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               watch video     summary
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.

Business Reopening

Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic Economic Recovery Roadmap provides details on the first phase of economic recovery, including requirements for businesses. Engage.mb.ca has a Q & A for businesses, employers, and employees.

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
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

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 May 13, the Province of Manitoba added an Order regarding the temporary suspension of corporate meeting provisions under the Emergency Measures Act. This Order allows corporations and cooperatives in Manitoba to postpone AGMs up to September 30, 2020. It also allows for virtual/electronic meetings even if prohibited by by-laws.
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

  • Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19 (World Health Organization)
  • Discrimination based on COVID-19: A Guideline (The Manitoba Human Rights Commission): the guideline helps employers and employees understand The Code and what constitutes discrimination based on COVID-19. It also recognizes the importance of balancing an individual’s right to be free from discrimination, with public health and safety, including the need to address the risks associated with COVID-19.

People Corporation Wellness has developed resources for employers:

Residential Tenancies Branch Information

Manitoba to Postpone Eviction Hearings and Freeze Rent Increases:

  • Media Release announcing the initial freeze
  • Media Release extending rent increase freeze and eviction hearings until September 30
  • Q & A Documents for Tenants and Landlords are on the RTB Website
  • Bill 58 amends The Residential Tenancies Act. It is in place until repealed.
    • Rent is frozen at the amount payable immediately before April 1, 2020
    • Evictions are limited to specific circumstances that infringe, interfere with or adversely affect the security, safety, health or well-being of other tenants, such as engaging in unlawful activity. This amendment is effective as of March 24, 2020
    • Late fees for failure to pay rent are prohibited.

From our communications with RTB, this means:

  •   –  All currently scheduled eviction hearings are postponed. Hearings will resume after the Emergency Measures Order is lifted, September 30.
  •   –  Any breach in a mediated agreement that would lead to an automatic eviction without a hearing will NOT be granted OP (order of possession) papers until after the pandemic
  •   –  No mediated agreements that might result in an eviction (e.g. having to pay rent on time or having to stick to a payment plan) will be scheduled
  •   –  Mediated agreements that do not involve a potential eviction (such as mediated move outs) will continue to be conducted
  •   –  For tenants who have given notice to move but choose not to move, no eviction hearings will be conducted during this period
  •   –  For tenants whose landlords were granted OPs from hearings prior to today, the RTB no longer has jurisdiction and it’s up to the Sheriff’s office to enforce the OP
  •   –  Any rent increases set for April 1 must be cancelled immediately or rebated.  Housing providers can still document rent increases and register/notify tenants of changes as usual, but give tenants notice that they are postponed/increases will not occur until the freeze is lifted.

Rent Increase Information for Non-Profits Exempt from RTB Guidelines

No housing provider is exempt from the rent increase freeze announcement, whether or not they are regulated by the Residential Tenancies Act.

The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada has advised co-ops to follow the spirit of the announcement and not increase housing charges or terminate any memberships at this time.

For organizations with an agreement with Manitoba Housing, Manitoba Housing will delay anticipated changes in program income limits and utility rates for the social and affordable housing programs and continue using the rates from 2019. Fixed shelter (EIA, affordable, market and rent supplements) rates will remain unchanged until further notice. 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 Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Apply through your payroll remittance.
  • 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.
    • On July 27, 2020, Bill C-20, which extends the CEWS into December, passed through Senate.  One big change to the program is that it will now introduce a sliding scale and some eligibility improvements to be more accessible to a broader range of employers.
      Specific changes include:
      • Extension until December 19, 2020
      • Providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenue, including those with less than 30% revenue loss
      • Top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected
      • Provide certainty to employers who have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 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.
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. It is available to workers who meet all of the following conditions:
    •       – live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
    •       – stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
    •       – 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.

Provincial Government Resources

  • Manitoba Back to Work this Summer Program promotes the hiring and re-hiring of employees in the private and non-for-profit sectors. The program covers 50% of wage costs for up to 10 weeks, between June 1 and August 30, 2020, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker:
    • Businesses must not have received support from other government subsidies for the same position
    • Start date must be June 1, 2020 or later
    • Application must be submitted on or before August 31, 2020
    • Program funds up to 5 workers, combined with the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program and Manitoba Back to Work This Summer Program
    • Payments will be made as a lump sum upon proof of payment of wages
  • Back to Work in Manitoba Program promotes the hiring and re-hiring of employees in the private and non-for-profit sectors. The program covers 50% of wage costs between July 16 and October 31, 2020, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker:
    • Businesses must not have received support from other government subsidies for the same positions
    • Start date must be July 16, 2020 or later
    • Application must be submitted on or before October 1, 2020
    • Program funds up to 10 workers, even if they received support under the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program and Manitoba Back to Work This Summer Program
    • Payments will be made as a lump sum upon proof of payment of wages

Resources for Tenants