COVID-19: Resident Communication

March 25th, 2020​
COVID-19, Economic Challenges, and Government Financial Assistance Options

Dear Residents, we value our relationships with our residents and wanted to reach out to you during these difficult and uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures being taken to reduce transmission of the virus, will mean adjustments and challenges for all of us. We want to assure you that the health, safety and well-being of our residents and employees are our top priorities.

We also want you to know that we intend to work with you to ensure your housing is secure, despite the challenges that lie ahead.  We know some of you may be experiencing financial challenges due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and local businesses. Please be assured that we are keeping ourselves abreast of all new developments and programs, and continue to explore options made available by the government for financial assistance to support our residents.  

Government of Canada
The Federal Government has announced a number of measures that may be of assistance.  An overview of these programs can be found here - Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Some are currently implemented and others will be introduced soon.  We share the following summary for your reference:

  • Employment Insurance (EI) – EI sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and are available to those unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine. For these individuals, the one week waiting period has been waived. To explore EI options, click here – EI Benefits and Application.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – the CERB was announced today, March 25th, by Prime Minister Trudeau.  This new benefit combines two previously announced programs – the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit – in an effort to streamline the application process.  The CERB will provide up to $2000 per month for four months to people who have lost their income because of COVID-19. Application for the benefit will be available in early April on the ⦁ CRA website, with funds received approximately 10 days after applying.
  • Canada Child Benefit – those receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will see a temporary boost in the coming months.  The government is intending to increase the maximum annual CCB payment amount for the 2019-20 benefit year by $300 per child as part of their May payment.
  • GST Credit – for those who are eligible, the government intends to provide a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and $600 for couples.
  • Canada Student Loans – the government has placed a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.
  • Income Tax Deferral – CRA is deferring the income tax filing date for individuals to June 1, with income tax payments owing deferred to August 31. 
  • Financial Institutions - the Minister of Finance has been in regular contact with the heads of Canada's large banks, and continues to encourage them to show flexibility in helping their customers whose personal or business finances are affected by COVID-19. Banks in Canada have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis, for managing through hardships caused by this pandemic.  Individuals should contact their banks to discuss the opportunity for relief on credit products. 

Government of Saskatchewan
The Provincial Government has also announced a number of measures that may be of help to Saskatchewan residents.  An overview can be found here – Saskatchewan Financial Support Plan.  We share the following summary for your reference:

  • Self-Isolation Support Program - administered by the Ministry of Finance, the Self-Isolation Support Program will provide $450 per week, for a maximum of two weeks or $900.  The Self-Isolation Support Program is targeted at Saskatchewan residents forced to self-isolate that are not covered by recent federally announced employment insurance programs and other supports.
  • Utility Interest Deferral – the government announced a crown utility interest deferral program waving interest on late bill payments for up to six months and is effective immediately to all crown utility customers.
  • Saskatchewan Student Loans – the government has announced a six-month student loan repayment moratorium, mirroring the federal provision. 
  • SKLA Proposed Rent Bank - the Saskatchewan Landlord Association (SKLA), on behalf of landlords and tenants, has petitioned the Government of Saskatchewan to implement a Rent Bank, similar to other jurisdictions in Canada.  A provincially-funded Rent Bank would provide rent relief to tenants by way of an interest-free loan over an extended term.  If you want to voice your support for such a program, please contact your local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) listed below:

We will be monitoring all of these developments in days to come and hope to see expanded supports made available for those who require assistance. If you are experiencing COVID-19-related financial challenges that will affect your ability to pay your rent on April 1st, please contact Alex (Customer Service Supervisor) at 306-781-7376 for Regina and Dylan (Customer Service Representative) at 204-255-7368 for Winnipeg (Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm) to discuss available options. It is our intention to work with our residents on a case-by-case basis to get us all through this challenging time. We wish you and your families well.

