Supporting Public Housing Residents Through Quarantine

06 July 2020

Services and support for tenants in the two public housing estates under lockdown is ramping up – with thousands of meals, supplies and personal care packs delivered in the past 24 hours.

The Government has partnered with a number of organisations to assist with this massive logistical exercise, such as the North Melbourne Community Centre, Fareshare, the Community Grocer, Coles, and the Victorian Trades Hall Council to ensure residents started to receive the supplies that they need.

Last night 500 packs of essential supplies and over 3,000 meals were delivered to residents. Many thousands more will be delivered today.

A dedicated 1800 number has been set up, and every tenant is being contacted to check in and assess their needs – with teams already speaking directly with nearly 1,000 residents in less than 24 hours.

So far 398 residents have been tested across the two estates, with testing to continue to be a priority over the next few days.

Further support has been requested from the Commonwealth including additional Australian Defence Force (ADF) strategic planners and logisticians to be deployed to the State Control Centre to specifically work on Operation Benessere – augmenting the number of ADF staff already working with our emergency management team.

To help address medical needs, two field emergency management units have been established – staffed by medical workers, GPs and nurses, with pharmacotherapy and medicines available on site. This includes wrap-around mental health and drug and alcohol support from both peer-support workers and clinicians, who are undertaking active outreach.

Residents who need to continue treatment and recovery during lockdown will have access to pharmacotherapy and support programs.

To further assist with the triage and treatment of patients in lock down the Royal Melbourne Hospital has partnered with St John Ambulance to establish a 30-bed urgent care clinic at the Showgrounds to provide critical and comprehensive first-aid to residents if needed.

To keep kids on the estate engaged and active, more than 400 activity boxes have been delivered, including crayons, Lego and puzzle books.

Each household will also be eligible for a hardship payment of either $750 or $1500, as well as two weeks’ rent relief.

The Community Connector Program is already underway connecting Victorians to the Red Cross, who will link Victorians in impacted postcodes and throughout the state with local support organisations.

Quotes Attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We know this is tough on our public housing residents and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to provide support – whether that’s food, mental health support or just help paying the bills.”

“I thank every Victorian who is taking these new restrictions seriously and playing their part by staying home, getting tested and looking out for each other.”

Quotes Attributable to Minister for Housing Richard Wynne

“We’re working as quickly as possible to ensure every household has what they need.”

“It’s times like these that we see just how generous Victorians truly are and I couldn’t be prouder of how our community has come together to support one another.”

Reviewed 09 July 2020

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