COVID-19 / Coronavirus Resources for Housing Providers

We have compiled a number of resources from reliable sources that may be useful for you in your planning and communications. If you see other resources that you would recommend sharing, please send them to us and we will distribute them among MNPHA Members.

Q&A, Resources, and Videos from MNPHA Webinars

MNPHA has hosted online discussions of COVID-19 response for non-profit housing providers in Manitoba. Hear from leaders and colleagues in the sector for their experiences, challenges and successes.
Ask Each Other Anything: March 26, 10-11:30am                                            watch video     summary
Ask Each Other Anything: April 30, 9:00-10:30am                                           watch video     summary
Q & A on Personal Protective Equipment: May 6, 9:00am-10:00am                  watch video     summary
Q & A with Residential Tenancies Branch: May 13, 9:00am-10:00am                 This information is now out of date so the summary has been removed
Ask Each Other Anything: June 10, 8:30-10:00am                                            watch video    summary

Public Health Resources: Who to Call and Where to Find Up-to-Date Information

Manitoba Health, Seniors, and Active Living has strategies for all Manitobans, for educational institutions, for employers, and for travelers. It has up-to-date information from the Government of Manitoba. Manitoba Shared Health also has updates on COVID-19.
Manitoba is currently at Level Red Restrictions. As of March 25, 2021, people are prohibited from assembling in a gathering of more than five people at any indoor public place or in the common areas of a multi-unit residence, with the exception of a health-care facility or critical business that adheres to health protection measures – read the public health orders here. Assembling or gathering outdoors is limited to 25 people.

Vaccination Information

The Province of Manitoba has a website with the most up-to-date information on vaccine eligibility and immunization clinics here. Vaccination eligibility changes regularly, and for the general public is based on age.

For information including FAQ, myths and facts, and other vaccination resources, go to https://protectmb.ca/vax-facts/

Dr. Heejune Chang has shared a COVID-19 Vaccine information presentation geared towards housing providers with MNPHA, please see the powerpoint here:

COVID VACCINE MNPHA – MAR 29

You can find the summary of the info session she led on March 29 here:
Vaccine Meeting Summary

Business Reopening

Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic Economic Recovery Roadmap provides details on economic recovery, including requirements for businesses. Engage.mb.ca has a Q & A for businesses, employers, and employees. There are specific guidance for industries, including health, shelters, and community service agencies and outreach work available here

Cleaning and Disinfectants, and Suppliers

The Health Canada website has information on hard surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers

Government of Canada guidance on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces

We have researched suppliers of various high-demand products related to COVID-19. Not all suppliers have products in stock at all times, so you may need to call.

       •  Disinfectant and cleaning supplies: HD Supply; Complete PurchasingWood WyantSwishZEPJani-KingShare CanadaHD SupplyEco-Plus Sanitation; Whitebird; Miracle Sanitation SupplyBusy Bee Sanitary Supplies; Progressive Sanitation (Brandon)

•  Masks and Hand Sanitizer: Seven Oaks Janitorial ServicesScientific Supplies Centre

•  Gloves: Seven Oaks Janitorial ServicesScientific Supplies Centre; Whitebird

•  Face shields and Protective Goggles: Scientific Supplies Centre; Whitebird

•  Wipes: Staples Business Advantage(eway, under Janitorial Supplies)

(note: Scientific Supplies Centre website is not easy to navigate. Contact Sales Manager Haider Hussain for up-to-date supply information: T: 204 990 1241)

Meal Programs

Shared Health has asked that all grant-funded organizations and programming take all necessary steps to ensure compliance with the recommendations of social distancing, appropriate screening and restrictions on social gatherings of more than 10 people.
Support Services to Seniors Programs focused on providing congregate meals should be discontinued. Alternative ways to deliver meals to vulnerable seniors must be put into place. Each program is encouraged to work with their local Regional Health Authority on potential alternatives. Read the Shared Health Support Services to Seniors information here

Testing and Who to Call

Anyone concerned about exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257. An online screening tool is available, or screening can be completed over the phone at 1-877-308-9038.
As of May 1, testing for COVID-19 is available for:
•  all symptomatic Manitobans. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat
Those who have symptoms should call Health Links, and not go directly to a testing location.  For updates on testing criteria, locations, and what to do if you have symptoms, go to: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html
Manitoba’s Frequently Asked Questions about Testing is available here

Posters and Fact Sheets

Government of Canada fact sheets

Signage for Staff and Tenants

Other Resources

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness has also compiled resources for those working in the homelessness sector.

Annual General Meetings for Non-Profit Corporations and Cooperatives

On September 9, the Province of Manitoba updated its Order regarding the temporary suspension of corporate meeting provisions under the Emergency Measures Act. This Order allows corporations and cooperatives in Manitoba hold phone/virtual/electronic meetings even if prohibited by by-laws. It also permits electronic notice of meetings, even if prohibited by by-laws. The Order has guidance for attendance and voting.
Other Resources:

Response Planning

BC Housing has resources specific for Housing Providers to plan, including templates for:

ONPHA has published similar resources on Pandemic Planning.

