Right now, we are living at the intersection of two public health emergencies: COVID-19 and the overdose crisis. The actions we take to keep our communities safe must reflect that.

A spike in overdose deaths – the highest single month in over a year – coincides roughly with when B.C. instituted physical distancing measures and many low-income housing providers instituted guest bans. But in the face of the intersecting health emergencies, no-guest policies may do more harm than good – leaving people who use drugs to do so alone, making them less safe. Not only that – the policies have no legal basis, and are in violation of the Residential Tenancy Act. We must implement public health measures in ways that account for community context, health needs, and legal rights.

Together with Community Legal Assistance Society, Together Against Poverty Society and Pivot Legal Society, First United created a letter template for addressing guest bans with your landlord or property manager during COVID-19.

Read the letter here, and use this template if you need it: LETTER TEMPLATE: Guest Bans During COVID-19