Greenrock Resident and Community Support During COVID-19
March 26, 2020
As the effects of the COVID-19 virus continue, we are taking this opportunity to connect with you, our valued residents, concerning several rent related matters, as well as to share with you some community and resident support measures we will be implementing immediately.
First, we wish to express our gratitude to you for choosing to live in a Greenrock community. A family company, we have proudly owned and operated this building for over 50 years. I need not tell you that these are unprecedented and incredibly stressful times—for all of us. I am confident that together, we will weather this storm.
We want to ensure that all residents understand that no one should be concerned about losing their home as a result of this emergency and the many circumstances that are beyond our control.
These may be early days as we address this emergency. As you've no doubt heard in the media, we might be housebound for many more weeks, and while all three levels of Government have promised various measures of support, it will take time for relief funds to be distributed and other measures to take effect.
Circumstances concerning COVID-19 are changing daily. We are hopeful that as the virus becomes contained, the economy stabilizes, and our financial picture begins to clarify, we will be able to communicate in more detail around resolving any outstanding rent matters.
We are asking all residents who can pay their rent to please do so as they normally would. For those residents who cannot pay rent, our commitment remains constant to working collaboratively with you on a case by case basis, and where appropriate, eventually establishing payment plans designed to give those in need some flexibility around their rent obligations. For now, this means that no rent increases will be implemented until this crisis is resolved.
In the interim, we are pleased to share that Greenrock will be implementing several measures in support of our residents and local communities. These will include a $500,000 cash commitment that will encompass the following initiatives.
1. Grocery Gift Cards – $200,000
To help with your household's cost of groceries, we will be providing each suite with a $100 gift card redeemable at a local grocery chain. Due to social distancing needs, we plan to mail all cards to each resident. Please expect the gift card to arrive by Canada Post within the next two weeks – we will endeavour to deliver these cards as soon as possible.
2. Option to Transfer Last Month's Rent Deposit to Current Rent Payments
Greenrock has created a program whereby residents who are experiencing financial difficulty can direct us to apply their last month's rent (LMR) deposit as a credit towards their regular rent payments. Residents may choose to use a portion of this credit, or the full amount.
Residents will be expected to replenish this deposit over time; however, this measure offers residents who choose to do so, the opportunity to defer or avoid rent arrears.
3. Greenrock IMPACT Donations – $300,000
IMPACT refers to the various charitable measures deployed to local agencies by the Greenrock Charitable Trust in tandem with input from Greenrock staff and residents.
COVID-19 has created unique and extreme challenges for our city and communities. The Greenrock Charitable Trust will be donating $300,000 to a group of local charities to address concerns surrounding food security, mental health, domestic abuse, and senior care during this crisis with the first tranche of donations of $100,000 to be deployed immediately to the following organizations:
- $50,000 to the Daily Bread Food Bank
- $10,000 each to Stella's Place, Kids Help Phone, The 519, The Redwood, and Sprint Senior Care
Our IMPACT committee will continue to seek ways to help its community partners during this crisis and endeavour to time the deployment of the remaining funds over the course of the pandemic.
4. Treat and Protect Cleaning Program
In addition to increased cleaning measures, as an extra precaution to keep the common areas of our buildings sanitary, we have treated all high-touch surfaces in our buildings with the GermGuard Treat and Protect Program. This treatment is registered by Health Canada and kills up to 99% of germs on contact. It also works as a safety net between cleanings to reduce and protect against germs and bacteria for up to six months.
We are living through unprecedented times. We are optimistic that with the measures undertaken by government, our commitment to social distancing and the dedication of our medical professionals we will overcome this pandemic. Meanwhile, Greenrock will continue its tradition of taking care of our tenants, employees and communities.
Chief Operating Officer Greenrock Real Estate Advisors
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Notices to Residents
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AWARENESS RESOURCES:
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE:
The Government of Canada has pledged $27 billion as part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to help Canadians through this challenging time. Please see below for a list of resources you may be eligible for:
Employment Insurance (EI):
Effective March 15, 2020, the one-week waiting period for those who claim EI benefits is waived for those who are currently in imposed quarantine.
The requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits is waived.
Emergency Care Benefit:
- Administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
- Provides up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks.
- Who qualifies?
- Workers who don't qualify for EI, who are either sick with COVID-19 or quarantined.
- Workers who don't qualify for EI, who are caring for a family member who is sick with COVID-19.
- For parents, who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.
- When can you apply?
- According to the Canadian government, the application will be available in April 2020 through either CRA MyAccount, My Service Canada, or through a toll-free number.
- Applicants will need to re-attest every two weeks to remain eligible.
Emergency Support Benefit:
Administered through the CRA and will provide up to $5 billion in support.
Intended for workers who lose their job or face reduced hours and are not eligible for EI.
EI Work Sharing Program:
Provides EI to workers who agree to reduce normal working hours due to developments beyond the employers' control.
Extends the eligibility of these agreements to 76 weeks.
Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC):
The Government of Canada is considering a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the GSTC.
Singles will gain approx. $400 and couples will receive approx. $600.
Canada Child Benefit (CCB):
For the 2019-20 benefit year, the government is proposing a one-time increase of $300 per child.
2019 Tax Returns:
For individuals, the return date is deferred until June 1, 2020.
Taxpayers may defer any income tax owed until August 31, 2020.