Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Please find below today's roundup of announcements and important information, followed by answers to some recent FAQs.
Residents who need to access to/are seeking information on social/community supports & services should call 2-1-1 Toronto (416-961-6888) or visithttp://211toronto.cafor non-emergency requests & information.This is a 24/7 service that connects residents to community services.
I'd like to remind everyone to please stay home and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Stay home and stay safe!
Here's what you need to know today:
As part of the City’s continuing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, all City-owned playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities, as well as parking lots attached to its parks system, will be closed effective immediately. Green spaces remain open for walking and jogging. School playgrounds, fields and equipment will also be closed. More information can be found in the City’s news release.
The City is conducting compliance audits to help ensure the closure of business not on the Province’s list of essential workplaces. The province has launched a toll-free line, 1-888-444-3659, to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
FRAUD WARNING: We’ve been made aware of someone calling residents and falsely claiming to be a volunteer offering to deliver groceries, and then requesting their banking information. If you get a call from a “volunteer” offering to deliver groceries who then asks for your banking or credit card information, hang up. It’s a scam. If you’ve been the victim of fraud, report it to local police. Toronto Community Housing staff or first responders calling you during the COVID-19 emergency will never ask for your banking or credit information.
As announced yesterday:
The City of Toronto has rapidly mobilized and implemented a plan in response to the risk COVID-19 presents to clients of the city’s network of shelters, respites, and drop-ins. The City has opened nine new facilities with more than 350 spaces to create further physical distancing for clients from shelters, 24-respites and 24-hour drop-ins. An additional facility is preparing to open with more space ready to be activated as needed. The City also has Canada’s first dedicated isolation site for people experiencing homelessness who are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) will be flexible and work with market rent and rent-geared-to-income (RGI) tenants whose employment income has been impacted by COVID-19. For rent-geared-to-income households, TCHC will recalculate rent based on employment income changes owing to job loss or layoff incurred because of COVID-19. For market rent tenants whose income has been reduced as a result of a job loss or layoff because of the COVID-19 response, TCHC will consider various case-specific options to assist them.
For the health and safety of our communities, please remember the importance of physical distancing and minimizing contact between people. The best way for Torontonians to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home except to get essential supplies, practise physical distancing when outside the home, and self-isolate following travel or illness.
FAQ: Q: What is happening around evictions of residents facing hardships during COVID-19?
A: As per a provincial Court Order that was granted on March 19, all enforcement of residential evictions has been suspended. Furthermore, the Landlord and Tenant Board is suspending eviction hearings except on matters of criminal activity or impairing safety. Questions related to evictions should be directed to the Province's Rental Housing Enforcement Unit or call 416-585-7214 or1-888-772-9277.
Q: What measures are being taking to prevent evictions and ensure housing stability of tenants within social housing? A: In an effort to protect housing stability, social housing providers have been instructed to discontinue eviction-related processes. Housing providers have been directed to be flexible and exercise discretion on rent payments particularly as they apply to households whose primary source of income is employment. Housing providers have been instructed to work with impacted tenants to defer rent payments and/or enter into payment agreements. Social Housing Providers have also been instructed to discontinue issuance of Notices of Decision for Loss of Eligibility – RGI Assistance and to suspend existing Notices of Decision for Loss of Eligibility – RGI Assistance. SSHA has suspended the processing of existing and incoming Requests for Review – Loss of Eligibility for RGI Assistance.
Q: How are people experiencing homeless being assisted to find permanent housing?
A: Please see the City’s March 24 news release for details. An additional measure being taken to reduce risk of particularly vulnerable populations is to prioritize housing offers to existing shelter clients to vacant TCH units through a Rapid Housing initiative. The City is working with Toronto Community Housing (TCH) to identify vacancies that can be made available immediately to people currently in shelter who are on the waiting list for housing. These TCH units will be prioritized to those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, particularly seniors, who are living in the emergency shelter system.