COVID-19 Pandemic
ADVICE

Every business and community in BC is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and housing co-ops are no exception. CHF BC members have been asking us for advice on a range of issues. You will find our answers and resources below.

COVID-19 General Guidance | Helping Members in Financial Distress | Resources for meetings during COVID-19 | Concern for Community
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COVID-19 General Guidance

Find information and links to some great general resources for your community at this time.

CHF BC event cancellations

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According to the federal government, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Some transmit easily from person to person while others do not. COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Those with COVID-19 may have few to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19; they include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia in both lungs. In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
Question:
There is a lot of fear regarding COVID-19 and I am wondering what your guidance is regarding routine repairs and inspections with the co-op or outside contractors going into members' homes, especially with repair people who go all over the community and enhance the risk of community spread.

Answer:
Our advice at the moment is that co-ops should do whatever they can to be part of the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means limiting contact among people and practising social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

We canvassed the views of maintenance services including our own at COHO and the staff at BC Housing. They are providing maintenance and repair services to occupied homes only in emergency situations. All regular or routine maintenance is being restricted to vacant homes and common areas (interior and exterior). We think this is prudent in the circumstances and important for the protection of co-op members, staff and tradespeople. Of course there are always situations that call for judgement to be exercised. If, for example, a home is vacant because a member is away on vacation, it may be possible to have work done safely in the home while the member is away. That’s a decision for the board to make.

The board is charged with a special responsibility to act at all times in the best interests of the co-op. This sometimes calls for tough choices to be made. In the current situation, it is difficult for us to imagine that it’s in the co-op’s best interests to proceed with business as usual.

CHF BC is working hard to maintain services during the COVID-19 pandemic while placing the highest priority on the health and safety of our staff, members and many partners.  Here’s the latest on what you can expect from our Group Buying programs as we work to “flatten the curve” and deliver value for your membership dues.

Appliances:
Trail Appliances has now closed all retail stores and outlets to protect the safety of their staff and clients. They are still able to provide curbside delivery but cannot offer haul-away service at this time. If your co-op has an emergency request, please contact Jamie Dosanjh at jdosanjh@trailappliances.com. All other requests should go to aptreplacement@trailappliances.com.

Cabinets and Countertops:
Danube Kitchens, our cabinet and countertops partner on the Mainland, will still provide service on request, while respecting health and safety guidelines. If you have a request, please contact cabinets@chf.bc.ca.

Flooring:
Our flooring partners in the Lower Mainland, CD Contract and K&A Flooring, are both available for service on request, while respecting health and safety guidelines. On Vancouver Island, the Island Flooring Centre is closed but available on request. For any flooring requests, please contact Chrissy Miller at flooring@chf.bc.ca.

Maintenance Supplies:
Our partner RONA stores are still open and you can shop until 6:00 p.m. You can also shop online. If you need more information or to request a service, please contact Brad LeGrow at brad.legrow@rona.ca.

Telecom Program:
Our telecom program partner TELUS has let us know that their technicians will not enter units to upgrade wiring to fibre-optic. Regular internet speed upgrades and repair appointments are still happening with modifications for safety. You can visit TELUS.com/covid19 for the most up to date information on how they are supporting clients in this uncertain time. And for any members with questions, please contact us at telecom@chf.bc.ca.

Waste Management:
Our Waste and Recycling partners Waste Connections on the Mainland and GFL Environmental on the Island continue to provide all services with no interruption.

If you have additional questions about any of our Group Buying programs, including ways we can help your co-op access group buying services at this time, please contact Arnold Sang at asang@chf.bc.ca.


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Helping Members in Financial Distress

Here you will find resources to help your co-op and its members deal with financial distress brought on by the challenge of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helping members in financial distress


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Resources for meetings during COVID-19

In response to questions from members we have developed resources that offer the latest guidance to help co-ops.

Here is some information about co-op meetings during the social isolation requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General advice on meetings

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Dear CHF BC:
We need to call a members’ meeting to approve new housing charges but it’s not safe to meet in person at the moment.  Can we poll the members by email to see if they support the proposed increase?

Answer:
You can poll the members by email to find out how they feel about the proposed increase, but that’s not enough to make a binding decision.  In some co-ops the board sets the housing charges.  In others, new housing charges must be approved by ordinary resolution at a members’ meeting called for that purpose.  An email poll is not a meeting, so you’ll need to consider other options.

For more information on meetings, see CHF BC’s advice on meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Concern for Community

Housing co-ops are resilient communities. Their members believe in the values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Here are some ways we continue to demonstrate that during this crisis.

Let’s show concern for community!