CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: Information for tenants and clients

Due to the current health situation and in line with the Victorian Government directives, all our staff are currently working remotely. While our offices are closed, we are operating as a phone service only and our team is still here to support you. You can contact our team using the phone numbers on our contact page.

Please read the important updates below.

We regularly update this page with the latest information related to our services. We encourage you to check in regularly and keep up-to-date with the Victorian Government COVID website: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

   


Quick links:

 

 

 

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For information in languages other than English, please visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/translated-information-about-coronavirus-covid-19

 

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ROADMAP

Vicotirna Government graphic for the Victorian Government Roadmap

Here is a summary of the Victorian Government's Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan. We have only highlighted the main points below, relating to our services, and we invite you to visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/victorias-roadmap for all the details.

 

→   From 11.59pm on Thursday 18 November 2021:

Density Limits
Density and capacity limits on hospitality businesses will be removed for fully vaccinated customers, meaning cafes and restaurants will no longer have to restrict the number of people inside their venues.

Gatherings
There will be no limits of the number of people who can gather in a home or in public places such as parks or beaches. There will be no vaccination requirements for these gatherings, although the government has recommended that everyone be fully vaccinated. 

Masks
Masks will no longer be mandatory in many settings (including offices) but will be required in some high-risk settings. You will still be required to wear a mask in health facilities, in retail, if you are serving the public in hospitality venues, if you're a teacher or a student in years 3 to 6, if using public transport, a taxi or rideshare, or travelling on a plane.

Unison staff are still recommended to follow the Personal Protective Equipment guidelines and wear a mask when meeting with clients and renters. We would recommend that clients and renters do wear a mask when meeting with Unison staff.

Quarantine

  • The quarantine period for confirmed cases will drop from 14 days to 10 days.
  • Non-household close contacts will only have to isolate until they receive a negative test result, and household contacts will have to isolate for seven days if fully vaccinated or 14 days if they are not vaccinated.
  • Children under 12 who are household contacts will be considered fully vaccinated if all eligible members of their household are fully vaccinated.
  • The Department of Health will also no longer conduct contact tracing, and exposure sites will not be publicly listed.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR OUR TENANTS

 

 
 

→ Changes to our service delivery

Due to the current health situation, all our offices are currently closed and we are operating as a phone service only.

Our teams are still here to support you, and your Place Manager remains your key contact at Unison. You can contact your Place Manager over the phone. All phone numbers are available on our Contact page.

 

 

→ Repairs and maintenance

For maintenance requests, please call the numbers below:

  • For long-term tenants (social and affordable housing): Call (03) 9349 0261 (24/7) or email maintenance@unison.org.au (for non-urgent repairs only).
  • For public housing tenants: Call the DHHS Maintenance Call Centre on 13 11 72 (24/7) or request non-urgent repairs via email at tenant.maintenance@dhhs.vic.gov.au
  •  For tenants in our Transitional Housing program: Call your Unison housing worker on (03) 9688 8300 during business hours. For all urgent maintenance after hours, weekends and public holidays, please phone the DHHS Maintenance Call Centre on 13 11 72.


Please follow these simple steps to minimise maintenance issues:

 

 

Keep your fob/keys on you at all times when leaving your unit.

Take care of your property (careful use and regular cleaning).

Open doors and windows to allow airflow where possible.

Use ovens in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Use cook tops in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and with exhaust fans/rangehoods on.

 

Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet as this will cause blockages.

Don’t tip oils or fats down the sink, these can cause blockages.

Don’t overload power points (no connecting power boards together to create more sockets).

Don’t leave appliances and lights on when not in use or needed.

 

 

 

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→ Be cautious about COVID-19 scams

DHHS has reported that scammers are pretending to be Government agencies providing COVID-19 information via text and emails. Scams include false notifications of close contacts to confirmed coronavirus cases which contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal personal and financial information when they are opened.  

Please be cautious and remain alert to scams. Government agencies will not ask you to click an email link or open an attachment. The COVIDSafe app will not notify any person directly that they are a confirmed case or the contact of one - only a DHHS public officer would.  

If you suspect that you have been a target of a scam or are unsure, go to https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam

 

 

→ What to do if there is a change in your financial circumstances?

