CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: Information for tenants and clients
The safety and wellbeing of our community are our top priority and our goal is to continue to deliver services.
Unison is carefully monitoring developments related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic to understand the impacts on our community, services and activities. Based on guidance from the Australian and State Governments and health authorities, we are making some changes to the way we work to protect you, our staff and the community.
Please read the important updates for our tenants and IAP clients below. Note that this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will update this page regularly with the latest information related to our services. We encourage you to check in regularly.
→ Changes to our service delivery
To reduce the health risks to everyone, as of Monday 23 March 2020, we are now prioritising a phone service, rather than face-to-face communication, and our offices are closed.
The exception is our office at 660 Elizabeth Street Melbourne which remains open until further notice.
While our offices may be closed, our teams continue 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
The usual processes are in place to report a repair or maintenance issue:
- For long-term tenants (social and affordable housing): Call (03) 9349 0261 (24/7) or email firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com
- 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.
Note that there may be instances where there are delays in responding to maintenance requests. For example, if you lock yourself out or damage property, it may be difficult to have a contractor and/or a Unison representative attend to help.
As this unprecedented situation continues to progress, response times from our teams may be a bit slower than usual, but be assured that we will respond as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
We will do everything we can to ensure your safety and comfort but 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.
→ What to do if there is a change in your financial circumstances?
We are committed to providing you with safe, long-term housing. We recognise that the current situation may lead to changes in some of our tenants’ financial circumstances, including financial hardship. If this your case, and you are a long-term tenant in social or affordable housing, please call your Place Manager to discuss how we can work with you to help sustain your tenancy, in line with our Change in Circumstances Policy.
→ What we ask of you
Please let us know as soon as possible if you or anyone in your household is in self-isolation, is feeling unwell, or has been in contact with anyone who tested positive or is in the process of being tested for the virus. This will help ensure we take the appropriate measures if we need to send out contractors to your home.
Please take care, take the precautions advised by government, and reach out if you need assistance.
→ Changes to our service delivery
We wish to assist as many people as possible.
To do this and reduce the health risks to everyone around COVID-19, our Seddon and Werribee offices are closed and we are now operating as a phone service only.
If you are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, please reach out by phone on 1800 825 955 (free call) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are here to help and are available on the phone from 9am to 5pm, weekdays. Note that we are not available on weekends and public holidays. For assistance outside of these hours, please call the St Kilda Crisis Centre on 1800 627 727 (free call).
Please take care, take the precautions advised by government, and call us for help.
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).
If you have a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, call your GP or the Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 675 398.
If you are feeling seriously unwell and it is an emergency, call 000 immediately.
We recommend that all residents, clients and staff follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations around health and hygiene, including:
- Washing your hands, or applying alcohol-based hand sanitizer, regularly
- Covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Greeting people with a wave or a nod instead of a handshake
- Maintaining at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Staying home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Please click here for information in other languages: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/translated-resources-coronavirus-disease-covid-19 and https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus
This page was last updated on 25 March 2020.