March 18, 2020
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT UPDATES AND LEASING OPPORTUNITIES PUT IN PLACE FOR RESIDENTS FACING FINANCIAL CHALLENGES
Our founding belief, Duty of Care, has never been more important than it is right now. At Avenue Living, we are home to 20,000 people across the Prairies, and we employ hundreds of team members. As Prime Minister Trudeau announces $82 billion in financial help and economic stimulus for Canadians and closes the US-Canadian border to non-essential travel, we are continually assessing how we can better safeguard the health and well-being of our communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
We have put initiatives in place to help our residents with flexible leasing options and also would like to highlight how our government is providing financial support.
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT UPDATES
We have summarized some key takeaways in the hopes of making it easier for you to digest the information from Prime Minister Trudeau's announcement today. 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.
- Federal Government Financial Aid: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
- Federal Government COVID-19 response page: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus
Provincial Government Support
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. Please see the link below for all Provincial related information about COVID-19: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
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: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2020/march/17/labour-changes-for-employees-during-covid-19
We hope you have found the information above valuable. We care about our people and will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of everyone who calls Avenue Living home.
LEASING OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR RESIDENTS
Should any residents be facing financial hardships, we will work with you as best we can. We are In It Together and laser-focused on the greater good. Our Avenue Living Community Task Force (known as our 'Prairie Relief Team') is here to help our residents during this unsettling time. If you need assistance of any sort, please reach out to us at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional measures we have put in place include the following:
Prairie Relief Event: We have recently released 500 quality rental suites that we will make available across a variety markets at a heavily discounted rate. We are offering weekly bundled rental payments to accommodate the changing needs of our prospects at this time. Please reach out to our call center at 1-855-247-1492 for more information.
Offer to Students: We're offering current students, who reside with Avenue Living and are heading home during this time, the opportunity to hold their unit for $100 per month, effective April – August. This offer applies to current student residents whose lease expires in April or May. Students who wish to utilize this offer must provide proof of enrolment for the fall semester as well as sign a 12 month renewal lease. Please reach out to our Call Centre at 1-855-247-1492 for more information
Flexible Payment Options: We have implemented flexible payment options through electronic fund transfer, email transfer, credit cards by phone, mail in cheques and online bank payments. Residents with upcoming renewals will receive text message communications to renew expiring leases, in addition to the continued communications from our Leasing Specialists.
- Weekly Payment Plans: We are rolling out additional payment plans for new as well as existing residents. This payment plan offers breathing room for our residents with smaller payments due on a weekly basis, over the usual monthly payment. Current residents can switch to the Weekly Payment Plan should they wish to.
- Various Payment Methods: Social distancing is a top priority in the global efforts to flatten the curve. As we continue to evaluate our pandemic protocols, we are working on new additional options for non-contact payment methods, including a new app to take credit card details over the phone and an online portal for credit card payments. These are in addition to our methods already in place, such as Interac® e-transfer, credit card payment by phone, online bank payment and mailed cheques that we communicated to you yesterday.
We are continuing to monitor the up-to-the-moment updates on this rapidly evolving situation. Please be assured, we will adapt our processes in accordance with the latest health guidelines and will continue to provide updates on our strategy to protect your safety during the pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please, as always, contact us at COVIDemail@example.com.
COO, Avenue Living Communities