No Work, No Rent – Melbourne locked down while rent increases and evictions rise


As of 12:00am Thursday, Victoria entered a “circuit breaker” lockdown  for a minimum 7 days in response to a surge in community COVID-19 transmissions.

RAHU calls on the Victorian Government to immediately reinstate the COVID19 Rental Moratorium.
RAHU extends our urgent support for renters, acknowledging the effects that this lockdown will have on renters in Victoria, especially without appropriate social safety nets in place.

While COVIDsafe measures are integral to curtailing community transmission and maintaining public health, with both JobKeeper and the moratorium on rental evictions scrapped by the state and federal governments, renters in unstable employment are again at risk of being unable to pay rent, due to immediate loss of work.

For renters who are on temporary work visas, or otherwise ineligible for income support, the situation is more dire, with many facing eviction and deportation on top of already piling up debts due to lack of government support.

RAHU urgently demands the Victorian State Government:

  • Immediately reinstate the COVID19 Rental Moratorium
  • Immediately enact an amnesty on rental payments for renters affected for any reason by COVID19 for the length of Stage 4 Restrictions 
  • Provide a $500 stimulus support payment for every rental household in Victoria

RAHU demands the Federal Government immediately:

  • Reinstate JobKeeper payments
  • Reinstate the JobSeeker COVID19 Supplement
  • Double Commonwealth Rent Assistance payments and fast track applications 
  • All rental debts accrued due to the impacts of the pandemic are to be forgiven with no fault or penalty

Quotes attributable to: Eirene Tsolidis Noyce – Secretary, RAHU 
We’re not through the pandemic, and the first step to a healthcare response is keeping people in their homes. 

If there’s no work, there’s no rent. This state of emergency necessitates the moratorium to be extended for as long as the effects of this pandemic continue.

What our members have to say:

For myself and many others, Job-Keeper was our lifeline. If this keeps up, paying rent is not going to be possible.
We all need to be treated and supported in the same way that working Australians were during the pandemic, instead of being forced to make extra sacrifices for the greater good.
This is for the health not just of our state, but the whole country. 

Hannah, RAHU Member, Special Category Visa holder and self employed 

The rental moratorium should never have been dropped. – Astra, RAHU Member, Pascoe Vale

If people are going to lose work, the government needs to set up a mechanism where a subsidy is paid – Lauren, RAHU Member

J.R. Hewitt
Media and Communications Officer
Contact: [email protected]

The Renters And Housing Union (RAHU) is Australia’s largest member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing. We collectively organise for the right to safe and secure housing through self-advocacy, education, and frontline eviction defence.  

Find out more and join RAHU

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