immediate move and will continue to support you to find longer-term solutions. Your caseworker is your main point of contact. They are available during normal office hours and can be contacted by phone or email. They can also arrange online face-to-face sessions or meet you in person if necessary in line with Covid-19 guidance.

Now that everyone is safely offsite, we have closed down the generic phone number and email address we had in place for the first few weeks. Please contact your caseworker directly with any queries.

Impact of Covid-19 restrictions

Many of you are understandably concerned about how Covid-19 restrictions will affect you in your current circumstances. The government has announced a new national lockdown beginning on 5 January. You can find out more about what this means and what you can and can’t do on the government website.

The hotels sourced by us have confirmed that they will remain open for you and will not ask any of you to leave due to lockdown restrictions. Similarly, our removals company are already operating in a Covid-19 secure way and will continue to carry out moves to post-hotel accommodation on a case by case basis to ensure the guidelines they have been set can be adhered to..

Your caseworker will continue to support you to move during this period once suitable alternative accommodation has been identified.

Immediate alternative accommodation

Most of you have moved to local hotels sourced by us. We can extend your hotel stay as necessary to allow you sufficient time to move to longer-term accommodation.

If you are staying in one of the hotels we sourced, we’ll pay for your room and breakfast and a daily allowance per head of £30 if you are in room with no cooking facilities. We’ll also pay you £15 a week for laundry costs.

If you’ve found your own accommodation, we’ll give you £100 a day per property until your move into longer-term accommodation.

You will receive those payments weekly in advance on Tuesdays for that week (Monday to Sunday).

Office accommodation

Unfortunately, we’ve had to close our office in Hammersmith while London remains in lockdown. Very few of you were using the office, but we appreciate this is a further inconvenience for those of you who were. We will review this decision should the national guidance change.

Access and security arrangements

Paragon is being protected by security personnel from Bouygues 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure your belongings are kept safe. Bouygues have four personnel in block B – a guard on each of the three entry doors and one patrolling the floors. Block A has a guard on the main door.

To continue to ensure everyone’s safety and protect your belongings, we need to control access to the site and your homes.

Your caseworker will be able to arrange access for you to pick up additional items. Please talk to them at least 24 hours in advance of when you want to attend – so by 5pm for access the next day. We cannot guarantee same-day access but will endeavour to cater for emergency requests as we receive them. If you need access over the weekend, please alert your caseworker by 3pm on Friday at the latest.

Utilities, council tax and post

You will be charged for your electricity up until 19 October 2020, unless bills are included in your rent. We’ll absorb the costs for any days that you remained in your home after 19 October. We have asked the supplier, Switch2, who provide your monthly bills, to ‘final bill’ your home up until 19 October and share digital copies of these bills with us. Switch2 will complete this work within two weeks, following which we will email you your final electricity bill to you.

If you pay your bill via Direct Debit, please do not cancel your direct debit; Switch2 will take your final payment and then the direct debit arrangement will be cancelled automatically.

If you pay your bill by another method, please pay it on receipt of your final bill.

If you have any questions about your bill, please continue to contact Switch2 as you have in the past, or email the NHG energy team.

We’ve arranged for your council tax charges at Paragon to cease from Monday 19 October. You will need to ensure you set up a new agreement with the council when you move into your new longer-term home.

Unfortunately, we were unable to redirect all mail going to Paragon to our office for forwarding on to you. You will need to instruct Royal Mail individually using the forms on their website. There is a cost involved and we will reimburse you for this. You are welcome to redirect your mail to us and we will forward it on to you, but it may be easier for you to ask a friend or family member to take your post for you. If you wish to redirect it to us the address is Notting Hill Genesis, Bruce Kenrick House, 2 Killick Street, London, N1 9FL. If you want us to be the point of contact for your post, please let your caseworker know the address we should send on to.

If you are being charged termination fees when cancelling things like broadband contracts, we’ve drafted a letter to use when contacting the companies involved. Speak to your case worker who will fill it in with you.

Your belongings and storage

There is no need for you to put your belongings in storage as they can stay in your flat at Paragon until you are ready to move out of your hotel/temporary accommodation. Additional security arrangements are in place to ensure they will be safe. Should you want to remove your belongings from Paragon and into storage, we will cover the cost for you to do this for up to £50 a week for up to four weeks – please note you will need to keep receipts. 

Your mental health and wellbeing

We understand that the news you’ve heard from us about the safety of your home and the need for you to leave it will have come as quite a shock. This is exacerbated by the generally unsettling times we are living in. During this difficult time, you may be experiencing increased levels of uncertainty, stress and anxiety.

We’ve set up access to Lifeworks, a confidential counselling service which allows you to talk through your worries with someone over the phone. This is a service for our staff, but we have arranged to extend it to Paragon residents for the next 12 months. It includes a telephone helpline for confidential advice, and provision for up to six face-to-face counselling sessions.

Advice and support on mental health, and related issues, can also be accessed via your GP, the NHS, Mind, and the  Mental Health Foundation.