Housing Choices Australia Group - Annual Report 2020





New Staff Policies Developed

Different Visual Resources Created

Business Continuity Meetings

Communications Sent to Partners, Residents And Contractors

The team had already engaged our state-based team and ground response team. The state-based team had gathered information and reported to the COVID Response team. The information was reviewed and next steps were defined. We had prepared lists in each of our medium-to high-density sites of resident information, communication requirements and support needs. We contacted every tenant by phone to let them know of our action plan and to conduct a needs assessment. Where necessary, the response was made available in the tenant’s language with language support available. At the same time a burst SMS was sent out to all resident mobile numbers to advise them of the deep clean that was about to occur. The ground team were at the property erecting signs and putting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) into residents’ letterboxes. The ground team had pre-prepared Response Packs for high and medium-density properties equipped with on-site physical response requirements. The packs included tenant contact details, in-language supports, lists of support and food agencies, public health contact numbers, signage to roll out, property details (number of residents and needs etc.), utility details, such as lifts and stairwells, and PPE equipment. Then there was the deep clean. Residents were contacted and asked to stay indoors while the deep clean took place, including surface disinfection and fogging. The whole process took less than four hours with things returning to normal at 10pm. The team met again first thing the following morning (this time with coees in hand) to debrief and review the process. The process was well managed, however, as with any first response crisis, there were learnings.   

The burst SMS was the best way to immediately contact residents, and the follow-up and simultaneous phone calls were the best secondary touchpoint. It was decided that having a roster of on-call sta for the state-based team would guarantee we always had the right sta ready to go to cover o all required response functions if, and when, required. Over the weeks after the event, two more residents were tested and the results came back negative. We continued to check-in with residents over the following week and the feedback we received was positive. Residents said they were thankful we were open and advising them of the activity in the building. The response to this crisis demonstrated how teamwork and forward planning is important in any aspect of an organisation. It was a learning curve for all involved, especially understanding what a deep clean fog actually looks like. This is something we will all remember for a very long time, if not forever.

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Housing Choices Australia | Annual Report 2019-20

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