COVID-19 resources for renters in British Columbia
As of March 26, 2020
In recent days, the federal and provincial governments have communicated various initiatives to support British Columbians who are experiencing hardships due to COVID-19. These initiatives include resources that are available to support and protect renters in British Columbia. Below is a summary and link to some of these resources that may be useful to residents.
Please note that the following is not a complete list of resources available and that it is only a summary of some of the initiatives that may be available to certain residents, subject to eligibility requirements as determined by the federal and provincial governments. In addition, this information is made as of the date above and may not reflect any changes or new initiatives made after this date.
Province of British Columbia:
The provincial government has introduced COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information, which includes the following:
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers:
- a one-time payment of $1,000 to people who lost income because of COVID-19
Supporting Renters, Landlords during COVID-19:
- rent supplements of up to $500 per month
- freeze on rent increases effective April 2020
BC Student Loans (BC student loan payments automatically frozen for 6 months)
Monthly Bills (ie. access to deferrals and/or grants from BC Hydro and ICBC)
Tax Relief for Businesses
The foregoing is not a complete list of initiatives available pursuant to the COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information. For additional information and how to access these resources, see https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
Government of Canada:
The federal government has introduced Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan which includes the following:
Support for individuals and families:
- Increasing the Child Benefit Tax Credit
- Extra time to file income tax returns
Support for people facing unemployment:
- The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Improved access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits
Support for students and recent graduates (moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans)
Support for seniors
The foregoing is not a complete list of initiatives available pursuant to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. For additional information and how to access these resources, see https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
March 16, 2020 update
Covid-19 Office & Facility Closures
Please be advised that to reduce Covid-19 health risks we have closed all our gym facilities effective immediately.
In addition to this, we have physically closed our site offices however staff will be available to respond to emergencies by email or phone.
To reduce Covid-19 transmission, we again ask that you limit your visitors to the building and receive deliveries outside the building.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this period of uncertainty.
March 12, 2020 update
Further to our communication of March 5, 2020 and the situation relating to COVID-19 which is rapidly evolving, please note the following as it relates to your building and the property:
- We wish to emphasize that any residents or their invitees (including service providers) who have (or have been in contact with individuals who have) travelled to a country identified as a risk or have travelled on a cruise ship, to comply with the recommendations of the BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days and closely monitor for symptoms of illness.
Note that as of today, the Government of Canada has issued active travel advisories related to COVID-19 for the following countries: China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Spain (for updates on COVID-19 travel advisories, please check the government of Canada website at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html.
- For any residents who have been in close contact with individuals identified as presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19, please consult immediately with your primary health care provider, public health office or call 8-1-1 and following any respective recommendations or directives to self-isolate as appropriate.
- For any residents who themselves have been identified as presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 or are in quarantine or self-isolation for any reason, we ask that you notify the building managers immediately so that we can better support you and the health and safety of building management, your fellow residents and visitors. Any such information provided to the building managers will be kept on a strictly confidential basis. To the extent we are able, we will endeavour to provide assistance to support a resident (and/or neighbouring residents as applicable) who chooses to self-isolate for the benefit of resident and the building community.
In addition, please note the following additional preventative measures and recommendations that are effective immediately:
- We strongly recommend that residents refrain from hosting guests in your suite or at the building until the situation stabilizes. For greater certainty, any guests or visitors who have arrived from a country identified as a risk are prohibited from entering the property or the building until they have completed a mandatory period of self-isolation.
- If applicable, all bookings in the guest suite are suspended effective immediately. If you have a scheduled future booking, the building managers will be in contact with you for additional arrangements.
- For any residents receiving deliveries to the building (Amazon, Skip the Dishes etc…), we ask that you meet the delivery at the front door of the building and not have the deliveries come into the building to your suite.
- We strongly recommend that residents refrain from the use of the building’s common facilities (ie. pools, washrooms, showers, fitness facility etc… as applicable but excluding laundry facilities). We will monitor the situation closely and may make a determination to close such facilities in the future following any direction received from local health authorities. We further advise that any residents that use these facilities do so at their own risk and that they be sure to wipe/down any equipment or surfaces prior to and following use.
As always, please continue to exercise good judgment and best practices with respect to hand-washing, not touching surfaces and respecting your neighbours’ personal space.
Please note the following important information with respect to communications for the building:
- The Landlord and building management will continue to provide communications to the residents through direct notices to the building.
- We expect to have additional access to information shortly through www.austeville.com.
- Please ensure that building management have up to date contact information, including primary email and mobile phone contacts as well as emergency contacts.
- Where possible, we encourage you to direct any building or suite enquiries to building management by email or call the office in the interests of limiting non-essential contact.
Additional information regarding all aspects of COVID-19 is available through the following sources:
BC Centre for Disease Control: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)
We thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we navigate through this period of uncertainty.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact building management or your Property Manager.
March 5, 2020
As everyone is aware, there is a lot of information and uncertainty in the public these days relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We do not wish to create any alarm with our tenants, employees, contractors or guests, but do wish to remind everyone to be respectful of others and encourage best practices during this period of heightened awareness.
The health and safety of our tenants, employees, contractors, guests and other invitees to our property is a priority for management. Accordingly, given the emergence of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, we encourage everyone to follow basic preventative measures to promote good health for all.
Cold, flu and COVID-19 viruses can spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing or rubbing/touching eyes, noses and mouths after touching an infected surface.
We can protect ourselves and others as follows:
- If not feeling well, stay home and try to avoid common areas of the property.
- If you have travelled to a country identified as a risk (i.e. countries in Asia, Italy, Iran, Egypt) or have come into contact with someone who has, we strongly encourage you to comply with any recommended self-quarantine measures.
- Avoid close contact with others and don’t be offended if others keep a distance from you.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or with hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid touching surfaces (i.e. elevator buttons, door handles etc…) with unwashed hands, especially if you are not feeling well.
In addition, Property Management and Operations will endeavour to increase the presence of sanitizers in common areas and be extra diligent in wiping down and sanitizing surfaces and equipment in common areas of the property.
We refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website (http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)), which includes the following information:
- COVID-19 is a new form of virus that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to respiratory infections. Known cases of infection have been reported to range from mild to severe. The elderly or those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions are considered to be a higher risk of severe disease.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu or common cold and include coughing, sneezing, fever, sore throat and/or breathing difficulties.
- Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing any of these symptoms, should contact their primary health care provider, public health office or call 8-1-1.