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Languages - information for multi-cultural applicants

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Community Housing Language Services

All housing associations across the state have access to interpreter services so that applicants can find out about services in their own language. Beyond this, some organisations have specific resources and services to help people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

How to Contact a Housing Association using an Interpreter Service
First, find the community housing association you want to ring. Take a look at our directory of housing associations for this information or ring us on (02) 92817144 and ask for the closest housing association in your area. If you are able to ring without an interpreter, you can ring them directly. If you need an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450, explain that you need an interpreter of your language and give them the name and phone number of the housing association. They will ring the housing association for you and will translate the information. The interpreter will not cost you any money.


Housing Associations that offer other Language Services

Evolve Housing
Evolve Housing Ltd provides fact sheets in Arabic and Vietnamese. It has staff who speak Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Greek, Polish, Samoan, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Also, when possible, they can translate some mail to tenants in their own language.

Evolve Housing Ltd utilises Telephone Interpreters’ Service (TIS) on need basis and encourages tenants to use TIS as well.  

Evolvey Housing Ltd also has established links with other organisations, including a number of support partners that deal with different cultural groups and agencies that work people with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.Affordable Community Housing Ltd involves tenants to ensure a strong focus on service provision for all tenants, including the use of tenant interpreters, translated tenant surveys and running a tenant council where tenants can provide feedback and recommendations. The Tenant Council has also established the Friendship Aged Network with the aim of providing a follow up service and activities for elderly tenants, such as fortnightly telephone calls, fitness classes, arts workshops, sewing classes and excursions.

Bridge Housing – Does offer limited information in other languages. Beyond this Bridge uses an interpreter service when communicating with people who speak languages other than English.

Community Housing Limited - Does offer limited information in other languages. Mostly, an interpreter service is used with clients who speak other languages.

Hume Community Housing Association
Hume is located in Fairfield and is a multi cultural organisation with a wide variety of languages spoken within the office. Hume language interpreters include: Vietnamese, Spanish, Serbian, Arabic, Assyrian, Italian, German, Bosnian, Cambodian, Laotian and Chinese. Hume has several of these languages in the Hume Booklet and displayed in the foyer. Hume also has access to TIS if the language required is not spoken by a staff member..

Metro Community Housing Co-op Ltd
Metro Community Housing is currently in the process of having their language resources updated. These include simplified sign up documents translated into Arabic, Chinese (Simple and Traditional), Vietnamese, Serbian, Croatian and Turkish.   Metro Community Housing also has a multilingual advice form in Arabic, Vietnamese, Croatian Serbian and Turkish. Metro Community Housing has a Turkish speaking worker and access TIS for all complex matters.

Women’s Housing Company (WHC)
Women’s Housing Company (WHC) employs a variety of bi-lingual staff reflecting the languages spoken within local communities. Currently staff speak: Arabic; Chinese/Mandarin; German; Greek; Hindi; Indonesian; Spanish.

WHC involves tenants through tenant participation activities; this includes the use of annual tenant satisfaction surveys where tenants can provide feedback and recommendations. These surveys are available in Arabic; Bosnian; Chinese and Spanish.

At the end of June 2008 the tenant population of Women’s Housing Company consisted of 11.1% of tenants speaking either Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian; 7.3% of tenants who spoke Arabic; 6.7% of tenants who spoke Spanish and 4.6% of tenants who spoke Chinese. A total of 48.6% of our tenants speak languages other than English.

Currently, WHC has a dedicated block of ten units in partnership with Muslim Women’s Association, and a partnership with Auburn Migrant Centre for women affected by the trauma of war.

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