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

 

Please read the important updates for our tenants and IAP clients below. Note that we will update this page regularly with the latest information related to our services. We encourage you to check in regularly.

 

   


Quick links:

 

 

 Icon_Interpreting services  

For information in languages other than English, please visit 

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/translated-resources-coronavirus-disease-covid-19 

A factsheet on how to ‘Reduce your risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) is now available in 49 languages

A video from the Chief Health Officer showing our community ‘how to safely wear a mask’ is also available in various languages.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR OUR TENANTS

 

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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

 

 

→ Changes to our service delivery

All our Place Management offices are now open. As always, your Place Manager is your key contact at Unison. All our office details are available on our Contact page.

 

 

→ Repairs and maintenance

For maintenance requests, please follow the usual process:

  • 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.

 

 

 

 

→ 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 coronavirus (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.

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 coronavirus (COVID-19) test, please self-isolate until your receive the test results and let us know if you test positive so we can ensure you have the assistance you need.

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 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.

 

 Please take care, take the precautions advised by government, and reach out if you need assistance.

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR OUR IAP CLIENTS

 

 

→ Changes to our service delivery

If you are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, you can also reach out by phone on 1800 825 955 (free call) or email us at iap@unison.org.au

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. 

Our office details are available on our Contact page.

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.

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 being increased to $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. Additional support for business owners is now available 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 symptoms of coronavirus (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.

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.

 

 

→  Gatherings and restrictions 

Visit DHHS to keep up-to-date on Victoria’s current restriction levels.  

You must carry a face mask with you when you leave home, please follow DHHS guidelines on face mask - https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/face-masks. We also encourage you to wear masks in common areas and shared facilities (e.g. communal laundries).

If you are expecting a delivery, please ask the delivery driver to leave it at the front door of the office for you to collect it – unless you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or are self-isolating.

Be mindful of physical distancing and avoid common areas (kitchens, laundries, lifts etc) that are already busy and where it would not be possible to maintain 2sqm per person restrictions. This typically means no more than two people or one household should be in common areas of Unison buildings, like kitchens, laundries and lifts. When there are already two people in a common area, please leave and come back later. 

     
 

→ 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 29 March 2021.