Housing and homelessness
DCJ Housing, Community Housing Providers and Specialist Homelessness Services continue to provide you accommodation and support. This has not changed.
On this page
How to create your own mask
There are many online tutorials and instructions that will guide you through ways to create your own mask including NSW Health’s how to make a cloth mask guide.
How to contact us
For your safety and the well-being of our staff please call us instead of coming into our offices. Face to face services at Housing offices will now be by appointment only.
You can also access a range of services through:
- Link2Home: 1800 152 152
- Housing Contact Centre: 1800 422 322
- call your local office
- the MyHousing app from the App Store or Google Play, or
- by going to www.facs.nsw.gov.au/myhousing
- contact the Aboriginal Housing Office: 1800 727 555 or https://www.aho.nsw.gov.au/
A letter from the Minister and fact sheet has been sent to all public housing and Aboriginal Housing Office tenants in NSW. It explains how DCJ Housing is responding to COVID-19, and provides more information about additional Centrelink payments, rent charges, office arrangements, self-isolation and maintenance.
Outreach to vulnerable tenants
DCJ Housing is making outreach phone calls to elderly and vulnerable tenants to check on their welfare, identify any assistance they may need, and provide information on preventative health measures.
At home visits
Housing staff are trained on how to best protect themselves and tenants from COVID-19.
If you are due to have a visit from DCJ Housing and you feel unwell, or you are self-isolating or under quarantine, please call us before your appointment.
Our staff will not visit you at home if they’re unwell or may have been exposed to COVID-19. We will also call you before any visit to make sure you’re okay and not at risk.
Coronavirus support payments
The Australian Government has announced a number of additional payments as part of its response to the Coronavirus outbreak. These include one-off Economic Support payments of $750 and a temporary payment of $550 per fortnight, known as the Coronavirus Supplement.
DCJ Housing will not be counting these additional payments as assessable income for the purpose of social housing eligibility or any rental subsidy. Those receiving these payments will retain the benefit in full.
Property maintenance and additional cleaning
Our maintenance contractors continue to undertake cleaning and maintenance activities, following all safety and hygiene guidelines.
We are increasing common area cleaning programs in multi-unit and high rise building complexes in the inner city. We will expand this service out to more unit complex sites in the near future.
The program will focus on cleaning high traffic areas and touch points in these unit blocks, such as lift buttons, door handles, bin chutes and doors, stairwells, handrails, letterboxes and shared laundries.
Tenants are encouraged to follow NSW Health advice such as regularly washing your hands, maintaining good health and hygiene and being mindful of others in shared spaces.
Additional private rental assistance
On 27 March 2020, the NSW Government announced an additional $34 million to prevent and respond to homelessness in response to COVID-19. This includes $20 million to accelerate pathways for existing clients of homelessness services and priority social housing applicants to secure stable housing in the private rental market through Rent Choice Assist, Rent Choice Assist COVID-19, Start Safely and Rent Choice Youth.
Where to find help
Help is available if you are homeless or at risk of becoming homelessness.
Ask Izzy is a search tool to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness find shelter, food, health and other critical support services.
Support for rough sleepers
DCJ assertive outreach teams and homelessness services (eg assertive outreach, drop in and other services) are continuing to work with people sleeping rough to offer accommodation and encourage them to engage with support services.
Assertive outreach teams adhere to advice from NSW Health, including social distancing, in order to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 to people sleeping rough and to minimise risks for workers. A General Practitioner joins assertive outreach patrols in the City of Sydney.
Teams also distribute hand sanitser where supplies permit and provide information on COVID-19 symptoms and where to seek help should symptoms develop.
More information is available on the Important information about COVID-19 for SHS providers page.
Temporary Accommodation (TA)
DCJ has a range of Temporary Accommodation options available across NSW, including accommodation suitable for self-isolation.
On 27 March 2020, the NSW Government announced an additional $34 million to prevent and respond to homelessness in response to COVID-19. This includes an increase of $14 million to support more people with Temporary Accommodation, including to accommodate rough sleepers for as long as is necessary to protect them at this time.
In response to the easing of social restrictions, from Wednesday 1 July 2020 DCJ Housing and Community Housing Providers (CHPs) that deliver Temporary Accommodation (TA) will be doing so under revised TA policy settings. Below are the key points to know:
For people sleeping rough accessing TA via DCJ Housing or CHPs
People sleeping rough who are identified through statewide assertive outreach patrols will generally be given 30 days of initial assistance to help them work towards a long-term housing outcome, so long as they continue to engage with DCJ and/or relevant support services about their housing. If the client continues to engage and is on a pathway to a long term housing outcome, this assistance can be extended.
For all other clients accessing TA via DCJ Housing or CHPs
DCJ will return to normal policy settings for TA assistance for all other clients. That means that clients will generally be entitled to two days of initial TA where this is arranged through Link2home.
Clients that need extra time can have their TA extended based on individual circumstances and their continued engagement to plan for, or be waiting on a confirmed longer-term housing solution (for example a private rental property or social housing).
There will again be a cap of 28 days in a 12 month period unless there are extenuating circumstances (for example, where not extending the TA would put someone’s safety at risk). The entitlement of up to 28 days TA in any 12 month period commences afresh for all clients from 1 July 2020.
Clients that have been exited from Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS)
Existing TA arrangements with SHS providers will continue as agreed with Districts with a focus on providing a long-term housing pathway for these clients.
Together Home program
The Together Home program is a $36.1m investment by the NSW Government that aims to support people who have been sleeping rough during COVID-19 into stable accommodation linked with wrap-around supports.
This program is a key initiative to support the Premier’s Priority to end homelessness and to halve street sleeping by 2025, and aims to transition clients onto a trajectory away from homelessness and into long-term, stable housing.
- A Together Home Program fact sheet
- The Together Home Program Guidelines (Program Guidelines were updated on 30 September 2020)
- Questions and Answers on the program
Specialist Homelessness Services
DCJ is working with Specialist Homelessness Services providers on local service continuity plans. This includes prioritising essential crisis accommodation and rough sleeper supports, assisting providers with additional staffing costs and supporting clients who need to self-isolate with Temporary Accommodation. More information can be found on the Important information about COVID-19 for SHS providers page.
DCJ has established a Sydney Rough Sleeper COVID-19 Taskforce with the City of Sydney, local health districts and homelessness services to support local decision-making, coordination and communication.
For more information
- Information for people who rent their home: Renting & Coronavirus: What you need to know (Tenants’ Union of NSW)