We are several weeks into this current reality, working through a bizarre situation that is starting to feel normal. The cycles of property management continue, though in an altered way. AGMs continue to occur through a restricted proxy process, council meetings happen via teleconference or video chat, strata bills are received and get paid, people move, park and spend time in close proximity to each other’s homes (even more than before), garbage gets picked up and many other daily occurrences continue almost unchanged.
This semblance of normalcy belies the upheaval that we have all faced, and continue to face, in our personal and professional lives. Many of you are dealing with job loss, business uncertainty, working from home, full time parenting while full time working, social isolation and loneliness, anxiety around personal health, family tragedy and a myriad of other intense and significant challenges. We reiterate that we are here to help, but the truth is, for most of these deeply personal issues, we probably aren’t your best resource. That being said, we may be able to help in other ways that will simplify your life and help you make necessary progress in the face of unusual circumstances.
So, what can you come to us for?
- Building Maintenance and Trades Connections – We continue to connect daily with a broad variety of trades and service providers, many of whom are also designated as essential services. We know who is working and who is not, due to staffing and social distancing challenges. Some companies are only dealing with emergency situations, while others are able to continue their services with minimal disruption, such as gardeners and arborists, who work outside and often without physical contact. As a general rule, service providers will only go into individual units in absolute emergencies, for obvious social distancing reasons. Strata corporations may also be delaying non-urgent maintenance work due to financial considerations during this uncertain period. That being said, if you have questions regarding maintenance or scheduled work, please contact your property manager for more specific information.
- New Webinar – We will be inviting council members to participate in our first webinar titled Conducting Virtual General Meetings, scheduled for April 16th and led by our president, Andy Spurling. If you are a strata council member in a strata with a March, April or May year end, look out for a special invitation later in the week to this new Proline Academy offering.
- Communication Tools – We have a large collection of posters and notices including public health notices from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the BC Centre for Disease Control that can be posted at your building or shared via websites. We can also help create one of a kind notices – perhaps you have a community member who wants to lead balcony yoga sessions – we can help with that communication!
- Good Neighbour Guidelines – As pressures increase and tempers flare, it’s important to remember that we are all in this together. We have guidelines that can help your residents navigate these situations with grace and work through these challenges together. Ask your property management team for more information.
Finally, we wanted to share a few important announcements from different organizations and service providers that may impact you:
- The federal government has launched an application portal where Canadians facing unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis can apply for emergency income support benefits. Canadians can go to Canada.ca for information about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), or to the CBC for a full story regarding this program.
- The BC provincial government has launched a COVID-19 information webpage specifically for strata residents, strata councils and other strata stakeholders.
- BC Hydro has announced support for clients who have lost their job or income. Their Relief Fund provides you with a credit to your account to reduce your bill equal to three times your average monthly bill, and you will not have to pay this back. The application window opens this week and you can apply until June 30, 2020. If you aren’t eligible for that fund, BC Hydro also has other options that may provide relief.
We hope that these weekly updates are useful and continue to provide some clarity during these uncertain times. If there’s a topic that you think would be useful or that you’d like to know more about, please tell us. We are here to help.
As always, thank you for your continued support and please take care of yourselves and each other!
Your Proline Management Team