Resources for Residents

Mental Health and Addiction

The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on mental health.

Online resources are available if you need advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk to children.

If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines:

Family and Sexual Violence

If you or someone you know is at risk of family or sexual violence, help is available.

Family violence

  • Call our 24-hour Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in over 170 languages.
  • Chat live online with the Family Violence Info Line for support in English (8 am – 8 pm)

Sexual violence

  • If you need help finding sexual assault support services, call, text or chat with the Alberta One Line at 1-866-403-8000 (Open 9 am to 9 pm in over 215 languages).

Other resources

Child Neglect and Abuse

Children are at a higher risk for neglect and abuse during times of uncertainty and crisis.

Call the 24-hour child abuse hotline at 1-800-387-KIDS (5437) if you think a child is being abused, neglected or sexually exploited.

Learn the signs of child abuse

Caregivers Support

Nearly one million Albertans act as caregivers for loved ones experiencing challenges related to illness, disability or aging. These caregivers need support too.

Caregivers can get psychosocial and other peer and community supports by calling the toll-free caregiver advisor line at 1-877-453-5088 or going online to caregiversalberta.ca

Renters and Landlords

Protections are in place for residential and mobile homes site tenants facing financial hardship due to COVID-19:

  • Rents on residential properties or mobile home sites will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect.
  • Late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments until June 30 and cannot be collected retroactively for this time.
  • Landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while COVID-19 is being managed.
    • Landlords cannot issue a termination notice or make an application to recover possession due to non-payment of rent, unless they can demonstrate attempts to create a reasonable rent payment plan, or that the tenant failed to comply with an established payment plan.
  • Landlords can still file applications and receive orders for possession if the reason for the eviction is unrelated to rent and/or utility payments, or if a tenant refused to negotiate or comply with a payment plan.

Information regarding entry

Landlords and other individuals, including prospective tenants or purchasers of a property, are not permitted to enter a property if:

  • the landlord is sick, isolating or showing any symptoms
  • the tenant is sick, isolating or showing any symptoms
  • the prospective tenant or purchaser is sick, isolating or showing any symptoms

Landlord access is still permitted if there is an emergency.

In the event of a showing, if a landlord, current tenant and prospective tenant are all healthy, the landlord may enter the property, provided:

  • strict physical distancing and sanitizing methods are maintained
  • a minimal number of people are present at once
  • proper notice is given to the tenant

Resources

Consumer Protection

We’re receiving two types of complaints related to consumer exploitation resulting from COVID-19:

  • retail outlet stores raising prices for high-demand products (i.e. toilet paper, hand sanitizer)
  • private individuals purchasing mass quantities of supplies and reselling them at an inflated premium

The Consumer Protection Act prevents suppliers from grossly raising prices with no explanation beyond what is reasonable for goods that are readily available.

Unlike commercial sales, the act does not explicitly cover private sales. We urge all Albertans to act with consideration and caution and to find ways to help support each other in this time.

File a consumer complaint

If you see prices for products or services in Alberta skyrocket because of COVID-19, you can report it through our Report-a-Ripoff submission form or by calling 1-877-427-4088.

Cyber Security

Cyber security incidents involving malware and fraudulent activities, including identity theft, are being reported across Alberta in the wake of COVID-19.

  • Anyone who receives a call asking for credit card information should hang up immediately and call the non-emergency line for local law enforcement.
  • Albertans are encouraged to continue to exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information to people and organizations that request that information, unsolicited.

Learn about cyber security

Financial Supports for Albertans

Penalties on Municipal Utilities and Property Taxes Suspended

Penalties for Utilities will not be accrued until July 1 and penalties for the 2020 Property Taxes will not be accrued in July and August.

However, we encourage everyone who can afford to pay their utility bills and property taxes on time to do so.

Utility Payment Deferral

Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 18, 2020 to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.

  • This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19, such as those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
  • Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a deferral on all payments until June 18, 2020.

Learn about the deferral program

Student Loan Repayment Deferrals

We are implementing a 6 month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.

  • Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020.
  • Interest will not accrue during this period. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.
  • Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
  • Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.

Banks and Credit Unions

Alberta credit unions

  • Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow. Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation.

ATB Financial customers

  • Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.

Education Property Tax Freeze

Residential education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020. This will save households $55 million.

Learn more

Federal Government Programs

Albertans may be eligible for financial supports through the federal government:

See all federal support programs

 

Info for vulnerable Albertans and other organizations

Disability Service Providers

Disability service providers play an essential role in supporting people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, for more information see COVID-19 information for disability service providers.

Seniors and Other Vulnerable Groups

Government issued public health orders to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, among seniors and vulnerable groups for the following settings:

  • Long-term care facilities
  • Licensed supportive living facilities, including seniors lodges and group homes
  • Licensed residential addiction treatment centres (under the Mental Health Services Protection Act)

Find updated guidelines and standards

Homeless Shelters and Service Providers

On March 30, the Chief Medical Officer of Health recognized operators of shelters and temporary or transitional housing facilities provide an essential service in Alberta during this time of emergency.

  • These facilities are exempt from the mass gathering public health order and may provide shelter to more than 15 people – as long as risk mitigation strategies are followed, including maintaining a minimum of 2 metres distance from one another. Read the exemption letter for more information.
  • All non-essential gatherings inside or outside these facilities must include no more than 15 people.
  • Shelter guidance: preventing and controlling and managing COVID-19 (AHS) (PDF, 764 KB)

We are working with community-based organizations, homeless shelters and women’s shelters to:

  • update pandemic plans with guidelines and information specific to COVID-19
  • expand shelter capacity and help current service providers to maintain physical distancing practices by finding additional space to house people

$30 million has been committed to adult homeless shelters and women’s emergency shelters to support their COVID-19 response.

Charities and Not-For-Profit Organizations

$30 million has been committed to charities, non-profits and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response.

More information on emergency funding for charities and not-for-profit organizations.

Volunteers

Volunteers play many important roles in communities across our province.

Volunteers and volunteer organizations must follow all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves and those they help.

  • Volunteer organizations may have more than 15 volunteers and/or employees in one location.
  • Volunteers and employees may work together at distances of less than 2 metres, where unavoidable.
  • Volunteer organizations must take actions to prevent the transmission of infection among employees, volunteers and the people they are helping.
  • Proper hygiene and cleaning practices must be followed within the volunteer organization.
  • Any employee or volunteer with symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat, is required by law to isolate and may not participate in volunteer or workplace activities.

Information for non-health care volunteers (PDF, 43 KB)

Faith-Based Organizations

Worship leaders are encouraged to continue holding worship services and funerals remotely, but can offer multiple services to reduce attendance to 50 people or one-third of normal attendance, whichever is smaller and whichever ensures physical distancing will be maintained.

See guidance for places of worship (PDF, 266 KB) for more information.

The information provided on this page is from alberta.ca/covid19 as of May 21, 2020.