March 23, 2020

AVENUE LIVING HOUSES AND EMPLOYS ESSENTIAL WORKERS THROUGHOUT THE PRAIRIES

 

At Avenue Living Communities, we are home to over 20,000 people across the Prairies. We own and operate 430 buildings with approximately 10,000 units in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and we are proud to house thousands of essential workers throughout these Prairie Provinces.

 

Our residents are working on the front lines during this deeply unsettling time, whether it is the nurse practitioner administering lifesaving COVID-19 tests, or the cashier at the local supermarket as you buy your groceries; it is these individuals who are continuing to work on the front lines ensuring the rest of the population is able to survive while practicing safe, social distancing.

 

These, and all 20,000+ residents at Avenue Living are the reason why our 300+ employees continue to work around the clock ensuring that operations are not interrupted. Our team at Avenue Living, from our head office to our local regional offices, is essential to ensuring the highest standard in our buildings and communities in which we operate. We continue to work and put on our uniforms every day, so that our residents have a safe and clean environment to rest, when their shift is over.

 

And rest assured that our team at Avenue Living is invested side-by-side with our resident stakeholders. As you all know, in times of crisis especially, it is important to work together as a community, for only then can we resolve and come out of this situation stronger than we were yesterday – together. As mentioned, we have a Prairie Relief Team dedicated in these uncertain times, to residents who have questions about their lease and any other matter regarding the safety of their home. Residents can email prairie-relief@avenueliving.ca or call our help line (1-855-247-1492 extension 5) to speak with a member of our staff about their unique situations.

 

Our duty to our residents, is our highest priority. We must keep our businesses fully functional, as over 20,000 essential workers rely on us to be fully operational. Please know that we are working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of our residents, because our mission, during good times and bad, is to provide reliable, safe and comfortable accommodations that they can call home.

 

We are also committed to taking care of our team members in each of our 19 markets across the Prairies and have been providing them with up-to-the-moment guidance and information so that they can keep themselves and their families safe.

 

Below you will find some updates on the available aid options proposed by our Federal and Provincial Governments.

 

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT UPDATES

We have summarized some key takeaways in the hopes of making it easier for our stakeholders to digest the most updated information from Federal and Provincial Governments. We also encourage you to speak with your financial institution to discuss further options that may be available to you.

 

Federal Government Support

 

Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents: If you are sick, quarantined or staying home to care for children and find yourself without paid sick leave the Government is providing increased access to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

Longer-Term Income Support: If you lose your job or are facing reduced hours as a result of COVID-19 impact, the Government is introducing an Emergency Support Benefit and the implementation of an EI Work Sharing Program.

GST Benefit: The government it proposing to provide one-time special payment by early May to double the Goods and Services Tax Credit. This means that if you qualify for this credit the benefit will be close to $400 for individuals and close to $600 for couples.

Canada Child Benefit: The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual payment amounts by $300 per child.

Other groups receiving potential benefits: There are many additional funding for groups such as First Nations, Students, Seniors, those requiring the need of shelters.

We encourage everyone to check the links provided below to determine if there are financial benefits available to you. Please note that starting in April, all extra benefits may be applied through your CRA Portal.

 

Provincial Government Support

 

Alberta

Please see the link for all Provincial related information about COVID-19: http://bit.ly/2x3X7IK 

 

Alberta COVID-19 Emergency Support System –The federal Emergency Care Benefit does not go into effect until April 1st. Albertans who require financial assistance who are not eligible for EI can apply for this one-time provincial payment of $1,142 to bridge the gap until federal funding is available.  To sign up for the benefit, Albertans need to go to the online Service Alberta portal and create a MyAlberta online ID if they haven't already. More information is expected from the Alberta provincial government on this program this week. https://bit.ly/3di2d4G

Alberta Job protected leave – Individuals have access to 14 days of job-protected leave for the purpose of self-isolation without requiring a medical note.

Self-Employed Individuals – Small and medium businesses can defer WCB premiums until 2021, those who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

Student Loan Repayment Moratorium – Saskatchewan and Alberta have implemented a six-month, interest free, moratorium on provincial student loan payments to mirror the Canada Student Loans Program. No application is required.

Utility Payment Deferral – The Alberta provincial government has mandated a 90-day utility charge deferral which is applicable to all utility providers in the province. If you wish to take advantage of these programs, please reach out to your utility provider for more information.

 

Saskatchewan

Please see the link for all Provincial related information about COVID-19: https://bit.ly/2Jcl2sa

 

Saskatchewan Employment Act – Introducing amendments to the Saskatchewan employment act to ensure that employees have access to job protected leave. Please see the link below for further details: http://bit.ly/2QsWRKe 

Saskatchewan Self-Isolation Support Program – $450/week for a maximum of $900 for those residents forced to self-isolate that are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs.

Student Loan Repayment Moratorium – Saskatchewan and Alberta have implemented a six-month, interest free, moratorium on provincial student loan payments to mirror the Canada Student Loans Program. No application is required.

Utility Payment Deferral – Many utility providers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are also offering utility charge deferral programs to help alleviate the financial stress being put on individuals due to COVID-19. If you wish to take advantage of these programs, please reach out to your utility provider for more information.

 

We hope you have found the information above valuable. We will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of everyone who lives with us, works with us, and invests with us at Avenue Living.

 

by Avenue Living Communities