(Tuesday, March 17, 2020)—We are experiencing unprecedented times as the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a global pandemic. With the spread of COVID-19 (“Novel Coronavirus”) throughout Canada, the country is experiencing a plunge in the financial market coupled with an increase in cancellations and business closures. This has caused a ripple effect with regards to employment and pay, especially for people earning an hourly wage and for those who are working in the gig economy.
The government of Canada has announced a 10-billion-dollar stimulus package to support small and mid-sized businesses with access to credit. The Government of Canada also stated that they would be announcing additional measures to the stimulus package in support of Canadians, sometime this week.
Habitat Hamilton urges the government to protect Canadians during this difficult time, by halting all evictions and ensuring Canada’s banks place a moratorium and freeze on mortgage payments.
“In times such as these, the safety and comfort of affordable housing is more important than ever,” says Habitat Hamilton Board Chair, Tom Vert.
“Habitat Hamilton has issued a notice to all of its mortgage-holding homeowners, reassuring them that we have provisions in place to provide payment adjustments, where necessary, on a case by case basis. No Habitat Hamilton homeowner will risk foreclosure due to the financial repercussions of COVID-19,” says Manager of Volunteers and Homeowners, Kathryn Fair.
Habitat Hamilton’s social enterprise, the Hamilton ReStore, remains open based on the advice provided by the Government of Canada, at this time. We are closely following guidance provided from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s protocols. We are taking the necessary precautions, ensuring that staff who are sick or who have recently traveled outside of the country are self-isolating and working from home (or receiving paid sick leave) for 14 days. We have also increased our sanitary and cleaning practices, disinfecting high volume touch areas several times a day. We’ve also asked ReStore volunteers to remain home, at this time.
Habitat for Humanity Canada has also established a COVID-19 Response Team to manage and monitor developments as they evolve to determine how they will impact our operations.
Habitat Hamilton will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates, when needed.
About Habitat for Humanity Hamilton:
Founded in 1991, Habitat for Humanity Hamilton is an independent, not-for-profit housing program that builds strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Habitat Hamilton has accommodated 30 Habitat homeowner families locally since its incorporation, and is one of Habitat Canada’s fastest growing affiliates, with several builds and developments forthcoming. For more information, please visit www.habitathamilton.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Tom Vert, Board Chair, Habitat for Humanity Hamilton