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The Burlington Housing Authority’s Response to COVID-19

Effective March 17, 2020 our offices are closed to visitors. Most of our staff are working remotely and are available via phone or email.

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, we are doing everything we can to support those we serve and maintain our mission of providing low-income, vulnerable members of our community access to safe, affordable housing and retention support services.

BHA is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Vermont Department of Health, and city, state and local government officials in an effort to mitigate and contain the coronavirus. We’re continuously evaluating and adjusting our practices as we learn new information.

  • We are limiting non-essential visitors' access to BHA properties while ensuring that residents continue to have access to providers of essential services.
  • We have increased commercial cleaning in the common areas of our properties in accordance with CDC cleaning and sanitation guidelines.
  • We are increasing communication with all residents to keep them informed of any updates and provide them with resources.
  • SASH and Housing Retention staff are checking in with residents regularly via phone and email, ensuring that referrals to community services are made, as needed.
  • We participate in numerous groups and task forces monitoring the coronavirus at the State and local levels and developing our community’s response and resources.

On March 29, 2020, the BHA Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution having as its goal "to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 infection by protecting staff and residents and minimizing and limiting the spread of the infection in our buildings.

For Residents

  • Please do not have visitors come in and out of the building unless you consider them part of your household and/or you deem that there is an essential need for their visit.
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people.
  • We understand the importance of having access to exercise rooms, resident computers and others services, but we have determined that the risk currently outweighs the benefits and have temporarily closed all community spaces and playgrounds. We are asking residents to practice “social distancing,” and not to gather in common areas, hallways or entryways.
  • Our Building Operations team is completing essential work orders only; non-emergency work-order requests are being put on hold. Please continue to use our 24/7 emergency maintenance line (802) 658-1750 if you have a maintenance issue that needs immediate attention. Click here for examples of emergency work orders.
  • If there is a maintenance emergency requiring a staff person to enter an apartment, staff are required to ask you the four COVID-19 screening questions, and follow safety protocols. It will be critical for you and your household to work with staff in such an event, and follow their direction on the safety protocols.
  • If you are sick, follow the CDC guidelines which include stay inside your home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas of the building. Have and use a face mask if other people are around you.

For Section 8 Program Participants

Our Section 8 staff are currently working remotely. They are responding to phone calls and emails as quickly as possible.

We recognize that many people are experiencing a loss or decrease in income and are eager to report those changes. If you are able to download and complete an Interim Recertification Application, you can submit electronically, or by mail. Otherwise, we are able to accept household changes via email and/or phone.

We may not be able to process changes in a timely manner, but will prioritize and backdate any changes that result in a reduction in the tenant’s portion of the rent. If you are having trouble paying your portion, please reach out to your landlord to let them know of your change in income and pay as much as you are able.

We are not completing HQS inspections at this time, and therefore cannot process moves.

For more information about legal or benefits issues related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, click here.

For Section 8 Landlords

We can still process monthly Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) remotely. We may not be able to make changes in a timely manner, but will backdate adjusted payments at a later date.

If you had a tenant that was supposed to be moving out (voluntarily or through an eviction) but will be delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we may be able to continue payment. Please call or email to discuss.

Helpful Resources

This web page will be updated whenever we have new information or resources to share (last updated on April 1, 2020).

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