We are committed to providing you with safe, long-term housing. The impact of COVID-19 has been felt everywhere. We understand that some of our tenants may have reduced hours of work and that some may have lost employment. If this is impacting you, please contact your Place Manager as soon as possible so that we can assist you to find a solution. Your Place Manager will also be able to provide you with information on where you can get assistance with food or other needs.

If you are on Centrelink, Unison has decided to exclude the Centrelink COVID-19 supplement from rent calculations as we recognise the additional stress experienced by people on low incomes.

Unison will continue to collect and monitor rent payments closely. This will be a focus as we rely on rental income for the continuation of cleaning, maintenance and other services. Further, we do not want tenants to accumulate arrears that will create additional financial stress. We strongly encourage you to contact your Place Manager if you are experiencing difficulty with your rent payments. 

 

 

→ What we ask of you

Stay home and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 no matter how mild: including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste. Go to the DHHS testing map for locations.

Get tested if you have been in contact with someone who tested positive to COVID-19. Go to the DHHS testing map for locations.

Call-to-Test service provides in-home coronavirus testing to people who would otherwise be unable to get tested. This includes older people, people with a disability, carers and those with an illness that might prevent them from leaving home. For eligible callers located in Melbourne, testers will visit within 48 hours.

If you are waiting for the results of your COVID-19 test, please self-isolate until your receive a negative test result.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you or anyone in your household tested positive. so we can ensure you have the assistance you need and we take appropriate measures.

Visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/self-quarantine-coronavirus-covid-19 for further advice on who should quarantine and who should isolate.

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→ COVIDSafe plan for for multi-dwelling residential buildings

As part of our COVID response, Unison has developed a COVIDSafe Plan to protect renters, staff, visitors, and the community. 

This plan has been developed for multi-dwelling residential buildings owned or managed by Unison. The plan applies to common areas including access points, lifts, foyers and hallways, as well as shared facilities such as shared laundries, dining and meeting areas. The plan follows the COVIDSafe principles.

Click here to download a copy of Unison's COVIDSafe plan for for multi-dwelling residential buildings.

 

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR OUR IAP CLIENTS

 

 

Changes to our service delivery

We are currently operating as a phone service only. While our offices in Seddon and Werribee are closed, our team is still here to assist you.

If you are currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Melbourne's west, please call our team on the following numbers, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

  • Call (03) 9689 2777 to talk to our team in Seddon
  • Call (03) 9216 0300 to talk to our team in Werribee

If you need assistance outside of these hours or of this area, please call the Victorian Statewide Homelessness Line on 1800 825 955 (free call, open 24/7) to be connected with an Access Point in your area.

Women experiencing family violence can call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 (free call, open 24/7) and speak confidentially to another woman for information on family violence support services, legal rights and accommodation options.

If you have been threatened or you are fearful for yourself, a child or a family member – call 000.

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND THE COMMUNITY

 

 

 

Mental health and wellbeing

This is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone and support is vital and available. For more information about managing stress and support options, call the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Services on 1800 512 348 or visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

Financial support is also available. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment is now $450. You can find more information on The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment.

The ‘Partners in Wellbeing’ hotline has extended their operating hours to 10pm on weekdays and provides additional support for business owners through access to business advisors and financial counsellors. Hotline number: 1300 375 330.

 

 

→ Keep informed of the latest update

We encourage you to look after yourself, your family and the community. 

Please follow the community health advice and keep informed of the latest update by visiting dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or calling the Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 675 398 (free call, 24/7).

Information is also available in other languages: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/translated-resources-coronavirus-disease-covid-19 and https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

 

 

→ I am feeling unwell, what should I do?

Stay home and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms no matter how mild: including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste. Go to the DHHS testing map for locations.

A new Call-to-Test service will provide in-home coronavirus testing to people who would otherwise be unable to get tested. This includes older people, people with a disability, carers and those with an illness that might prevent them from leaving home. For eligible callers located in Melbourne, testers will visit within 48 hours.

If you are feeling seriously unwell and it is an emergency, call 000 immediately.

 

     
     
 

→ Follow the health advice to stop the spread

All residents, clients and staff should follow the government directions as follows:

  • Stay safe and limit interactions with others
  • Keep a full arm-span (about 1.5 metres) between yourself and other people where possible
  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue
  • If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, don’t smoke

 

Protect yourself and your community

 

This page was last updated on 18 November 2021.