Family Violence Resource Kit
If you are currently experiencing family violence, or you have in the past, support is available for you. The Family Violence Resource Kit has information about family violence, including where to get support and how you can apply for social housing.
Rent arrears Q and A
Rent arrears can be stressful. This is a short list of questions and answers about rent arrears, what to do next and who can help.
Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act
On 29 March 2021, the new RTA Regulations came into effect. This was the last step in implementing a wide range of reforms to renting in Victoria. You can read this short booklet about the changes most likely to impact people who live in social housing.
Centrelink and Concessions Fact Sheet
This is our quick guide to Federal Government payments and the various State and Federal Government concessions that you might be eligible for. The fact sheet provides descriptions of what help is available and provides links so you can find out more.
Emergency Relief and Material Aid
To find the nearest or most appropriate agency for emergency relief, you can contact your local Community Information Centre or click this link for a list of emergency relief and material aid options.
Download our guide to help you know and understand your repair rights and responsibilities.
Public Housing Maintenance – your questions answered
Read our quick question and answer about the maintenance process, who has to do what, when, and what to do if things don’t happen when they should!
Home fire safety for tenants
For advice on how to safely evacuate from a burning public housing property, visit http://www.housing.vic.gov.au/fire-safety.
This includes bushfire information, fire safety booklets and posters, and a fire safety information video.
For information on how to be fire safe in your rental property, click here.
You can also download the VicEmergency app on your phone for access to community information and warnings for all types of emergencies in Victoria.
For more information about the app, visit the CFA website.
For information about laws on common neighbourhood issues such as animals, noise, fences, trees, and neighbourhood disputes check out the Victoria Law Foundation’s ‘Neighbours, the law and you’ booklet here.
If you are on the public housing waiting list and experiencing homelessness, you can visit Ask Izzy for a one-stop shop for support services in your area.
You can search for over 350,000 services to find housing, meals, healthcare, counselling, legal advice, addiction treatment and a whole lot more.
For a full list of homelessness support organisations near you, visit https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/getting-help#.
You can also call the statewide 24-hour toll free number to get urgent help on 1800 825 955.
Help with the cost of living
As a public housing tenant, you may be eligible for a range of concessions to help with the cost of living.
Victorian Concessions Information Line: 1800 658 521 (free call) / firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Electricity Concession and the Utility Relief Grant Scheme – https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/concessions-and-benefits
If you are experiencing financial difficulties in paying your energy bill, you can also call your energy retailer to discuss your options and ensure that you are on the best plan.
Your energy retailer can also assist with eligibility for concessions or grants.
You may also be able to save money on your bills by switching energy deals and can claim $50 while you’re at it.
For more information, visit www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au
Insurance cover tailored for people on low incomes
Good Shepard Microfinance has tailored an insurance option specifically for people on low incomes.
As a public tenant, you may be eligible for Home Contents and/or Comprehensive Car insurance starting at as little as $4 a week.
For more details on what this insurance option covers and how you can sign up, click here.
Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (formerly DHHS)
The Department is responsible for the management of public housing, through 32 local Housing Offices across the state that provides housing support to public housing tenants.
Apply for public housing: http://www.housing.vic.gov.au/apply-social-housing
Look up your local Housing Office: https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/locations-dhhs-offices-victoria#
Housing Call Centre (24 hours): 13 11 72
Housing Call Centre – email for tenant maintenance requests: email@example.com
Housing Call Centre – email all other enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appealing a public housing decision – https://housing.vic.gov.au/appeal-decision
Making a complaint about DFFH services – https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/making-complaint or call 1300 884 706.
Tenancy Plus – Tenancy Support Program (formerly Social Housing Advocacy and Support Program, SHASP)
There are 12 Tenancy Plus providers in Victoria who offer support for both public and community housing tenants and residents.
Tenancy Plus provides early intervention to support tenants to establish and sustain their tenancy and reduce the risk of homelessness.
Each provider offers assertive outreach and case managed support. Their teams work with individuals on issues that may place their tenancy at risk of breakdown.
Tenants Victoria (formerly Tenants Union of Victoria)
Tenants Victoria is a free and confidential tenancy advice service for public and private renters.
Their team can provide expert legal advice about your public tenancy and help you at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (which handles disputes between public housing tenants and the Department of Health and Human Services).
They can also help tenants appeal decisions that affect their tenancy, help makes complaints, and refer you to the Tenancy Plus team for extra support in your area.
Telephone: 1800 068 860
Homeless Law – Justice Connect
The Homeless Law team provide free legal help to Victorians experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
They have pro bono lawyers who can provide legal information, advice and representation.
Telephone: 8636 4400
Community Legal Centres
If you need free legal advice about any issue you can contact your local community legal centre.
WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange)
WIRE provides Victorian women with free and confidential support, information and referrals on any issues statewide.
Support Line: 1300 134 130
The Ombudsman of Victoria can investigate appeals about administrative actions and decisions made by the Director of Housing, and about the conduct and behaviour of its staff. Complaining to the Ombudsman is free.
The Ombudsman can make an independent recommendation to the Director of Housing.
Telephone: 9613 6222 or 1800 806 314 (free call) for country residents.
Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission helps people resolve issues related to discrimination and harassment.
You can contact them for free and confidential advice and they will help resolve an appeal by mutual agreement.
Telephone: 1300 292 153