The Tenants’ Union assists renters and people working with tenancy or housing issues to keep abreast of changes in tenancy law and other relevant issues. We are no longer funded to provide more direct services.
There are many other services which can provide you with support including financial counselling, budgeting, crisis accommodation, free meals and more. Please see below for a list of a range of services that might be able to help you.
If you are not sure who to call, please call the Tenants Advice Service and they will try and find out which service can help you.
If you think you are at risk of becoming homeless you can contact Onelink. 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.
You can connect with OneLink through whatever way is best for you – on the phone, online, in person or through a service that is already assisting you.
For more information visit www.onelink.org.au or call 1800 176 468.
Getting in touch
Call: 1800 176 468 Mon to Fri, 8 am to 6 pm
Drop in: Housing ACT Central Access Point, Nature Conservation House, Corner of Emu Bank & Benjamin Way, Belconnen, ACT. Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
OneLink officers also visit a range of services around Canberra. See website for details www.onelink.org.au
Supportive Tenancy Service
Supportive Tenancy Service
Supportive Tenancy Service (STS) works with people whose tenancy is at risk (Tenancy Support) or who are facing barriers in establishing a private tenancy (Housing Options).
STS tenancy support workers will talk to you about your situation, exploring options and working out a plan. They can:
- Make referrals for specialist legal or financial advice
- Link you to other services
- Advocate with property managers and other parties, and
- Support you through the steps required to sustain your tenancy.
Tenancy Support covers any type of tenancy: public housing, private rental, mortgage.
The STS housing options worker will work with you to explore your options and provide advice on how to secure a community housing or private rental tenancy.
Housing Options is for people who have the income and capacity to sustain a community or private rental.
STS is a partnership between Belconnen Community Service, Woden Community Service and YWCA Canberra. For more information check the Woden Community Service website
Referrals to Supportive Tenancy Service are through OneLink (1800 176 468. www.onelink.org.au).
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 provided by the Volunteering and Contact ACT here search for “free meal”
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.
Provides access to a range of ACT Government information and services including licences permits and bill payment.
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 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 Onelink or contact a service directly:
Northside Community Services (Inner North)
Ph: 6257 2255
Community Services #1 (Inner South)
Ph: 6126 4700
Woden Community Services (Woden and surrounds)
Ph: 6282 2644
YWCA Canberra (women and their families)
Ph: 6185 2000
Communities @ Work (Weston, Tuggeranong and Gunghalin)
Ph; 6293 6500
Belconnen Community Services (Belconnen and surrounds)
For any other service, please use the ACT Community Directory
Tenants’ Union ACT publishes this website as a service to the Canberra public. Please note that the information on this site is only relevant to renters in the ACT.
This website provides information about the law designed to help users understand 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 able 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 also note when the page was last updated, as the law may have changed.