Tenant Resources

Our organisation is the peak body representing public housing tenants in Victoria.

We listen to tenants and take the time to understand their needs.

The housing system can often be a complex system to navigate, so by working together we can achieve more positive outcomes.

We also advocate on behalf of tenants to improve and expand Victoria’s public housing system.

 

The services we provide to tenants include:

  • Advice on communicating with local Housing Offices

  • Assistance with maintenance requests

  • Help explaining letters from the department

  • Help understanding department forms

  • Advice on public housing tenants’ rights

  • Advice on DHHS policy

  • Advice on rent assessment/arrears

  • Welfare referrals

  • Advocacy and development of new policy initiatives

If you are unsure of your request, please call and ask to speak to our Tenant Advocate. Our purpose is to guide you in the right direction.

Give us a free call on 1800 015 510.

Or email us at enquiries@vpta.org.au

 

Tenant Support

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.


Repair Guide

Download our guide to help you know and understand your repair rights and responsibilities.


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.

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.


Neighbourhood disputes

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.


Homeless support

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) / concessions@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Annual Electricity Concession and the Utility Relief Grant Schemehttps://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

 

Helpful links

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

DHHS plan, fund and deliver public housing for Victorians. They manage 32 local Housing Offices across the state that provides housing support to public housing tenants.

Website: http://www.housing.vic.gov.au/

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: tenant.maintenance@dhs.vic.gov.au

Housing Call Centre – email all other enquiries: callcentre@dhs.vic.gov.au

Appealing a public housing decision – https://housing.vic.gov.au/appeal-decision

Making a complaint about DHHS 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.

Website: http://www.housing.vic.gov.au/tenancy-plus-support-program


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.

Website: http://www.tuv.org.au/advice/housing/public-housing/

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.

Website: https://justiceconnect.org.au/how-we-help/homeless-law/

Telephone: 8636 4400


Community Legal Centres

If you need free legal advice about any issue you can contact your local community legal centre.

Website: https://www.fclc.org.au/find_a_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

Website: https://www.wire.org.au


The Ombudsman

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