To our clients,
Like many other government organizations, we are monitoring developments around COVID-19. Our primary focus remains the health and safety of our staff and ensuring the continuity of our operations. While the situation continues to evolve, we do not foresee an impact on our operations nor on our role in supporting financial stability through the provision of mortgage funding.
Currently, we consider the risk to our business from the coronavirus outbreak to be low. Nevertheless, we have convened a Crisis Management Committee to monitor events as they develop, to co-ordinate with other government agencies and to take action as required. As of today, CMHC has implemented the following measures:
- Taken action to ensure we have access to sufficient liquidity to support housing activity and financial markets, as required;
- Identified essential functions and isolated separate teams to ensure business continuity;
- Are stress testing a “pandemic” scenario which will allow us to better assess impacts as events unfold;
- Required executive approval for all international travel and forewarned employees of potential isolation requirements following personal travel, including the likelihood that the list of affected countries may grow;
- Reminded our employees of hygienic measures to help limit the spread of disease, including hand washing, maintaining a metre separation from anyone coughing or sneezing and taking extra precautions in large groups; and
- Increased surface cleaning in high traffic areas of our workplace as well as providing hand sanitizers and antiseptic wipes.
The risk to our business is further mitigated because our workforce is mobile and our “Results Only” work philosophy enables our employees to work remotely, a defence against virus transmission. We have encouraged our staff to make use of the technology to reduce the need to work in our offices.
Finally, we want to remind you that CMHC and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. Our default management tools default management tools include: payment deferral, loan re-amoritization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses and special payment arrangements.
CMHC continues its work. We reasserted our commitment by pricing a $6 billion mortgage bond in challenging market conditions on March 11. Employers need to balance public health concerns with business requirements and public agencies like ourselves must promote stability. We recognize that we face a period of uncertainty in the coming weeks. As circumstances change, you will receive follow up communications from us.
President and CEO