VHA welcomes boosted funding for HRAR Leads

September 28, 2021

Victoria’s community health services can continue to provide local, targeted support to vulnerable Victorians through the High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) program, with additional funding announced for the July to December period.

Recognising the ongoing demands of the pandemic response, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing has provided an additional $11 million to HRAR Lead Providers.

More than 30 of our community health services are HRAR Lead Providers, delivering place-based outreach health and social care to people living in settings associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. These settings include publicly and privately owned high-rise accommodation, rooming houses, backpacker hostels, supported residential services, student accommodation and caravan parks – all settings that typically have facilities shared by residents.

To date, these activities have included:

  • identifying and risk-rating facilities
  • supporting the ‘health concierge’ program in housing tower exposure sites
  • providing relief assistance to people required to isolate as primary and secondary close contacts and red zone permit holders
  • performing surveillance testing
  • supporting residents and proprietors with COVID-19 prevention and preparedness advice and resources.

The funding extension also includes an expansion of scope to some disability settings, and support to identified primary and secondary close contacts in high-risk settings.

The HRAR program is a key example of the high-impact initiatives Victoria’s community health services continue to contribute to the state’s COVID-19 response and the VHA welcomes this boost in funding.

Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to extend the integration of health and social care through community health services. The VHA will continue to work with the government and community health services to extend and embed this approach beyond the COVID context.