As coronavirus spreads, Atlanta Housing partners batten down hatches at residences
By Sean Keenan
As a novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, Atlanta’s housing authority is heeding the wisdom coming from public health officials and implementing restrictions to keep gatherings small and residents safe.
Atlanta Housing (AH) officials earlier this month reached out to their property management and development partners to provide guidance on how these companies can enforce social distancing — a practice of maintaining six feet of separation from other people — and clean their properties rigorously.
At a time when many people have been furloughed or asked to work from home because of COVID-19, AH complexes, like many other residential properties, are more crowded during business hours than ever.
“The PMD (Property Manager-Developer) staff touches the residents every day and are challenged to meet their sometimes intimate needs while not worsening a virus that spreads through face-to-face contact,” AH spokeswoman Karen Young told SaportaReport. “This is new for everyone.”
Changes at properties run by Columbia Residential, Integral Property Management, The Michaels Organization and H.J. Russell include canceling or postponing resident meetings, deep-cleaning surfaces in communal spaces, and revised service request practices.
Columbia Residential officials, according to AH documents, have ordered a two-month stock of cleaning supplies, such as disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, for public areas like leasing offices, lobbies and TV dens.
The firm said it would continue to carry out food deliveries and other special services for tenants, although new service requests related to their homes will only be carried out in cases of emergency for people who might have the disease or another illness.
Integral properties are shuttering their amenity spaces, save for the laundry room and public restrooms, AH officials report.
“If you have an outstanding service request that is pending service, but you are currently not feeling well, please call the office ASAP to instruct us not to come into your apartment,” Integral officials told AH. “We do not want to go into your residence and complete a service request while you or someone in your household is not feeling well.”
The Michaels Group says regularly scheduled maintenance will continue, although staff will now be outfitted with protective gloves, booties and face masks as needed.
Common areas there, too, will bar large group, and AH inspections at all the aforementioned companies’ residences will be postponed until further notice.