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COVID-19 housing and homelessness update

Keeping you informed about our available services.

Homelessness services are available to all individuals who present a need. Our services have been deemed essential by the Ontario Government and will continue to operate.

Screenings at all our services are in place to ensure that suspected COVID-19 cases can be redirected to Peel Public Health for investigation and direction.

Other information

Our isolation program is available to anyone who is homeless and needs to self-isolate, including anyone who presents at a hospital or COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Access our referral process.

If you're at immediate risk of losing housing or are homeless call us at 905-453-1300.

Access a list of public access wireless (WiFi) spots in Peel.

View our handouts and resources section for printed material to support your program or building.

Street outreach program

Hours are being offered from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend. Call 1-877-848-8481.

The Street Outreach Program has new procedures for the COVID-19 pandemic. Access the Street Outreach Program pandemic protocol guide.

Learn more about the street outreach program.

Washroom and shower facilities

Regeneration Outreach Community continues to offer access to washrooms, showers and laundry facilities are available to those who are homeless, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit Regeneration Outreach Community for more information.

Shelters and transitional facilities

Contact the shelter before going or call the Region of Peel at 905-453-1300. Find an emergency shelter.

Additional supports are being provided. View our system response.

These supports include:

  • Signage, physical distancing protocols, screening, extra cleaning and personal protective equipment for clients and staff, and;
  • An isolation program for clients who need to self-isolate and/or being tested for COVID-19, and;
  • A recovery program for those who are recovering from the virus.

We have developed the following guide for our Homelessness Services to follow while operating during this pandemic. Here's our COVID-19 Guide for Homelessness Services.

Access our recommendations for use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Each homelessness service has a site-specific plan:

Our additional resources section offers resources like signs and posters for use by housing and homelessness providers that can be printed.

Food banks, pantries and meal programs

Resources for housing and homelessness providers to use to support homeless individuals:

Enumeration

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak the 2020 Point in Time Count is cancelled. All community stakeholders will be updated when new information is available.

New grant program

Council has approved a new grant program which allows housing providers to apply for funds to help offset unplanned expenses related to COVID-19. These expenses can include additional cleaning supplies, PPE, etc.

Providers who are interested in receiving this grant will need to submit a written request from their Board of Directors to their Housing Specialist.

Prevention

It’s recommended that providers close all common rooms or community spaces and postpone all in-person community programs. Providers are also urged to postpone all in-person meetings including Board meetings and all General Membership Meetings.

It's expected that Public Health Ontario disinfecting guidelines are followed for building maintenance. These guidelines are especially important for high traffic areas such as building entrances, elevators and laundry rooms. Cleaning processes should be shared with tenants. You can post signs reminding tenants of the importance of hand washing and to avoid touching any shared surfaces. Public Health Ontario has also released the Congregate Living Setting Resources Toolkit.

Operations

Housing providers should postpone issuing any Notice of Decisions for Loss of Eligibility. And please be advised that until further notice, all Service Manager Appeals for Loss of Subsidy are on hold.

Access our Treatment of Temporary Income Policy and Regional supports.

We encourage all providers to consider holding virtual board meetings to avoid any unnecessary delays in governance.

Feel free to reach out to your Housing Specialist if you would like them to attend a virtual board meeting.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has also released COVID-19 guidance material.

Evictions

  • The Ontario government has suspended all new evictions considering the COVID-19 crisis. Landlord and Tenant Board is postponing all in-person hearings.
  • Providers must discontinue issuing all Landlord and Tenant Board notices and discontinue any applications for eviction.
  • Providers must not proceed with any eviction orders currently in progress.

Visit Tribunals Ontario for additional information.

Leasing units

Continue to lease units practicing physical distancing and using online options where possible. Track vacancies and the efforts made to fill them.

Support for tenants

It's important to note that these measures should be in place for all tenants inclusive of those paying market rent.

  • Accommodating late or missing rent payments and allowing for payment arrangements to be made once the emergency situation is resolved.
  • Not charging tenants any bank fees including insufficient funds (NSF).
  • Allowing tenants to cancel preauthorized rental payments.
  • No late fees being applied to any member accounts.

Housing Providers, if this creates financial hardship for you, please contact your Housing Specialist.

Refer tenants and members who are calling for help to the Region of Peel main line at 905-453-1300 rather than to the Housing Specialists.

Possible benefits for tenants

As part of the Government of Canada's emergency care package, there are benefits that are available to support you. These benefits include Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).

Review the highlights of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

The Ontario government is also offering benefits as part of the action plan including the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) doubled payments.

Review the highlights of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

The following resources for housing and homelessness providers to download, print and use:

Requesting COVID-19 testing and swabs for congregate settings (non-long term care)
Congregate settings (shelters, group homes, assisted living, other) requiring COVID-19 testing or swabs for outbreak testing can complete the COVID-19 testing and swab request form – congregate settings (non-LTC) and then use the submit button to send to Peel Public Health.

Regionally funded facility or programs will need to make sure their Regional contact is aware that the request has been submitted. If you have any questions you can email PHSwabRequests@peelregion.ca.

Congregate settings requiring COVID-19 testing and swabs for surveillance testing should contact their LHIN Relationship Manager for further information and support for testing.