COVID-19 Open Letter to Residents of Columbia Housing
OPEN LETTER TO COLUMBIA HOUSING'S PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS AND RESIDENTS!
Dear Columbia Housing Residents & Program Participants,
In response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak, the Columbia City Council passed Ordinance No. 2020-034 effective at midnight this Sunday, 12:01 am, which is an emergency "stay at home" order for citizens within the City of Columbia that will expire after 14 days. The Ordinance instructs people to stay home at least through the next two weeks unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. People are allowed to go out only for essential reasons such as food, medicine, exercise if staying six feet apart from others, or to work in jobs such as health care, food supply, and other essential services.
The Ordinance mentions and builds on Governor McMaster's Executive Order No. 2020-13 which authorizes law enforcement to disperse public crowds of three or more people if law enforcement determines there to be a threat to public health.
As a provider of affordable housing, we remain committed to providing safe, affordable housing to our residents. You may still reach us through our Call Center at 803-251-2747 if you have an emergency. We will continue to provide housing and other services to our residents, although with changes to minimize contact between people as we all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
Rent will continue to be due each month. We understand many of you may face challenges in paying rent during these difficult times. Please contact us right away if you are experiencing a decrease in income that may affect your ability to pay your rent. You may use the following options to get that information to us quickly.
1) Complete a fillable form Income Change Request,
2) Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Call 803-251-2747 and verbally report the loss of income.
We have already communicated with you about the closure of Columbia Housing's offices to walk-in visitors, sanitizing of buildings and other measures we are taking to minimize contact and protect residents, staff, partners and our community. You can read earlier messages and get other information on our website at www.columbiahousingsc.org.
The City's emergency Stay-at-Home Ordinance doesn't change our commitment to serving Columbia Housing residents, and our services are still available by phone, email and our website. The ordinance does limit our on-site services to only those that are essential; responding to emergency and urgent repairs, and responding on any life or safety issues related to your building or unit.
This is a rapidly changing environment that we are in and I will continue to keep you informed. There is no way to know how long people here and around the world will need to avoid contact with other people to stop the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Our hope is that our efforts are successful, and the number of cases begins to decline very soon. We will operate Columbia Housing in accordance with the advice and orders of our public health and public officials, for as long as necessary, and I ask for your continued patience and cooperation.
I especially ask that you follow the City of Columbia's emergency Stay-at-Home Ordinance to stay home unless it is essential to go out and that you follow all public health guidelines. Please reach out to us if you have any concerns or questions.
Ivory Mathews, Interim Executive Director
For more information on Columbia Housing's COVID-19 Response please visit our COVID-19 Response web page.
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