High-Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) team keep vulnerable residents COVID-safe


Published April 14 2021

When COVID-19 broke out in Melbourne’s North, the Government turned to Merri Health and other critical community organisations to help prevent the spread in public housing and other high-risk accommodation with shared facilities.

As part of the HRAR Moreland initiative, Merri’s team supported residents, public housing landlords and managers at 161 properties, including: rooming houses, low rise public housing, high rise public housing, community housing and supported residential services. 

The team used different approaches, adapted to the needs of community, to keep thousands of tenants safe.

Following the success of this work in 2020 and early 2021, HRAR funding has been extended until June 2021.

These activities included:

  • door-knocking individual residences, speaking to managers and/or setting up an information marquee in public community spaces
  • providing COVID-19 Prevention and Infection and Control Checklists
  • mock drills
  • PPE training
  • PPE kits and supplies
  • Providing advice on information improvements for individual resident plans
  • COVID-19 safe plans;
  • staff contingency plans
  • outbreak management plans
  • discussing COVID safe principles with residents and links to other support services if needed for the future
  • participating in DHHS safety walks
  • providing COVID-19 Infection and Prevention Control advice and support
  • delivering care packs including masks, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser for COVID-19 infection and prevention control
  • forwarding relevant updates and information to property managers to make sure they remained informed of changes to restrictions, recommendations or obligations.

Partnering with other community organisations 

The HRAR team engaged others providers who had good relationships with residents to help them prevent, prepare for and respond early to COVID-19.

Some initial plans had to be adapted

The HRAR Moreland team have done incredible work to ensure the safety of some of our most vulnerable community members. A lot of fast thinking and adaptation took place to make sure the right methods of communication were used with the right people. We know how detrimental COVID-19 has been to the community across Moreland, and we congratulate HRAR for being there to put the best protocols in place!