Another update from ONPHA CEO Marlene Coffey regarding COVID-19


I want to extend my personal condolences to those most heavily impacted by COVID-19: families, friends, and loved ones grappling with the virus. We hear and support you. Our sector will face continued pressures in the coming weeks and we all have a lot of responsibility in how we respond to change. Please know we acknowledge that your work helps keep communities housed and healthy daily, and for that I thank you. ONPHA will do everything in its power to ensure you have what you need for your communities and businesses.

We believe secure, decent and affordable housing is a human right and fundamental social determinant of health. As communities across the province, across Canada and across the planet struggle to grasp with COVID-19’s gravity, our work to keep communities housed and healthy is essential.

On Saturday, the Province amended its Emergency Measures Act to include more business closures. The updated essential businesses list can be found here. ONPHA believes that the activities providers are undertaking to keep residents safe and healthy, such as delivering food to seniors, is an essential service. Our belief is based on discussions with our lawyer, the provincial inquiry line and the ministry of housing. The list of essential work is not exhaustive and our members provide a variety of services. As such, ONPHA cannot determine what is essential to individual member’s residents. We strongly encourage organizations to review the list in its entirety to see how these changes apply to them specifically. We also encourage organizations to seek their own legal opinion on the interpretation of essential services.

At ONPHA, will continue producing relevant and timely supports for our members. We are advocating for the sector with government, collaborating with other associations on coordinated advocacy initiatives, gaining valuable insights on changes facing the sector and now have a tracking sheet for your reference here. We’ll continue, as always, to answer your member support questions. We published a pandemic plan for housing providers, offered useful webinars and online training and a started best practices sharing platform through our new initiative called, ONPHA Exchange. We are expanding ONPHA Select to increase members’ purchasing power. We are reaching out to you through surveys to ensure ONPHA’s resources as directed to help you do your best work.

We all have a lot of responsibility in how we respond to change. Your work helps keep communities housed and healthy.

You can count on ONPHA to keep you informed about the changes we face regularly. Contact ONPHA at or access our COVID-19 resources at for more information on how to stay informed.

Stay informed and visit our website often.

All the best,

Marlene Coffey CEO,
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association