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Home of Your Own

A self help tool for renters affected by family violence

Getting housing support

Information about accessing emergency accommodation, and types of support for establishing or maintaining longer term housing

Emergency accomodation 

If you or someone you are helping is escaping family violence and needs somewhere to go, Safe Steps can help you to access emergency accommodation and other supports. 
 
Call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 (freecall, 24/7) or webchat: safesteps.org.au

Alternatively, you can call the statewide housing support line for emergency accommodation in Victoria. Call 1800 825 955 (freecall, 24/7) to connect with a housing worker at your closest housing and homelessness service.

If you have been threatened or you are fearful for yourself, a child or a family member – please seek somewhere safe and call 000. 

When you call Safe Steps or the housing support line, you will speak to a worker who wants to understand your safety risks and needs. They will help you to understand your options and refer you to the right service in your area to find somewhere safe to go.

There may be services available to take care of pets or support with the needs of pets. You can speak to Safe Steps or the housing support line about this. 

You can find help for pets, as well as other emergency housing options by visiting Ask Izzy. 

Support with longer-term housing 

Applying for rental properties 
A support worker from a housing service may be able to help you find a rental and help with the costs of starting a new rental (like bond or first months’ rent). 

Call the statewide housing support line on 1800 825 955 (freecall, 24/7) to connect with a housing worker at your closest housing and homelessness service. 
 
Paying rent 
Government support with affording rent is called Rent Assistance. This is provided by Services Australia (also known as Centrelink). When you apply for a Centrelink payment, you will be assessed for Rent Assistance eligibility. 
 
A support worker from a housing service or family violence service may help you access other (typically one-off) support payments. 

Paying bond 
In Victoria you may be able to access an interest-free bond loan from the government. This money is usually returned to the government when the rental ends. This means you may not have to contribute any money unless you lose the bond at the end of a rental. See if you are eligible for a bond loan on the Housing Victoria website. 
 
A support worker from a housing service or family violence service may help you find other ways to pay for bond. 

Applying for social housing 
Social housing is a term that refers to affordable public and community housing. Read more about social housing types on the Housing Victoria website. 

All applications for social housing in Victoria are made through the Victorian Housing Register. You can apply yourself or get help from a housing service to apply. 

Once you have been approved for social housing, you will be put on the Victorian Housing Register. It could take a long time before social housing becomes available. Priority access is given to people who: 

  • Are homeless and receiving support 
  • Are escaping family violence 
  • Live with a disability or have significant support needs 
  • Have special housing needs 
  • Are older than 55 years old 

Connect with a family violence service 
A family violence service may be able to assist with accessing funding to obtain furniture, white goods or other household items for a new property. They may also be able to provide evidence to support a priority application for social housing. See below for family violence services. 

See our list of services, for free legal, family violence and housing support.

This page contains legal information only. View our disclaimer

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