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COVID-19 and Manitoba housing co-ops

Published March 27, 2020

Updated October 8, 2020

By now, housing co-ops have made the shift to a “new normal” changing operational practices in order to keep members and employees safe.  If you encounter new developments, CHF Canada co-op staff are here to help you with your questions about co-op operations that are impacted by COVID-19.

Please call (204) 947-5411 or 1-888-591.3301 or email bhamilton@chfcanada.coop if you have any questions or need help sorting through an issue.

Please also check out our main Housing Co-ops and COVID-19 page which contains more updates and a comprehensive set of FAQs.

You can also check out our COVID-19 Meeting Resources page for tips and guides for holding electronic board meetings, town halls, and alternate ways to hold a members’ meeting or AGM.

Restoring Safe Services

Manitoba has announced the Restoring Safe Services Plan, which outlines the phases to restore services and re-open the economy.

Freeze on Rent Increases and Evictions

On March 24th, Manitoba announced that rent increases scheduled for April 1st or later be frozen until further notice.  Although co-operatives are not mentioned specifically, our advice was that housing charge increases should also be frozen.

Manitoba has announced that effective September 30th, rent increases are no longer frozen, and the ban on evictions has been lifted.

Members meetings

For Manitoba co-ops, our advice is that you should be cautious about having member meetings at this time.  Refer to government limitations, and ensure that proper physical distancing and other recommended precautions are possible within your venue.

It is apparent that the threshold for the size of public meetings will vary by location within the province, and may be expected to go up and down, depending on the rate of transmission and other factors.  If you are planning a member meeting, please consult the latest Public Health Orders.

An easier-to-read summary can be found here.

Please note that restrictions for the Capital Region (Winnipeg and surrounding area) are different than in other areas.  Winnipeg-specific information can be found here.

Contact your CHF Canada staff person for advice in planning your meeting in a way that is compliant with regulations and will keep your members safe.

Board meetings

Even though board meetings will be smaller than members meetings, during the pandemic you may wish to consider holding virtual board meetings. For Manitoba housing co-ops, directors can hold electronic board meetings through such means as telephone conferencing or computer video chat. This is the preferred way to conduct necessary board business during this time.  (section 201(1) of the Act)

In scheduling an electronic meeting, CHF Canada recommends dealing with high priority agenda items and limiting meetings to no more than one hour in length. (Zoom videoconferencing platform is free for meetings of 40 minutes or less). During the pandemic, it would be a good idea for the board to schedule short weekly or bi-weekly electronic meetings to discuss urgent issues.

You can also check out our COVID-19 Meeting Resources page for tips and guides for holding electronic board meetings, town halls, and alternate ways to hold a members’ meeting or AGM.


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