Our Response to Covid-19
As the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring advice from the Australian and NSW Governments on how to best minimise risks.
The Women’s Housing Company is a provider of essential services and continues to operate during COVID-19. We are just doing things differently, where needed, to help everyone stay safe.
What We Are Doing
We have postponed most face-to-face meetings, closed our Surry Hills and Liverpool offices and advised staff to work from home until further notice. Where we are still required to meet clients and tenants or visit sites - for example, at our crisis accommodation in Liverpool - we have put additional screening and hygiene protocols in place.
Instead of visiting, we are now phoning to check on wellbeing, with a focus on our older and most vulnerable tenants. We have postponed face-to-face tenant activities and are exploring the use of technology to provide participation and connection opportunities.
All staff are undertaking the Australian Government’s recommended COVID-19 infection control training.
These measures will help minimise the impact of COVID-19, while allowing us to continue delivering services with minimal disruption. We will continue to keep you updated through our newsletter, website, phone calls and email.
Our business hours remain 9.00am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, even though our Surry Hills and Liverpool offices are closed. You can still contact us as follows:
- General inquiries - by phone on 9281 1764 or 1300 942 111 (if outside Sydney), by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by post
- For repairs - by phone on 8202 9313 or email on email@example.com
- For after-hours emergency repairs - by phone on 1300 556 057
- Homelessness Support Services inquiries - by phone on 9602 9160 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Paying Your Rent
The Women’s Housing Company relies on rental payments to maintain homes and deliver services to women in need. This means it is as important as ever that you continue to pay your rent.
For the 90% of our tenants who receive pensions or benefits from Centrelink, the economic impacts of COVID-19 are unlikely to result in reduced household income. In fact, most of our tenants will be eligible for one or more of the COVID-19 Government Stimulus Payments, meaning you should have more money to help meet household expenses and pay rent.
Any tenant that has a reduced income or difficulty paying rent should contact their Tenancy Manager as soon as possible. We will work with you to discuss a range of options that can help sustain your tenancy and avoid debt.
If you currently pay your rent by visiting a bank branch and wish to reduce the need to leave your home, we encourage you to set up Internet Banking or CentrePay (a bill paying service which is free for Centrelink recipients). Contact your Tenancy Manager to discuss these options.
For more information on how we support tenants if your income changes, please see our Rent Policy:
COVID-19 Support Payments
The next rent subsidy review will take place in April. It will help us ensure we have up-to-date information about your household and ensure we are charging the correct rent. It will also help us maintain a regular income during this period of uncertainty.
As always, we will include incremental increases to Centrelink payments in the rent calculation. We will not include Coronavirus Supplements, Special Payments or the Government Stimulus Payment as assessible income.
Property Repairs And Maintenance
Please continue to report any property repairs or maintenance issues by phone or email. Emergency, urgent and safety property repairs will be prioritised. Non-urgent repairs will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
If we are completing any repairs in your home, staff and contractors will call before visiting to ask a few questions about your current health and recent overseas travel. If a member of your household is feeling unwell or is at increased risk, we may reschedule the repair.
We are taking extra precautions to keep our staff and tenants safe and have introduced additional cleaning regimes at our residential accommodation service and before the start of any new tenancy.
Specialist Homelessness Services
The Women’s Housing Company Specialist Homelessness Service and crisis accommodation in South Western Sydney remain open, with additional screening and hygiene protocols in place. We will monitor advice from the Australian and NSW Governments on the COVID-19 situation with regards to any changes to service delivery.
What You Should Do
If you or any member of your household is directed to self-isolate or is diagnosed with COVID-19, please notify the Women’s Housing Company immediately. We have some responsibilities to notify Government and take precautions with service delivery. For example, we will make a note in our system to ensure we only visit for emergency or safety property repairs.
For the most up-to-date and detailed information visit www.health.nsw.gov.au or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
NSW Department of Communities and Justice COVID-19 response and housing services
Australian Government advice on Centrelink payments and services available to people affected by COVID-19
COVID-19 information in community languages
Australian Government information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about COVID-19
Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions or contact us if you have any concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and Women’s Housing Company Services
Q: How does this affect me?
A: We are still operating essential services. This means you will still be able to contact us over the phone and by email during business hours, or by post. Most face-to-face meetings have been postponed for the time being.
Q: Who should I contact if I need a repair?
A: Please continue to contact us on 8202 9313 or email@example.com during business hours, or 1300 556 057 for after-hours emergency repairs.
Q: Will my repairs get fixed?
A: We will prioritise emergency repairs and deal with non-urgent repairs on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Can I come to the Surry Hills or Liverpool office?
A: No. These offices are closed as a precautionary measure to protect clients, tenants and staff. Please continue to contact us over the phone and email during business hours or by post.
Q: How should I contact the Homelessness Support Service?
A: Please continue to contact us on 9602 9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Will the crisis accommodation continue to operate?
A: Yes. We will monitor advice from the Australian and NSW Governments on the COVID-19 situation and communicate any changes to service delivery.
Q: How long will the office be closed?
A: We will continue to follow advice from the Australian and NSW Governments to find out when to re-open our offices.
Q: What can I do to stop the spread of the virus?
A: Current advice from NSW Health is:
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
- Practice social distancing (keep at least 1.5m away from people and only make essential journeys)
- Sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, disposing of the tissue straight away and washing your hands
- Stay at home
Q: Do you have information in my language?
A: You can find information translated into many languages on the Australian Government’s Department of Health site: