Message from the CEO of Ottawa Community Housing – March 19, 2020
As of Monday, March 16, OCHC all of its offices are closed to the public. A significant portion of the OCHC workforce, where feasible operationally, is working remotely until further notice.
OCHC has assembled a COVID-19 Core Emergency Group that meets on a daily basis to provide updates across departments. OCHC is also participating in OPH update calls twice a week in order to ensure we have the most up to date and accurate information. We have also identified our Director, Community Safety Services as the official OCHC contact for the City’s Office of Emergency Management. We have also joined the City of Ottawa Human Needs Task Force and United Way Ottawa COVID-19 social response team.
Furthermore, we have closed access to all tenant lounges in buildings, and increased cleaning in all OCHC buildings. Cleaning standards in cleaning contracts have been amended to include more thorough cleaning such as increased wiping of surfaces. We will continue to strike a balance between providing critical services, while also protecting the health and well-being of both our employees and tenants.
We will continue to respond to tenant requests through our 24/7 Cell Centre (613-731-1182), including for the following types of requests, or until further notice:
- Community Safety Services
- Emergency Maintenance Services
- Rental and Lease Services
- Rent Collection
- Housing Administration
- Community Tenant Support
Food insecurity can be a significant issue for tenants during events like this. We are working with the Ottawa Food Bank and other partners to ensure that food is provided to those who need it.
Staff are contacting tenant leaders from more than 80 tenant groups, as well as our partner agencies, and are making efforts to identify and support tenants who may be at higher risk if they become infected.
Reminder that tenants requests should go to our Call Centre at 613-731-1182, so we can log, and ensure that they receive an appropriate and timely response based on their priorities needs.