Information and referrals

Housing Choices Australia manages a Housing Information and Referral Service in Victoria for people with disabilities who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

This service provides information about accessing public housing, rooming houses, co-operatives, community housing, housing associations, private rental and other support services.

Referrals to support and housing services

We provide appropriate housing support referrals to a range of services within the state-wide Homelessness Assessment and Referral Framework. These services include crisis housing and youth or women’s refuges.

Housing establishment fund (HEF)

The Housing Establishment Fund (HEF) provides financial support for people with disabilities who are experiencing housing-related hardship and who meet the fund’s eligibility requirements.

Housing Choices Australia has a limited monthly allocation of HEF that is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The distribution is determined according to DHHS guidelines.

HEF can provide up to $300 of assistance per person once every 12 months.

HEF can assist with:

  • rental arrears
  • rent in advance
  • storage and removal costs
  • emergency accommodation.

Eligibility

To be eligible for assistance, you must meet the following criteria:

  • people residing in Victoria
  • people in receipt of the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and/or Carers Payment
  • your share of the rent is no more than 55% of your gross (before tax) weekly income.

To ensure that eligibility is assessed fairly, HEF assistance is measured against the ‘DHHS income and asset eligibility’ criteria for access to public housing and the Bond Loan Scheme.

HEF assessment process

The following information is required:

  • a Centrelink Income Statement
  • a copy of Health Care card
  • a second form of identification
  • documentary evidence of the disability (if applicable)
  • an invoice from a service provider (if applicable)
  • a letter from a real estate agent or landlord (if applicable)
  • a schedule of lease (if applicable)
  • a copy of a landlord’s rate notice (if applicable)
  • other documentation to verify the situation

People who meet the criteria can either apply for the assistance themselves or be referred by support agencies.

All HEF enquiries can be made by contacting the office during business hours, or via email.