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.

Following advice from the Victorian Government, we have moved to a remote work setting and all our offices are currently closed. Our team is still here to assist you over the phone. Please read on for more details.

 

   


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

 

 
 

→ Changes to our service delivery

Following advice from the Victorian Government, we have moved to a remote work setting and all our offices are currently closed. Our team is still here to assist you over the phone and continues to deliver our services, but just over the phone.

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 our office details are available on our Contact page.

 

Vaccine icon  

→ Unison residents now eligible for vaccine

All residents living in high rise, low rise or community housing are now eligible, under Priority Group 1, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary and free for everyone in Australia, including people who don’t have Medicare access. People under 50 years old can receive the Pfizer vaccine, while people over 50 years old can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

How to get the vaccine?

  1. Find a vaccination centre or clinic near you. Click here for a list of vaccination centres. We have also listed two places where you can receive the vaccine in Melbourne's west:

      • cohealth, 98 Abbotsford Street, West Melbourne
        8:30am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday
        Call 9448 5557 to book
      • Pavilion 4 at the Melbourne Showgrounds, Epsom Road, Ascot Vale
        8.00am to 7.00pm, seven days a week
        Call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 to book (Select Option 1 + Option 1 + Option 1)
        (Walk ins welcome - see wait times here)
         
  2. Book an appointment by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 (Select Option 1 + Option 1 + Option 1). Note that some centres also accept walk ins.
    • For an interpreter, press 0. 
    • If you or the person that you are booking has a disability and  needs additional support to get a COVID-19 vaccine, email DLOcoordinator@dhhs.vic.gov.au


What to bring?

  • You will need to show your Proof of Eligibility letter. Contact your Place Manager for a copy of the letter.
  • You will need to wear a face mask when you’re in a vaccination centre.
  • A photo ID with your current address at a community housing building
  • Your Medicare card, if you have one
  • Your Individual Healthcare Identifier number, if you don’t have a Medicare card
  • Information about your medical history such as allergies.

 

For more information, please visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

 

 

→ 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.

 

 

 

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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

Check regularly the list of exposure sites and get tested if you were at a location at the same time as someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Go to the Coronavirus website for a list of exposure sites.

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 a negative test results or for 14 days if you were at a Tier 1 exposure site,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.

 Covid safe icon  

→ 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.

 

 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

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.

 

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 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 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 

We invite you to visit the DHHS website to keep up-to-date on Victoria’s current restriction levels.  

Current restrictions include in Metropolitan Melbourne:

  • You must wear a mask at all times outside of your home, both indoors and outdoors.
  • No visitors permitted inthe home.
  • No public gatherings are permitted.
  • You cannot travel more than 25km from your home except for work, care, study or to travel your nearest vaccination centre. Travel into regional Victoria is not permitted, except for a number of limited reasons – work, education, care and caregiving, and to get vaccinated (if this is your nearest vaccination location).

Please visit the DHHS website for all the details: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19

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 11 June 2021.