Important information for tenants, partners and supporters
Stay deadly, stay distant and stay informed
We have received confirmation from the Victorian State Government that housing and homelessness services are an essential service during this crisis. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are assessing our systems and operations to make sure we can still deliver our core services with the challenges ahead.
Our phone line 03 9403 2100 is still our central line for inbound calls and is available from 8.30 am - 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Press 1 for maintenance or 2 for tenancy enquiries. The afterhours maintenance number operates as usual.
In the event of a head office closure, we have the capability to work remotely allowing our client services to continue for the foreseeable future.
Changes to how we work
- We have adopted physical distancing policies for the safety of all internal and external stakeholders:
- Reception at Head Office is only open for receipt of supplies at the current time.
- Client meetings are no longer being held at any AHV office. If you require AHV services or assistance, please contact us by phone or email. Please do not come to AHV offices, as the majority of our staff are working from home.
- No face to face meetings will be scheduled in our offices until physical distancing restrictions are lifted.
- Meetings are being conducted via telephone and video-conferencing.
- Any non-urgent face-to-face client contact has been postponed, including property inspections and home visits. Where possible, client contact will be by phone or digital tools.
- Where home visits must occur, AHV staff will maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters.
Please contact us if you are struggling to pay your rent.
No one should become homeless because of Coronavirus. Please contact us if you need assistance.
If you or a household member lose your job or your income is reduced, you may be eligible for a reduction in rent. Please call us on (03) 9403 2100 (press 2 to speak to our tenancy team) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a Rent Review. Please be patient as this number is expected to be busy over the coming weeks.
How to keep informed about changes to AHV services
Due to the fast-paced nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing changes, you can keep up to date with changes to AHV services by:
- Checking our website, and visit this webpage
- Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AboriginalHousingVictoria/
- Call us on 03 9403 2100 or call your Housing Officer
You are encouraged to update your contact details with us in the event we need to call or text you. We will continue to send our newsletter and communications by post.
To our tenants, if you need assistance or have questions please call your Housing Officer or our general line.
Regarding rent questions or if you have lost income please contact our Rent Review Team on:
- (03) 9403 2100 (click 2 for tenancy) or
- email email@example.com
Our teams will be able to assist, if you lose your job and your rent is paid through this income, you may be eligible for a rent review.
Regarding maintenance requests, questions or enquires please contact our Maintenance Team directly on:
- (03) 9403 2100 (click 1 for maintenance) or
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be aware we may need to ask you health and safety questions.
FOR HEALTH ADVICE
There are three points of contact we strongly recommend for access to health updates and services:
- Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) coronavirus updates: this should be your first point of reference for government-issued updates related to the outbreak. Visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or call 1800 675 398 (available 24/7).
Please leave 000 (triple zero) for emergencies only.
- Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS): VAHS is available for a range of services, including if you are suffering from stress or anxiety related to the outbreak. You can follow them on Facebook page for the latest updates (https://www.facebook.com/victorianaboriginalhealthservice/ )
or give them a call on (03) 9403 3300.
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO): please visit their website to learn more about VACCHO’s response: https://www.vaccho.org.au/about-us/covid19/
FOR EMERGENCY SUPPORT
Depending on your circumstances – including age and employment status – you may be eligible for extra assistance from the Australian Government. We strongly recommend that you visit aus.gov.au/indigenous to learn more about payments available to those affected by coronavirus. If you cannot access the internet, please call 132 850. Please be patient as this number is expected to be busy over the coming weeks. They payments recently announced by the Commonwealth Government to assist those in need are not be included in calculating your rent.
The Victorian Government have a annouced a State food relief program available to support people who are self-isolating due to COVID-19, have no access to food and essentials and no network of family and friends to
support them. Assistance can be requested by phoning the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
Keep strong and stay connected. If you need support, there is support out there:
- Victorian Aboriginal Health Service 03 9403 3300
- Djirra Aboriginal womens well-being helpline 1800 105 303
- Dardi Munwurro Aboriginal men's well-being helpline 1800 435 799
- Safe Steps family violence support 1800 015 188
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
- Lifeline 131 114
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
- In a medical emergency call 000