 

March 20th, 2020
Social Distancing - Site Offices and Essential Services

Dear Residents, we continue to monitor the developments of the coronavirus outbreak in an effort to ensure that we have sufficient information and guidance to keep our residents and employees safe and healthy.  With increasing COVID-19 cases across Canada and the State of Emergency declared in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, we are writing to share further measures that we are taking to limit contact between residents and employees, creating greater social distance.  We appreciate your understanding, cooperation, and patience as we collectively navigate this uncharted territory.  Please make note of the following:

Site Offices – Closed to the Public

  • From Monday, March 23rd onward, and for an indefinite period of time, all site offices will be closed to the public.
  • We will be creating greater social distance amongst our staff at our offices, reducing the number of employees on site.
  • While some office employees will remain on-site to provide essential services (i.e. answering calls), others will be working remotely.
  • During this period, we will strive to maintain our services with as much normalcy as possible.

Site Offices – Essential Services

  • Given the reduced onsite staff we kindly ask that you limit physical visits to the office.  While a staff member may be inside the office, they have been instructed, for the safety of both themselves and residents, to not open the exterior door to the public.  Instead, our employees will readily assist you through other mediums.  These include:
  • There are a variety of tasks that do not require you to come into the office physically.  Some of these, and possible alternative modes of contact, include:
    • Notices – please email. 
    • Payments – please use Rent Moola. There are no fees associated with paying from your bank account.  
    • General Inquiries – please call or email. 
    • Concerns/Complaints – please call or email and please note that with more people staying home and kids out of school, there may be a few more disruptions than normal.  We ask that everyone be kind, considerate and patient.

Maintenance – Essential Services

  • With increasing cases of community transmission across Canada, we want to ensure that all residents and employees are safe, with limited exposure to one another.  Maintenance staff and other service providers in your apartment may present a risk to both you and them. Given this, maintenance staff have been informed that only essential maintenance services are provided until further notice.
  • Essential maintenance services are those of an urgent or emergent nature.  As an example, a dripping faucet would not be something that is essential to address at this time.  However, a lack of hot water would be. Please use your discretion when contacting our maintenance team, for your health and safety, as well as theirs.
  • You can reach our maintenance team in the following ways:
    • Resident Portal – please use the Resident Portal to submit maintenance requests. If you do not have access please contact the office by phone or email and the staff will assist you in setting up an account.
    • Email – while the portal is preferred, you can also email
    • Emergency After Hours Call Centre – in the event of an emergency please call
      • Regina – 306-337-3704
      • Winnipeg – 1-877-337-0321
  • Our maintenance team will be in contact with you after you submit a request.  We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we prioritize requests.

Reminders
As we can all appreciate, everyone is trying to do their best to cope with the uncertain circumstances around the COVID-19 outbreak.  We ask that all residents demonstrate kindness, compassion and patience during this time.  Living in close proximity to one another can be challenging at times, but with consideration for one another, we believe we can get through this together.  With this, please be reminded of the following:

  • Children Playing – children are not to be playing in the corridors.  Not only is this disruptive to other residents, but it also poses a health risk to all.  
  • Household Waste – please do not leave bags of trash in the hallway.  If for some reason you need assistance in getting it to the garbage chute or bin, please ask a neighbor or a Deveraux team member.
  • Limit Visitors – given the State of Emergency and requests to lessen social interaction, we recommend residents limit visitors to the property.
  • Cleaning and Hygiene – our team has stepped up efforts to clean high touch surfaces and common areas.  To ensure that these efforts are effective we require all residents to continue to practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.  We all need to do our part!

Elderly or 'Vulnerable Population' Residents
Outside of maintenance and/or administrative services, we want to ensure all residents that we are here to help.  If you are elderly, part of a 'vulnerable population' as it relates to this illness or facing other challenges at this time, please reach out to our Customer Service Representatives and we will strive to assist you with your requests, be it grocery pick up, meal delivery or other.

We will continue to inform all residents if there are any new developments impacting our properties. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work collectively to keep everyone safe and healthy.  Should you need assistance or have any questions/comments, please feel free to contact us: https://www.apartments.deveraux.ca/contact-us.
 

