Organizations must be flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges. The COVID-19 Response Timeline illustrates just how quickly and effectively we were able to respond in a year of crisis, while still meeting — and exceeding — our regular commitments to Canadians.
Our ability to do this confirms that the choices and investments we made in recent years to modernize our company were the right ones. All our employees have the tools and trust needed to work more efficiently from their homes or elsewhere.
Many companies had to pivot in order to face this new pandemic reality. CMHC didn’t skip a beat. We were ready to help Canadians as they faced the unknown in the early stages of the crisis without an interruption or lag in service.
The agility to do our work efficiently also helped to put forward direct measures to assist Canadians and to quickly implement measures to mitigate risks in the financial system and housing markets.
We helped deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses (CECRA) — a crucial Government of Canada program. CECRA provided property owners with small business tenants a rent subsidy that ultimately provided relief to more than 140,000 small business tenants across the country.
We launched a revised Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, which allowed us to offer liquidity to stabilize the market with up to $150 billion in funding. This provided financial institutions with the opportunity to access funding. This meant that they could confidently continue to offer loans to businesses and Canadians that may have required access to credit during the COVID-19 crisis.
We implemented a mortgage deferral program that would allow mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months. This helped homeowners and multi-unit borrowers facing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 crisis. It also helped to minimize the risks of further financial and market instabilities. At its peak, more than 17% of our insured mortgage holders used the program.
The implementation of a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE™) and the modernization into cloud-based technology in 2019 enables us to focus on employee well-being. It also helps us to better serve our clients and support government programs.
Our changes to modernize the way we work have given us the ability to adapt and continue to move forward despite the challenges the pandemic has presented us. It allowed us to be ready to answer the call when Canadians needed it most.
The advancements we made in modernization were noticeable — CMHC was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in this unprecedented year.
It must also be said, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver results like these without the hard work of our employees who have been resilient, flexible and dedicated to making a difference.