Sometimes you may need help to resolve your tenancy issues that the Tenants Advice Service cannot provide. For example financial counselling, crisis accommodation and family or domestic violence support services. Please see below for a list of services that might be able to help you.

If you are not sure who to call, please call the Tenants Advice Service and we will try and find out which service can help you.

Homelessness

If you think you are at risk of becoming homeless you can register with Firstpoint.  This is a central helpline where people can get more information, find services that might be able to help and in some cases find temporary crisis accommodation. Call 1800 176 468.

Supportive Tenancy Service

The Supportive Tenancy Service works with ACT residents who are at risk of losing their housing, whatever the cause is. The service will work with you to try and maintain a safe and stable home. The service is available to people living in the ACT, in any type of renting arrangement, including public and private house and those with a mortgage.

The types of difficulties that you might be having can be:

  • family or domestic violence
  • neighbourhood conflict
  • relationship breakdown
  • mental health issues
  • disruptive behaviour
  • addiction
  • unemployment
  • property condition
  • eviction notices
  • disputes with landlords
  • rent arrears and other debts

If you want to access the Supportive Tenancy Service, you can call the intake worker on 6207 2427 and they will ask you to tell them about your situation, and then try and find you the most appropriate assistance. If you can be assisted by the Supportive Tenancy Service, you will be assigned to a Support Worker. The Support Worker will talk with you about your difficulties, issues and goals and help you to develop a plan to address these issues. Common types of support include:

  • providing information
  • making referrals and connections to other services (financial, legal)
  • accompanying tenants to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (support only, not legal representation)
  • negotiating with landlords and people or companies who have lent you money
  • finding services or making changes to help you maintain your housing.

For more information – http://www.assistance.act.gov.au/adult/housing_and_rates/publicsocial/supportive_tenancy_service

Hours: 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday
Intake line: 6207 2427
Drop in: Central Access Point, Nature Conservation House, Corner Emu Bank and Benjamin Way, Belconnen

Care Financial Counselling Service

Care is a FREE financial counselling service, available to people who live in the ACT. Contact Care if:

  • you are debt and not sure what to do or how to negotiate with creditors,
  • you have rental arrears
  • you are not sure if you are getting the right payments from Centrelink
  • when you need information about financial matters,
  • when you want to look through your budget and see where the money is going or,
  • want to talk through the stresses of living on a low or restricted income.

All Care services are offered free of charge.

No Interest Loan Scheme

Care also has a No Interest Loan Scheme which can assist people in the community to purchase essential household items. The NILS provides eligible ACT residents with access to loans to purchase items such as:

  • white goods – fridges, washing machines
  • household furniture – beds, sofas
  • electronic goods – computers, televisions
  • tools for training courses
  • health aids
  • car repairs

Loans of up to $1,500 are available and repayments are made over 12-18 months, either via Centrepay deductions or direct deposit.  To be eligible people need to be on a low to moderate income. A single person can earn up to $60,000 gross per annum to qualify for NILS.  For more information please call Care on 6257 1788 or download a NILS application at www.carefcs.org

Specialist Gambling Financial Counsellor

Care also has a specialist financial counsellor to support people affected by problem gambling. Many people affected by problem gambling are in severe financial difficulty by the time they seek help. Financial counsellors can provide information and support to address their financial situation as well as connect them to other appropriate services in the community.  For anyone wishing to speak to financial counsellor, contact the financial counselling helpline on 1800 007 007 – this is a free, independent and confidential service.

Conflict Resolution Service

The Conflict Resolution Service offers free or low cost mediation services for the Canberra region…there are no waiting lists which means they can help you manage and resolve your issues sooner rather than later! Call on: 6162 4050

Services offered include:

  • dispute counselling/coaching
  • mediation (a way to bring people together to talk about any problems, it is a step-by-step way to talk through issues and work things out)
  • facilitation (e.g. organising meetings or services for people)
  • information and referral
  • community education
  • training and professional development

The service is confidential, impartial, easy to use and is free for low income earners. The website has tips on how you can resolve disputes yourself, and useful factsheets and brochures.

Energy efficiency and assistance with paying electricity/gas/water bills

Please see our FAQ on energy efficiency and where you can get help with paying your bills.

Information on free meals and low cost food

See the information sheets provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau here.

ACT Government

ACT Government Assistance Portal

This website aims to make it easy for you to find out what assistance and advice you might be eligible for by putting this information in one place and in an easily understood way. It pulls together information from across the ACT and Australian governments and some community organisations in the ACT. As well as providing you with information, this website can help you work out what assistance you might be eligible for and who to contact to get more information.

Access Canberra

Provides access to a range of ACT Government information and services including licences permits and bill payment.

The Home Safety Program

The Home Safety Program, managed by supportLink Australia, is designed to assist ACT residents in improving the security of their homes while endeavouring to minimise other preventable risks such as fire or injuries caused by falls.

The program mails out information advising residents of how to improve their home security and safety; can organise the Fire Brigade to give advice regarding fire prevention, and in some circumstances provide assistance to conduct a home safety assessment of homes within the ACT.

 ACTSmart

ACTSmart is your one-stop-shop for ACT Government rebates and assistance that will help you save energy and water, reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions

Other community support services

There are many other community support services in Canberra. These include:

  • children’s services
  • services for older people and people with a disability
  • home help, transport and social programs
  • support for families
  • youth services
  • mental health support
  • tenancy and mortgage assistance
  • information and referrals to other agencies
  • employment and training
  • social groups
  • room hire for community activities

For help to find what service can help you go to the Child, Youth and Family Gateway (1800 647 831) or contact a service directly:

Northside Community Services (Inner North)
Ph: 6257 2255

Southside Community Services (Inner South)
Ph: 6126 4700

Woden Community Services (Woden and surrounds)
Ph: 6282 2644

YWCA (women and their families)
Ph: 6175 9900

Communities @ Work (Weston, Tuggeranong and Gunghalin)
Ph; 6293 6500

Belconnen Community Services (Belconnen and surrounds)
6264 0200

For any other service, please use the CONTACT Guide published by the Citizens Advice Bureau. PH: 6248 7988.

You can also find a useful list of local and national community services, government departments and charities on the Woden Community Services website here.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Tenants’ Union ACT publishes this website as a free service to the public.

This website provides information about the law designed to help users understand their legal rights and obligations. However legal information is not the same as legal advice (the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). Although we make all efforts to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult the Tenants Advice Service for advice specific to your circumstances. You are also free to consult an independent solicitor for a second opinion.

Please note that this website is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice or opinions and the transmission of this information is NOT intended to create a solicitor-client relationship between the Tenants’ Union ACT and members of the public.

Tenants’ Union ACT makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Please note that the information on this site is only relevant to renters in the ACT Please also note when the page was last updated, as the law may have changed.