In this unique and trying time we at Asset West know that many owners of condominium units as well as owners and tenants of rental properties will struggle to pay their bills. If you are affected (as most are) we encourage you to seek assistance, there are agencies and programs available for most Canadians. If you require our assistance please contact us. Every situation is different so we cannot make any specific promises but we promise to work with you (based on your condominium or landlord’s direction) to come up with a reasonable and temporary arrangement that can satisfy both sides.
There is support from Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governments. Here is what we found:
Utility bills: If you cannot make all of your payments due to the Coronavirus shutdown, the first bills you should consider not paying are utility bills. The Province of Alberta has instituted a 90-day utility deferral program as of March 18. This means utility providers cannot cut off service or charge you late fees until June 18. Please ensure you have contacted and communicated with your utility provider directly on this.
Similar programs are in place for the Towns of Canmore & Banff and the City of Calgary for services under Municipal jurisdiction.
Town of Canmore: Deferred until the end of June
Town of Banff: Bills for the first three months have been mailed but payment is not due until the end of June. In other words, you may ignore the “due by” date & late penalties:
City of Calgary: All utilities for the first half of 2020 can be deferred and payment will be made by dividing the total outstanding by 6 and adding it to the last 6 months of the year. You must contact Enmax to request this deferment system:
Federal Benefits: The Federal Government is providing up to $2000 a month in benefits. As of March 27th, 2020, it is not currently operational but when it is, you can access it through the link below. Meanwhile Employment Insurance requirements have been significantly relaxed. You can also apply at the link below:
There are several other Federal benefit plans depending on your family situation and sector of work:
Provincial Benefits: The Province of Alberta is providing a one-time emergency support payment of $1146 if they have no other means:
There are several other programs available which provide support for various demographics such as a 6-month deferred payment for student loans and freezes on property tax increases:
Town of Canmore: Canmore has provided an extensive list of supports. Details can be found in their FAQs about COVID 19:
Town of Banff: Banff also has an FAQ albeit not as extensive: https://banff.ca/COVID
City of Calgary: Calgary does not yet seem to have a dedicated page for COVID-19 support but they do have a “Fair Entry” program that amalgamates various programs for low-income Calgarians into one interface: