COVID-19: Municipal measures - The City of Ottawa

Current as of July 4, 2020.

04 July 2020

Municipal measures - The City of Ottawa

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Creation of the Economic Partners Task Force

DESCRIPTION

The Mayor of Ottawa has created the Economic Partners Task Force composed of leaders of the business community. The task force will advise city staff on how the city can help the business community as the pandemic evolves.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Economic Support and Recovery page here.

Municipal Tax Measures

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa has offered a penalty free payment grace period on all 2020 interim property tax bills for all property owners until April 15, 2020.

The City of Ottawa has also offered a Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program of residential and small business property owners with an assessed property value of up to $7.5 million that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program extends the interim property tax and final property tax deadlines to October 30, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

In order to qualify for the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program, a property owner must apply before July 31, 2020 and must meet the following criteria:

  • experienced financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Property taxes must have been paid up to date before the March 2020 interim installment.
  • The property must be either: (i) A taxable residential property with a residential structure; or (ii) A taxable property assessed in the following tax classes; occupied commercial, shopping, office, industrial, multi-residential or new multi-residential class and have a total taxable 2020 property assessment value equal to or under $7.5 million.
  • All other property tax classes and sub classes do not qualify for the deferral; these include but are not limited to farm, landfill, pipeline, managed forest, parking, vacant land, excess land, farmland awaiting development and all payment in lieu.
  • Property owners must be experiencing hardship in one or more of the following categories; temporary suspension of pay, loss of employment, excessive business revenue loss or temporary business closure.
  • Property owners who have received compensation from Business Interruption Insurance towards the payment of property taxes will not qualify.
  • Property owners must not be enrolled in the Farm Grant Program or the Low-Income People with Disabilities Tax Deferral program.
  • Eligible Property owners must apply for the deferral before July 31, 2020 to be considered.
  • The property will be ineligible if false or inaccurate information is provided in the application.
  • Property owners with tenants who do not pass on the deferral are deemed ineligible and all taxes, penalty and interest are payable immediately

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's webpage on COVID-19 Property Tax Relief here.

See the City of Ottawa’s latest news release on the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Plan here.

Suspension on Water Service Disconnections

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa has suspended all water service disconnections due to non-payment until further notice.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Economic Support and Recovery webpage here.

Water Bill Grace Period

DESCRIPTION

Revenue Services is extending an interest free 30-day payment grace period for all unpaid bills issued before April 1, 2020 and a 30-day due date extension, for all water bills issued between April 1, 2020 and October 30, 2020, providing residents with 47 days to pay their bill.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's COVID-19 Water Bill Relief webpage here

Corporate Accounts Receivable Invoices Grace Period

DESCRIPTION

Revenue Services is extending an interest free 30-day grace period for all unpaid Corporate Accounts Receivable Invoices issued before April 1, 2020 and a 30-day due date extension for all Corporate Accounts Receivable invoices issued between April 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa' Accounts Receivable webpage here

Property Tax and Water Utility Deferral Programs to assist Low-Income Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

DESCRIPTION

Property Tax Deferral Program: The City of Ottawa offers two deferral programs for property taxes for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities.

  • The Full Property Tax Deferral Program allows eligible homeowners to defer payment of annual property taxes, at a reduced interest rate.
  • The Partial Property Tax Deferral Program offers a partial deferral of property taxes. Relief is based on the total tax increase over the previous year rather than a total deferral program.
Water Utility Bill Deferral Program: The City of Ottawa offers a deferral program for water utility bills for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for deferral of their water utility bills.

LINKS

The City of Ottawa's Property Tax and Water Utility Deferral Programs webpage outlines the specific eligibility requirements, terms and relief available under each program.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Property Tax and Water Utility Deferral Programs webpage here

The Farm Grant Program

DESCRIPTION

Ottawa City Council approved a Farm Grant Program to provide financial relief to working farmers. The grant program will assist eligible farm property owners by allowing the June final tax instalment to be paid in December.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To qualify for the grant, the following conditions must be met:

  • The property must be defined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation in the farmlands property class
  • The property must not be owned by a commercial enterprise
  • Taxes have been paid up to date before the June instalment
  • The final tax instalment bill (mailed in May) is paid in full in early December

The City of Ottawa directs inquires to Revenue Services by phone at 613-580-2444.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's webpage on the Farm Grant Program here.

Suspension of Enforcement of Overtime Parking on Residential Streets

DESCRIPTION

All overtime parking, signed or unsigned, will no longer be enforced on residential streets until further notice. This is to encourage and support residents to stay at home to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. All other parking restrictions remain in effect, such as No Stopping, No Parking, Fire Route, Accessible Parking, Hydrants, Sidewalks to maintain emergency access and traffic flow.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Economic Support and Recovery webpage here.

Suspension on Particular Building Inspections

DESCRIPTION

Ottawa Building Code Services will not enter occupied areas of the following building types until further notice:

  • Personal dwellings, including homes, apartments and condo units
  • Long-term care facilities, seniors' residences and retirement homes
  • Hospitals
  • Daycare facilities

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Economic Support and Recovery webpage here.

License Renewal Periods

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa has extended the renewal period for a number of business licenses until June 30, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The following business licenses are eligible for the extension:

  • Amusement Place
  • Auctioneer
  • Body-rub parlour
  • Food Premises
  • Kennels (Boarding, In-home Breeding, Recreational)
  • Public Garage
  • Rickshaw Owner, Operator
  • Rooming House
  • Second Hand Goods Shop
  • Taxicab: Drivers, Plate Holders, Brokers

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Economic Support and Recovery webpage here.

Corporate Real Estate

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa will provide rental adjustments for any businesses that rent space within a City facility that has closed in response to COVID-19. The adjustment will reflect the amount of time these facilities remained open.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Support and Assistance webpage here

Support for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa is supporting residents experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless through emergency shelters, support services, and outreach. Households and landlords will get housing allowances and rent supplements one week early to assist with cash flow.

There will be no evictions from social housing during this time.

Ottawa Inner City Health is visiting shelters with a mobile assessment van and has a nurse on call during evenings and weekends.

On March 23, 2020, the Routhier Community Centre was converted to a temporary isolation centre for single homeless people that need to self-isolate.

On April 24, the shower and washroom facilities at McNabb Arena (180 Percy Street) opened for use to people experiencing homelessness or people who are precariously housed.

On May 2, the Jim Durrell Recreation Centre opened as a temporary physical distancing shelter for single men. The Centre offers sleeping facilities, dining space, bathrooms, showers and access to computers for up to 140 men, to help alleviate overcrowding in Ottawa's emergency shelter system.

Ottawa's Human Needs Task Force is offering much-needed support to Ottawa's most vulnerable. See the list of current and planned measures here.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Support and Assistance webpage here

Human Needs Task Force

DESCRIPTION

A Human Needs Task Force has been implemented as part of the City's Emergency Management Plan and emergency response to COVID-19. The task force is focused on service coordination for immediate, medium and long-term response associated with five emerging needs:

(1) outreach to isolated seniors;

(2) food security;

(3) transportation;

(4) volunteer coordination;

(5) housing and homeless needs

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's support and assistance webpage to learn more about the Human Needs Task Force and Task Force Partners here

Social Services Relief Fund and $11.4M investment in COVID-19-related social services

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa is inviting funding applications from established, local non-profit agencies that are currently open and providing essential services to clients and can have the biggest impact through the following:

  • focus specifically on serving individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness; and/or
  • provide services and supports to other at-risk residents and equity-seeking communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

This COVID-19-related funding is combined from two sources:

  • Federal Reaching Home (RG) COVID019 funding - $4.8M
  • Provincial Social Services Relief Fund (through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) funding - $6.6M (out of total $13.2M commitment)
    • Total of $11.4M in immediate funding available.

The Social Services Relief Fund funding process will allocate up to $3M.

The City will use the rest of the $11.4M for the following:

  • emergency shelter needs;
  • COVID-19 Isolation Centres and hotel rooms for self-isolation;
  • physical distancing centres and hotels for individuals and families experiencing homelessness; and
housing and homelessness outreach, basic needs, and day programs.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Funding is available to help agencies meet extraordinary COVID-19-related expenses. For a detailed list of funding eligibility requirements and a list of "eligible" versus "ineligible" costs, see pages 5 through 7 of the COVID-19 Social Services Relief Fund Terms of Reference here.

There are two funding categories:

  • For homelessness service providers and Residential Services Homes
  • For agencies providing "essential services and supports" for "at-risk residents and equity-seeking communities"

For category 2 , "Essential Supports and Services" is defined as: food security, service coordination to meet extraordinary needs, and direct services for isolated seniors and other at-risk residents and equity seeking communities.

"At-risk resident and equity seeking communities" are defined as: Indigenous people (Métis, First Nations, and Inuit), and other equity-seeking communities such as people who are homeless or at risk of housing loss, low-income households, 2SGLBTQ+ households, seniors, women (including those fleeing violence), youth, people living with disabilities, immigrants/newcomers, and rural residents.

Timelines:

  • April 27, 2020, 11:59 p.m. - deadline for submission of email applications
  • May 6, 2020 - allocation decisions are made
  • May 7, 2020 - applicants are advised of results

The City's goal is to disburse funding to its partners in early May.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's news release here

The Application Form and Terms of Reference are available here

Innovation Pilot Program

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa's Innovation Pilot Program (IPP), managed by Economic Development Services, is shifting its focus towards COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. The Recovery Stream provides companies the opportunity to test and quickly deploy their technology innovations in real-life testing environment with the City or one of its economic development partners.

The IPP is seeking proposals for technology innovations that will accelerate Ottawa's ability to get the workforce back to work and safely resume business operations.

Areas of focus include technology innovations for public health and economic recovery. Priority sectors include health, tourism, festivals and events, restaurants, retail, construction, transportation and food supply.

See here for an overview of the IPP Recovery Stream process.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Proposal deadline was Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 4:00 p.m. The call for pilot proposals is now closed.

Applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the program:

  • Products and companies are market-ready at the time the application is submitted or can be market-ready within three months or less of approval;
  • The technology is innovative and not available on the market;
  • Pilot scope is realistic, feasible, and implementable, with no direct (or very minimal) cost to the City or participating partners;
  • Company and technology can scale, generate future sales, and local jobs;
  • Pilot poses an acceptable level of risk to the City or partners

For restrictions on funding, see here:

  • The IPP Recovery Stream is not a grant program. Funding is not to exceed $5,000.00.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Innovation Pilot Program webpage for a description of how the program works, eligibility requirements and information on funding here

Innovation Pilot Program Application Form available here

Impacted City facilities and services

DESCRIPTION

See the City of Ottawa's list of impacted City facilities and services to stay up-to-date.

See here for an overview of the IPP Recovery Stream process.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's list of impacted City facilities and services here

Business Reopening Toolkit

DESCRIPTION

The City has developed a business reopening toolkit, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health, to help businesses answer critical questions before they can reopen safely. The toolkit provides guidance on preparing your workplace, employees and operations to resume while ensuring physical distancing and also provides links to official resources such as public health signage, sector-specific guidelines and government financial assistance programs.

LINKS

See the Business Reopening Toolkit Here

Buy Local

DESCRIPTION

The City is encouraging the community to support the local business community by buying locally.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's Buy Local support webpage here.

Summer Camp Programs

DESCRIPTION

The City cancelled its originally-planned summer camp programs, scheduled to run from June 29 to August 28.

The City introduced a modified summer camp program that is reformatted around COVID-19 public health measures.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

To see details on the new program, view the City's Camp Summer Fun Recreation eGuide at Ottawa.ca/SummerCamps and here.

LINKS

See the City of Ottawa's update on summer camp programs here.

See the City of Ottawa's June 9, 2020 announcement here.

OC Transpo COVID-19 Transit Service Recovery Plan

DESCRIPTION

Transit Commission has approved OC Transpo's Transit Service Recovery Plan, which is an integral part of the City of Ottawa's roadmap for the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, OC Transpo service was modified to reflect lower than usual ridership levels and to ensure an availability of resources in case of widespread illness. OC Transpo's recovery plan will accommodate the increase in ridership and will be adjusted through a multi-phased approach. Health and safety measures will be in place prior to the increase in ridership. The plan will be adjusted as Ottawa Public Health recommendations change and as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

LINKS

See details on the OC Transpo's Transit Service Recovery Plan here.

Guidelines for opening restaurants

DESCRIPTION

The City of Ottawa has provided its guidelines for reopening restaurants. Part 1 provides City of Ottawa advice for preparing food service, and Part 2 provides guidance on preparing and modifying restaurants in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. This guidance is not intended to supersede the restrictions in place by the Government of Ontario.

LINKS

See City of Ottawa guidance here. This document is subject to updates.


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