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 | Federal Resources | Provincial Resources | Regional Health Authority Resources | Harm Reduction Resources | Guidance for Women Fleeing Violence | Poster Resources | BCNPHA Updates | Webinars | Housing Job Match | In the News
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.
- A Human Rights Approach: A National Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada (April 30, 2020)
- Risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Wellness Together Canada – Mental health and substance use support (April 17, 2020)
- CMHC – Additional information on CMHC’s flexibilities related to COVID-19 (March 26, 2020)
- CMHC – Q & A document about the loan payment deferral initiative for clients who have received financing through CMHC (March 25, 2020)
- Health Canada – COVID-19 Pharmacy Exemptions (March 14, 2020)
- New Lifeguard app launched to help prevent overdoses (May 20, 2020)
- CMHA BC Division: New mental health assessment tool (April 24, 2020)
- BC Housing – COVID-19 Response: Isolation hotels to support those without a home (April 23, 2020)
- BC211 – Safe Seniors, Strong Communities Program (April 22, 2020)
- BC Housing – COVID-19 Operations Manual Guide (April 17, 2020)
- BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19: Joint Provincial Program Framework for Emergency Response Centres (April 16, 2020)
- Guidance for Food Distribution to Tenants during COVID-19
- Marsh Risk Consulting – Pandemic Response for Continued Operational Facilities (April 15, 2020)
- Protocols for Showings and Turnover of Units during COVID-19 (April 14, 2020)
- Temporary emergency child care for essential workers (April 7, 2020)
- Residential Tenancy Brand – Updated Info Regarding COVID-19 (April 7, 2020)
- BC Centre of Disease Control – People who are Unsheltered (April 7, 2020)
- BC Ministry of Health – Interim Guide to Social Service Providers (April 4, 2020)
- British Columbia Temporary Rental Supplement Program FAQ (April 1, 2020)
- BC Crisis Center – Tools for Managing Stress and Burnout: 6-Week Online (April 1 to May 6, 2020)
- BC Housing Online Housing Partner Contact Form
- BC Ministry of Health – Public Health Guidance for Community Volunteers (March 24, 2020)
- BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services – Tips for supporting your mental health through the COVID-19 pandemic (March 20, 2020)
- BC Government COVID-19 App: Search BC COVID-19 Support in the App Store.
- BC Covid-19 Self Assessment Tool
- BC Housing COVID-19 Sector E-Newsletters
- Ministry of Health Letter to Social Sectors (March 18, 2020)
- BC Housing Fact Sheet for Homeless Service Providers (March 16, 2020)
- BC Housing Fact Sheet on Responding to COVID-19 (March 13, 2020)
- Information for people who are self-isolating while awaiting test results after testing for COVID-19 (March 3, 2020)
- Employers’ Advisers Office – March 2020 Newsletter
Regional Health Authority Resources
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Shelter Workflow (April 12, 2020)
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Building water systems and COVID-19 (March 27, 2020)
- First Nations Health Authority – BC First Nations Community Guide for Additional Supports Needed (March 24, 2020)
- Vancouver Coastal Health – COVID-19 Resources for VCH Staff and Community Partners Working with Vulnerable Populations (March 19, 2020)
- BC Centre on Substance Use – COVID-19: Information for Opioid Agonist Treatment Prescribers and Pharmacists (March 17, 2020)
- Fraser Health – Information and downloadable material to help answer questions about COVID-19
Harm Reduction Resources
- BC Centre on Substance Use: COVID-19 risk mitigation interim clinical guidance (April 17, 2020)
- BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19: Harm Reduction and Overdose Response (March 18, 2020)
- Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak (March 11, 2020)
- Syringe Services and Harm Reduction Provider Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak (March 11, 2020)
- PHS COVID-19 Social Distancing and Quarantine Protocol
Guidance for Women Fleeing Violence
- National Centre on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: Supporting Survivors’ Access to Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Emergency (May 2020)
- Here’s a list of all the transition houses in the Province.
- Women’s Shelters Canada
- BC Society of Transition Houses
- External Links
- Vancouver Fire Rescue Services – Fire Safety During COVID-19
- Public Health Agency of Canada – Coronavirus Disease
- Public Health Agency of Canada – Know the Facts about Coronavirus (Multiple languages available)
- U.S. Center of Disease Control Poster – Stop the Spread of Germs
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Cover your Cough & sneezing
- Vancouver Coastal Health – How to wash your hands (including a multi-lingual poster)
- Housing & Service Providers
- Covid-19 Poster – Hand washing with soap and water
- Covid-19 Poster – Protect yourself & others
- Covid-19 Poster – Tips for residents in apartments & multi-unit buildings (8.5 by 11)
- Covid-19 Poster – Tips for residents in apartments & multi-unit buildings (11 by 17)
- Covid-19 Notice – Building Management Staff (insert your logo)
- Covid-19 Notice – Common Area Temporarily Closed
- Covid-19 Notice – Deep Cleaning
- Covid-19 Notice – Elevator Social Distancing (colour version)
* 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 www.housingjobmatch.ca or click here to read our news release.
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:
- HR Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis (March 30) Click here to register
- 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 member forum 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 Member Forum with a wide range of topics, including a link to last week’s COVID-19 webinar recording with BC Housing and Dr. Parhar. 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 BC Housing Covid-19 Info Bulletin Newsletter.
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. Please click here to fill in the 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