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Clarion Funding plc (96XN)

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Friday 03 April, 2020

Clarion Funding plc

Covid-19 response

RNS Number : 7378I
Clarion Funding plc
03 April 2020
 

 

Clarion Funding plc

Responding to the coronavirus outbreak

The priority for Clarion Housing Group during this epidemic is to do everything we can to keep our residents and staff safe.

This update sets out the key operational changes that have taken effect to protect residents and colleagues, while continuing to provide essential services. It also covers the expected high level financial impact of the outbreak and how this will be managed.

Operational changes and priorities

We have now moved to a critical repairs service and will focus on completing the jobs necessary to protect our residents and keep their homes safe and secure. Where we carry out critical repairs, our operatives are issued with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Our remote working capacity has been significantly increased and we are supporting our staff to work from home unless there is a critical reason why they cannot.

We employ contractors to run our building sites and the majority of these have now closed. Where sites remain open, all Clarion staff have been told not to use public transport and will adhere to social distancing guidelines.

As a responsible employer we have committed to continue to pay all colleagues who are self isolating, or unwell with this virus.

 

Supporting residents and communities

We are asking all residents to follow government advice on social distancing and have made a number of changes to the service we provide to support them, with a focus on the most vulnerable.

There are circa 12,000 Clarion residents over the age of 70 and we have set-up a programme of rolling phone calls, to help their wellbeing and make sure they can access support if they need it. Thousands of calls have already been made.

 

Our LiveSmart schemes for over 55s have closed their communal spaces, but every resident now receives a daily call from the scheme manager and all have a personal alarm - monitored 24/7 by a call centre

 

We are continuing with estate inspections and management, so people can feel secure in their homes

 

Clarion Futures (our charitable foundation) has established an Emergency Support Fund of £50,000 - so we can provide direct financial support to some of our closest partners and community groups

 

Financial impact and planning for recovery

It is too early to project the full financial impact of this crisis, but our fundamentals are sound and we have a strong liquidity position. We are well-placed to manage this unprecedented event.

We anticipate the biggest short-term impact on the finances of the group will result from significant reduction in sales volumes, for both our shared ownership and private sale homes. In parallel our forward development spend will slow, as activity on sites stops or is significantly scaled back.

Rent arrears are also projected to increase. We will continue to collect rent and are providing support to residents in the greatest need of help through our welfare benefits team and Clarion Futures.

The Group is engaging regularly with all its stakeholders, including the Regulator for Social Housing, which last week reaffirmed its G1/V1 grading of the Group following conclusion of an in depth assessment.

We will issue our Q4 performance update as usual on the 27th April.

 


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