Resources for Employers

People Corporation Wellness has developed resources for employers:

Residential Tenancies Branch Information

Manitoba will not renew order to Postpone Eviction Hearings and Freeze Rent Increases:

  • Media Release announcing that the amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act will not be renewed, therefore business is as-usual at the Residential Tenancies Branch, with hearings held electronically
  • The 2021 rent increase guideline is 1.6 percent, effective January 1, 2021.

For organizations with an agreement with Manitoba Housing, Manitoba Housing was delaying anticipated changes in program income limits and utility rates for the social and affordable housing programs and continued using the rates from 2019. Contact your Portfolio Manager if you have any questions.

CMHC Information for Housing Providers

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has sent communications stating that: “we expect any housing provider who has received financing or support from CMHC, directly or via provinces and territories, to act compassionately and refrain from eviction.”

If you are a housing provider or co-op who is receiving financing or support from CMHC:

  • CMHC will work with each of you individually to be able to find the best solution. They have a series of tools and relief measures for housing providers including deferral of loan payment, capitalization, special payment arrangements, advancing flexibilities, and any combination of tools.
  • CMHC will ensure that eligible housing providers who have opted-in the Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative, and who have federally administered operating agreements expiring in the coming months, continue to receive their current level of financial assistance so that there is no disruption in assistance to households. Additional information will be shared in the coming weeks. Any questions in the interim can be directed to: [email protected].
  • On a case-by-case basis, CMHC will consider flexibility for subsidy suspensions for new accounts as a result of a breach in their agreements.

Read CMHC Questions and Answers on their programs and services

Federal Government Resources

The government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan is available here. There is a range of programs available. We have provided details about those more relevant for non-profit housing providers and their staff.

The government has:

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on. The subsidy covers 75% of an employee’s wages – up to $847 per week – for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. Up to 25% of the loan is non-repayable. Apply through your financial institution. Applications are open up to March 31, 2021.
  • Transition from CERB to Employment Insurance (EI):As of September 27, 2020, temporary changes have been made to the EI program to make it easier for individuals who continue to be impacted by COVID-19 to qualify for financial support after the end of CERB. Changes include:
    •  – Only 120 insured hours are needed to qualify because of a one-time insurable hours credit
    •  – Minimum benefit rate of $500 per week before taxes
    •  – If you received CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended.
    •  – A medical certificate is not required.
    • If you were receiving CERB though Service Canada you do not need to apply for EI benefits, it is an automatic transition.
  • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will provide a taxable benefit of $1,000 every 2 weeks for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and have lost their income due to COVID-19. It is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:
    •       –  lost employment or self-employment for reasons related to COVID-19 or you had a 50% reduction in average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19
    •       – did not receive any other benefits or paid leave from your employer for the same period
    •      –  earned at least $5,000 of employment, net self-employment, or maternity/parental benefits in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 previous month
    •       – have not voluntarily quit their job
    •       – had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.
    •      – are seeking work and have not turned down reasonable work during the two-week period
  •  The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB): Provides income support up to $500 per household for each one-week period for a maximum of 26 weeks to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their children under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because of COVID-19. Eligibility criteria includes:
      • – unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member and they are at home for one of the following reasons:
        • – Their school, daycare, or care facility is closed due to COVID-19
        • – The person under your care is sick or has symptoms, is self-isolating or has an underlying health conditions that puts them at greater risk
      •       – did not receive any other benefits or paid leave from your employer for the same period
      •      –  earned at least $5,000 of employment, net self-employment, or maternity/parental benefits in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 previous month
      •      –  you are the only person in the household applying for CRCB for the week
  •  The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB): Provides income support up to $500 per for each one-week period for a maximum of 2 weeks to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk.. Eligibility criteria includes:
        • – unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are self-isolating for one the following reasons:
          • – You are sick with or may have COVID-19
          • – You have been advised to self-isolate
          • – You have an underlying health conditions that puts you at greater risk. caring for a family member and they are at home for one of the following reasons:
            • – Their school, daycare, or care facility is closed due to COVID-19
            • – The person under your care is sick or has symptoms, is self-isolating or has an underlying health conditions that puts them at greater risk
        •       – did not receive any other benefits or paid leave from your employer for the same period
        •      –  earned at least $5,000 of employment, net self-employment, or maternity/parental benefits in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 previous month

Provincial Government Resources

The Manitoba Economic Support Centre can provide information on Federal and Provincial programs available to businesses, including non-profits and charities:  call 1-888-805-7554

Caregiver Wage Support Program (CWSP) provides a $5 per hour wage supplement to eligible front-line workers that provide direct patient or residential care to vulnerable Manitobans, between November 1, 2020 and January 10, 2021. Workers earning $25/hour or less for a variety of positions in organizations such as emergency shelters, retirement residences, personal care homes, and supportive housing organizations qualify. Employees must apply directly for the subsidy between January 11-18, 2021.

Resources for Tenants