March 16th, 2020
Clubhouse Closures – Preventative Measures Relative to COVID-19

Dear Residents, your health, safety and well-being continue to be our primary focus.  To ensure that we are informed in our decision-making and response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been monitoring developments around the world and across Canada.  We are also following the guidance and recommendations of the Province of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. With this, we have decided to action further preventative measures and close all amenity spaces (clubhouses and gyms) effective 4pm Tuesday, March 17th.  These closures will be for an indefinite period.  During this time our onsite leasing offices will remain open and accessible to residents.

The City of Regina and Winnipeg have closed all public facilities including recreation centers, pools and libraries in order to limit exposure to COVID-19.  Local health and fitness providers have done the same, including GoodLife Fitness who recently announced a Canada-wide temporary closure.  Given potential exposure to the virus and the advice by all authorities to create social distance, we felt it prudent to follow suit and to also close our common area facilities. We hope that these are temporary closures and that paired with other measures, we are able to keep our residents and our employees safe and healthy.

We will inform all residents if there are any new developments impacting our properties.  If you would like more information, the following links are up to date and accurate sources of news and developments related to COVID-19:

We would like to thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work collectively to keep everyone safe and healthy.  Should you need assistance or have any questions/comments, please feel free to contact us: https://www.apartments.deveraux.ca/contact-us.

 

March 13th, 2020
Precautionary Measures Relative to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Dear Residents, your safety, health, and well-being are of the utmost importance to us.  We understand that there are many concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak and we want to assure you that we are doing all that we can to protect our residents and employees while striving to prevent the spread of the disease. We are committed to doing our part to keep you healthy and will continue to communicate any changes in service to you as quickly as possible.  In addition to our existing cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance procedures, we are also taking the following measures:

Cleaning and Education

  • Increased frequency and deep cleaning of high touch and hard surfaces in common areas (i.e. countertops, doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc.).
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are to be installed in common areas (leasing offices and clubhouses).  These items are currently on backorder from our supplier, scheduled to arrive late next week.
  • Additional signage is posted to educate on how to prevent the spread of the infection (i.e. hand hygiene and cough etiquette posters).

Staff Precautions

  • All maintenance and cleaning staff are equipped with disposable gloves and disinfectants and are instructed to discard gloves after each use.
  • All staff have been briefed on hygiene measures and basic infection prevention.
  • All staff are cross-trained to ensure critical building functions are maintained in an emergency.
  • All staff have been instructed to stay home if they are feeling sick.
  • All staff have been instructed to limit physical contact with others in the workplace. Handshake greetings will be replaced with verbal acknowledgment.

Building Operations

  • We have reviewed our business continuity plans with staff and external vendors to ensure critical functions continue to be met in the event of staff absences.
  • Our amenity spaces (i.e. clubhouses, gyms) will remain open for the time being.  If you choose to use these areas, please ensure that you are keeping them clean with the provided disinfectant materials.  We will monitor recommendations provided by governmental and health authorities and if deemed appropriate, may need to close all common spaces as a precaution.  If this need arises, we will inform all residents. 

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort.  You can help us to prevent the spread of the disease by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently, following proper hand-washing procedures:
    • Use warm water and soap, wash hands for 20 seconds
    • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and discard in a lined trash can and wash your hands immediately afterward.
  • Do not share personal items (i.e. dishes, utensils, cups, bedding, towels, etc.).
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces in your apartment unit daily.
  • If you feel ill, stay in your apartment unit and separate yourself from other residents and pets.
    • If you need to leave your apartment unit to go to the doctor, cover your nose and mouth and wear disposable gloves.  Discard these items upon return and/or wash immediately.
    • Any co-residents should use a face mask and/or gloves when in the same room as you.
    • Refrain from using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
    • Refrain from using common spaces in the apartment community.

Ongoing Communication
We are monitoring information and updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and all municipal/provincial health authorities.  We will continue to be proactive and transparent in our communication to lessen concern and misinformation and to ensure your expectations are managed.  Preventing the disease from affecting our properties, employees and residents is a primary responsibility to our organization.  It is also the responsibility of all of our residents and we thank you for doing your part.

If you would like more information, we recommend the following resources for the most up to date news and developments related to COVID-19: