BCNPHA COVID-19 / Coronavirus Update

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Stay up to date with the latest coronavirus developments in our sector.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading globally and there have been growing instances of COVID-19 spreading in communities in British Columbia and across Canada. As a result, Canadian public health authorities have escalated measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19. The situation is evolving very quickly and we recognize the importance in working together to reduce the spread of the virus and taking steps to protect the people we serve. To help guide non-profit housing and service providers grapple with the pandemic, we have added resources and BCNPHA member updates below.

You can also stay on top of the latest coronavirus developments in our sector in the Member Forum. Log in and post frequently to keep your fellow members informed and the whole community engaged!

 

Financial Supports

BCNPHA has developed two tracking documents that outline new federal and provincial benefits for which your non-profit housing society and your residents may be eligible. These policy trackers include information on eligibility criteria and application procedures, where available.

For non-profits: Click here (May 21, 2020)

For individuals and residents: Click here (April 23, 2020)

Summary of wage subsidy: Click here (April 2, 2020)

* These documents are being updated on an ongoing basis.

 

Federal Resources

 

Provincial Resources

 

Regional Health Authority Resources

 

Harm Reduction Resources

Guidance for Women Fleeing Violence

 

Poster Resources 

* We will continue to share resources and information with our local housing and service providers as the situation evolves.


 

BCNPHA Update on May 20 – COVID-19 Return to Work Planning Guide

The province has entered Phase 2 of BC Restart Plan and you need to be ready. BCNPHA has launched a Return to Work Planning Guide to help you put measures in place to protect employees and others from contracting and transmitting the virus. Download the guide here.

BCNPHA Update on May 12 – Rent Payment Survey Results

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the economy, many workers throughout British Columbia have experienced a reduction or loss of income. As a result, tenants may be struggling with rent payments. BC Non-Profit Housing Association surveyed non-profit housing providers to better understand the extent to which tenants in the non-profit housing sector were unable to pay their full rent for April 2020 and the impact on providers. View the full report here.

BCNPHA Update on April 17 – BCNPHA writes to Housing Officials about PPE shortage

Over the past weeks, there have been growing concerns about the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for non profit housing providers. Housing providers provide essential service to ensure that tenants are properly housed. It is essential that providers have access to a reliable supply of PPE to ensure they can continue to deliver service, and safe and affordable housing to tenants—especially at a time when reports are emerging of tenants testing positive for the virus. In response, BCNPHA and several non-profit housing associations have written to federal, provincial, and territorial housing officials asking that a sufficient supply of PPE be allocated to the non-profit housing sector. The health and safety of workers in housing needs to be a priority. Read the letter here.

BCNPHA Update on April 16 – IT & cybersecurity guidance

The COVID-19 crisis is prime time for cyber criminals to wreak havoc. Non-profit housing providers and their tenants must not only rely on their ability to prevent attacks, but also to detect and respond to them. Click here to learn basic security measures to keep in mind.

BCNPHA Update on April 14 – New website connects job seekers to housing providers

BCNPHA, with the support of Vancity Credit Union and Catalyst Community Developments Society, has launched today the Housing Job Match website, to connect those in need of work with non-profit housing and service providers that are in need of workers. Many of the jobs in our sector require the transferable skills of those who normally work in the hospitality industry, as well as other customer service or people-focused roles. To learn more about our Housing Job Match initiative, please visit  or .

BCNPHA has also developed a survey to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected rent payments in BC’s non-profit housing sector. The purpose of the survey is to understand the scope and scale of revenue loss in the sector, so that we can more effectively advocate for supports and resources for providers across the province. Housing providers can complete the survey here.

BCNPHA Update on April 8 – Develop a pandemic plan

The evolution of COVID-19 into a global epidemic affecting the daily lives of Canadians has been a rapid one, and a pandemic response plan is critical for maintaining operations in situations like the one we are currently facing. Community housing providers, particularly smaller organizations, face unique challenges in the face of a pandemic. They must be prepared to manage these challenges, maintain critical services for their tenants, and keep their organization running. Learn about the importance of having a pandemic plan in place and how to develop one. Download the document here.

BCNPHA Update on April 2 – Sector needs survey results

The COVID-19 public health emergency is presenting unprecedented challenges to the non-profit housing sector. To advocate effectively for supports and resources, and to be responsive to sector needs, BCNPHA gathered feedback from 101 providers from all regions of the province between March 17-26. The Covid-19 crisis burdens both tenants and providers. Impacts are felt differently based on organizations’ locations, capacity, and importantly, the population they serve.

You can download the full Executive Summary here.

BCNPHA Update on March 26 – Free webinars

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating enormous challenges for your organizations as you navigate how to provide services and support your residents while balancing the health and safety of your staff.

