COVID-19 UpdatesFirst published Friday 27 March 2020 Updated Monday 19 October 2020
If you are a public housing resident in Flemington and North Melbourne estates, we have dedicated information for you here.
During COVID-19 we are providing legal help over the phone to people on low incomes who live, work, study or are connected to services in the inner-city area.
This includes patients at our partner hospitals, people who are connected to local community services, like schools, family services and homelessness organisations, and also parties to intervention order proceedings in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
To speak to us call 9328 1885.
In these times of rapid change we’re attempting to assist however we can. We’re open to receiving enquiries on a broad range of legal areas, and if we can’t help directly, we’ll try to find who can.
We are mobilising quickly to develop innovative ways to stay connected with our partner organisations and their staff to make sure we can reach people in need who are now cut off from face-to-face community services. We are continuing to refine our intake, referral pathways and project design to achieve this.
COVID-19 law reform and advocacy
Together with other legal sector and homelessness organisations, we are advocating to secure additional rental protections and relief for tenants to stop a tidal wave of homelessness across Victoria. We have been calling for:
- evictions to be stopped; and
- additional emergency payments to allow people who have lost their jobs to keep paying their rents.
You can read more about our tenancy advocacy during COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 has exposed and further compounded existing issues within the fines system (which we have long been advocating to change) putting people experiencing disadvantage at greater risk of being issued new fines or defaulting on existing fines.
In partnership with other community legal centres and social services organisations, we are communicating with the government about necessary reforms and proposing temporary system changes. Taking steps like putting a hold on payment plans and the enforcement of fines is crucial given the current crisis and the number of Victorians who are experiencing financial hardship.
You can read more about our fines advocacy during COVID-19 here.
Please contact our office on 9328 1885 with any questions, or to inform us about how these changes may be affecting the needs of clients referred by our partner organisatons.
Temporary Visa Holders
We joined a coalition of community legal centres in calling for financial and social security payments to be extended to everyone in Australia, regardless of their visa status or country of origin.