Complaints and Appeals Policy
HousingFirst’s complaints and appeals policy outlines how we want to handle dissatisfaction with our services and our decisions. Its purpose is to:
- Allow the right to complain or appeal
- Make it easy to exercise that right
- Only complaints and appeals are covered by this policy.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is when someone tells HousingFirst they are dissatisfied with HousingFirst’s services, standards, practices or policies. It is a complaint about HousingFirst and something that we have done or not done.
Who can make a complaint?
Anyone has a right to express their dissatisfaction with HousingFirst’s services or standards, practices or policies.
What is an appeal?
An appeal is when a tenant or an applicant asks for a decision made by HousingFirst to be reviewed.
Who can make an appeal?
Only tenants or applicants can make an appeal to HousingFirst.
How do I make a complaint or make an appeal?
You can follow these steps or choose to start at the point you feel most comfortable.
- Talk directly to the person you think is responsible for sorting out the problem.
- Talk the problem over with someone not directly involved in the problem.
- You may ask someone independent of HousingFirst to help you with your complaint.
- If it will help you to explain your situation, tell HousingFirst that you require an interpreter and what language you require, HousingFirst will pay the cost of the interpreter service.
- Describe what happened, why you are not satisfied and what action you think should be taken.
- Keep a record of who you speak to, what they said they would do and the date and time.
Complaints and Appeals can be made in the following ways:
Online: Please complete the online form on the right (or below if you're on a mobile).
In Person: Please speak first with the staff member involved. If you are unhappy with the response, you can have your concerns referred to the appropriate manager.
Telephone: Please contact 03 9534 5837 and ask to speak first with the staff member involved. If you are unhappy with the response, you can have your concerns referred to the appropriate manager.
Post: Please send your complaint or appeal to HousingFirst, Suite 6/22-28 Fitzroy Street St Kilda
To help you structure a complaint, please use the online form. You can also print the online form by following this link - ‘Complaint Form’
These steps are also explained in the HousingFirst brochure ‘Information on How to Make a Complaint’ that Tenants receive upon beginning a tenancy.
How does HousingFirst handle Complaints and Appeals?
- HousingFirst will ensure complaints and appeals are addressed promptly and fairly
- Register, investigate, resolve and record complaints and appeals within 30 days
- Keep tenants and applicants informed as to the progress of their complaint or appeal
- Tell you our decision regarding your complaint or appeal
- If appropriate, advise you of other avenues to pursue to satisfactorily resolve the complaint
- Allow the delivery of HousingFirst’s housing services to be influenced by the views of tenants, applicants and stakeholders.
The file record of the complaint will be confidential. No identifying information will be communicated to other tenants or applicants, people in the organisation who are not directly involved with resolving the complaint, or people outside the organisation, without the person’s permission.