In response, we’ve put together two FREE webinars:

  1. HR Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis (March 30) Click here to register
  2. Exploring Pandemic Response Challenges with BC Housing, AHMA and BCNPHA (April 2) Click here to register

Both of these webinars will be recorded and will be available on the  section of our website.

BCNPHA Update on March 25 – Province response to coronavirus

Today’s announcement from the provincial government is welcome news for renters, and provides some much-needed clarity for housing providers:

  • Renters with income loss will receive up to $500 per month to pay their rent, with payments being made directly to the landlord
  • Ability for landlords to limit access to common spaces
  • Restrictions on landlords accessing tenant suites

We have confirmed that tenants who live in buildings that do not receive operating subsidies, and who do not receive rent supplements from the BC Government, will be eligible for the new rent subsidy for COVID-19 related income loss. This includes tenants in PIAH, IHI, CPI and post-operating agreement buildings.

The details of how it will roll out are still being finalized but it’s great to see the government working to help meet the needs of renters who are struggling. This pandemic is evolving rapidly and we appreciate the government’s efforts to navigate an evolving situation as quickly as it can.

In her remarks, Minister Robinson mentioned that they are also exploring the ability for landlords to limit guest access to rental buildings and we are awaiting more information on this development.

Here at BCNPHA, we’re working hard to bring you information and updates across multiple formats. Recognizing the need for our sector to connect and learn from each other, we’ve developed a  with a wide range of topics, including a . It’s a great spot for BCNPHA members to log in and discuss (from a safe, online distance!) COVID-19 response strategies, asset management issues, education opportunities and much more. Check it out and post often to keep the conversation going, we’re in this together!

Speaking of education, BCNPHA continues to offer valuable HousingU courses and webinar opportunities. These online education offerings are a great option for members of our sector who would like to brush up on their skills, as well as for those who may be taking on new responsibilities in light of staffing shortages. From business continuity and employment / HR legal issues, stay tuned for upcoming webinars in response to the coronavirus pandemic, starting on Monday.

You are likely aware that we have cancelled both the Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland RENT events in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We realize how important these education and networking events are for our members and we are working with our partners to expand our online education offerings to keep your buildings, staff and tenants safe.

We also want to assure you that BCNPHA is working hard to advocate on our members’ behalf. I am in daily contact with BC Housing, key partners and stakeholders, and other government agencies to raise the concerns of the non-profit housing sector and to be able to share the latest information on how all levels of government are responding to the crisis. Please also sign up for the new .

BCNPHA Update on March 19 – What we’re up to

1) COVID-19 Sector Survey

To advocate effectively for supports and resources, and to be responsive to the needs of the non-profit housing sector, BCNPHA would like to find out more about the issues your organization is grappling with by completing a short survey.  by March 26, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

2) FREE Webinar: Housing, Homelessness and Health amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic – Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

BCNPHA and AHMA know that non-profit housing providers have questions about how to support residents, clients and staff through the COVID-19 pandemic. We have partnered to host a FREE webinar to provide up-to-date housing and health information, and to give you an opportunity to ask questions in real-time during this unfolding crisis. BCNPHA members can log in and watch the recording in our new Member Forum here.

BCNPHA Update on March 13 – Vancouver Island RENT canceled 

We would like to inform everyone that the Vancouver Island Regional Education, Networking & Tradeshow (RENT) event in Nanaimo, scheduled for April 16 and 17 at the Coast Bastion Hotel, has been cancelled due to precautions surrounding COVID-19 / Coronavirus. We are working with our partners to explore opportunities for a virtual RENT event, about which we will share more information with you shortly. If you have already registered for the Vancouver Island RENT event, you will receive a full refund. Read more here.


 

In the News

Sightline Institute: RELIEF BUOYS BC’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDERS—SO FAR

CBC News: Front-line workers on Downtown Eastside say staffing shortage adds to COVID-19 risk

Vancouver Sun: COVID-19 — Vancouver city staff unveil plan for housing woes made worse

CBC News: Vancouver hotels being used for homeless should be bought by government, advocates say

CBC Early Edition: Metro Matters – what happens to the homeless and drug users after the pandemic clears?

CTV News: B.C. tenant advocates are dismayed evictions will continue, call for immediate ban

BC Government News: Government acting to protect province’s most vulnerable during COVID-19 crisis

The Globe and Mail: Conferences cancel or postpone as Vancouver takes a coronavirus hit

Vancouver Courier: Province looking at impact of COVID-19 on renters and landlords

Vancouver Sun: ‘Major correction’ in insurance market hammers non-profit housing sector


 

As our members respond to the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic we recognize those among your staff who are experiencing the loss of a loved one, colleague, tenant, or client. From all of us at BCNPHA, we extend our deepest sympathies to individuals across BC’s non-profit housing sector who are coping with grief during this crisis.