What will this program do?
The Aboriginal Tenants at Risk Program (ATAR) provides support for Aboriginal people who are tenants or prospective tenants with a sign up date for Department of Health and Human Services – Housing or Aboriginal Housing Victoria.
The primary objective of the service is to establish and sustain Aboriginal tenancies by supporting tenants to address those issues placing their housing at risk.
The ATAR program staff will work with tenants to strengthen their capacity to better manage those factors that may impact on their ability to maintain a successful tenancy.
The program seeks to deliver a service based on an outreach approach and promoting a voluntary partnership between tenants and workers.
Information for you:
This information is to give you, a new client of the Aboriginal Tenants at Risk Program, some idea of what kind of support and assistance we may be able to provide and how it will be delivered.
The ATAR program will work with you to address the issues that may be affecting your ability to sustain your tenancy.
Your ATAR worker will assist you to develop a Case Plan that will list the goals you agree to work on.
This may include referrals to a wide variety of professionals or specialist services that can better assist you with particular issues.
It is expected that you will make every effort to complete any actions listed on this plan, unless they are no longer relevant to your situation.
Your Case Plan will be reviewed with you on a regular basis to ensure it is still
relevant to your needs.
You will need to keep in contact with your ATAR worker. This may be with appointments at our office or may in some circumstances be in your home. If your worker is unable to make contact with you and you have not attended scheduled appointments, services may be withdrawn.
Your Support Worker will:
- Treat you with respect and dignity,
- Be sensitive to any cultural, ethical or religious beliefs you may hold.
- Behave courteously and patiently towards you.
- Do everything possible to assist you with achieving a positive outcome for your tenancy.
- Treat your information with complete confidentiality.
- Make every effort to maintain your participation.
Information about VCAT and Tribunal Processes and Protocols:
What does VCAT stand for?
VCAT stands for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It is held in a tribunal setting and deals with Civil, Residential Tenancy and Guardianship matter.
Why should you attend?
It is important that you attend as you are the only one who can give evidence in relation to your case. If you don’t attend, the case will still go ahead with an order made which may not be in your favour.
Our role as advocates is to assist, support and advocate for you and attempt to get the best possible outcome for you. This is a free service.
What do I need to do?
It is your responsibility to inform your advocate as soon as you receive a VCAT
notice of the date and time.
Where will the tribunal take place?
VCAT is held in Moe, Morwell, Korumburra. Sale & Bairnsdale, and will be at the closest court to where you live.
It is important to be at least 15 minutes early for your VCAT appearance. Lateness (as with non-appearance) may mean that the matter is heard in your absence and an order can be made against you.
The Oath/ Affirmation:
You will be asked to take the oath (swear on the bible) or if it is your preference not to swear on the bible, you can take an affirmation.
When and how to speak:
It is important when appearing at a VCAT hearing to speak only when addressed or
asked a question and to remember to wait until it is your turn to speak.
Understandably, VCAT hearings can be a stressful and emotional time for some people, but there are ruled and behaviours that need to be adhered. These include:
- Ensuring that you have switched off or silenced your mobile phone.
- You do not interrupt or talk over anyone.
- You remain calm.
You are expected to constantly show respect to the Member (person hearing your case) and all other persons attending your hearing.
There is a certain protocol that you will be expected to use when addressing the member hearing your case. If a male, use Sir, and if a female use Madam or Ma’am.
It is important to dress in an appropriate manner in order to make a good impression (neat and tidy).
Orders / Outcomes:
Once your VCAT hearing has been heard by the member, he or she will decide on the outcome which will come in the form of an order that all parties are to adhere to until such a time as an appeal occurs. This decision is legally binding.