While the world faces a crisis without precedent, I want to express a heartfelt thank you to every volunteer and employee of the community housing sector. Your commitment makes all the difference in protecting particularly vulnerable populations.
As Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, said “Housing has become the front-line defence against the coronavirus. Home has rarely been more of a life or death situation”. The current context is of an unprecedented severity. Every individual and institution, including community housing providers, are asked to show consideration and humanity, now more than ever.
If you are a housing manager in this sector and your organization experiences financial difficulties due to reduced rental income or because of supplemental COVID-19 related expenses, please know that the federal government offers emergency programs to support you. For more updates, refer to CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Organization) and EDSC (Employment and Social Development Canada) support resources:
• Regular CMHC updates regarding COVID-19
• EDSC and Coronavirus disease
These measures are intended to help non-profit and housing cooperatives, whether their housing offers are for seniors, families, single people or people with special needs (physical or mental health, situations of domestic violence, drug addiction, etc.). A reduction in administrative procedures has been established for groups involved in the fight against homelessness as part of the “Reaching home” program in order to speed up and increase remittances.
Several provincial governments have also developed emergency programs, so don’t hesitate to apply. More information regarding the four most affected provinces to date can be found here:
• Community housing assistance in BC
• Emergency programs in Ontario
• Emergency programs in Alberta
• Emergency programs in Québec
Furthermore, The Center supports Evan Siddall’s message. In his mandate as CMHC President, he has urged all community housing stakeholders to show compassion. This means to refrain from all evictions for the entire duration of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis
Community Housing Transformation Centre