Emergency support for vulnerable Tasmanians
Emergency accommodation, such as hotel rooms, is available for vulnerable individuals and families on low incomes who are required by Public Health to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk but who are unable to stay at their regular place of residence or are homeless.
Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants
A one-off payment is available to low-income persons who are required by Public Health to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk.
The amount depends on the size of your household:
- $250 per adult
- $125 per child
- Maximum capped at $1000 per household
Organisations such as Red Cross, Rural Business Tasmania and The Salvation Army can help vulnerable Tasmanians with emergency food hampers, delivery of medications, provision of financial counselling and other essential support during quarantine.
- Required by Public Health to self-isolate (excludes travellers returning home who are required to quarantine in government provided accommodation) as evidenced by a Letter of Isolation or other form of official advice; and
- Must be low-income as evidenced by Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioners Concession Card, or otherwise demonstrate genuine financial hardship; and
- Are not able to quarantine at your regular place of residence or with family and friends, as to do so, in the opinion of Public Health, would place vulnerable people at too great a risk.
An individual or household may be eligible to receive both Accommodation Support and Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.
If a person is required to quarantine in overcrowded housing or is homeless, they will be considered as not able to quarantine at home and will need emergency accommodation.
If you are not eligible for Emergency Support but you need emergency accommodation, then you can call Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.
Housing Connect can provide financial help to pay for emergency accommodation or provide details of an emergency accommodation provider. Individuals affected by family violence will be provided details of affordable private rentals or referred to Rapid Rehousing, a type of housing assistance.
How to seek assistance
All referring agencies and members of the public should ring the Public Hotline on 1800 671 738.
Emergency accommodation for frontline workers
Emergency hotel accommodation is available for frontline workers who directly deliver essential health, welfare and biosecurity services if they need to stay away from home.
To be eligible for emergency accommodation support, frontline workers must be:
- Directly delivering essential health, welfare or biosecurity services and in close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19; and
- Their workplace is unable to provide reasonable prevention measures to stop close contact; and
- Are not able to quarantine at their regular place of residence because a household member is ‘high risk’ (e.g. people who are elderly or have chronic health conditions or a weakened immune system); or a household member is required by Public Health to quarantine.
Ring the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you are a frontline worker seeking emergency accommodation support.
Private Rental Incentives Program
The Private Rental Incentives Program helps eligible low income Tasmanians access affordable private rental properties.
The program offers landlords an incentive to lease their homes for a two-year period at a rent that is set at an affordable level for clients off the Housing Register.
See the Communities Tasmania website for more information.
COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund
A COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund has been established to assist tenants suffering from extreme hardship, with support of up to $2,000 or four weeks rent available. More information on the Fund is available from the Communities Tasmania website.
Residential rent relief for social housing
The Tasmanian Government will not increase the rent for social housing tenants over the next six months, and will not count Federal Government COVID-19 emergency payments as income for the purposes of calculating rent contributions.
If a household experiences a decrease in their household income, their rent will be decreased based on the Centrelink rates before the COVID-19 payments were established.
Any tenant whose income has been reduced as a result of the COVID-19 should contact their tenancy manager and their rents will be adjusted.
Additional support for foster and kinship carers
A one-off immediate $200 payment will be made to foster and kinship carers for each child or young person in their care, so families can purchase essential cleaning or hygiene products and to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Funds will be made available to carers though automatic deposit.
Supporting casual workers
Casual workers in the state sector will be provided with two weeks special leave if they are required to quarantine.
National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007
Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential advice to help you manage your debts or negotiate with creditors. Visit the National Debt Helpline website for step-by-step guides and useful information on how to deal with specific types of debts.