RAHU welcomes higher taxes for landlords, but serious public housing investment is overdue

For Immediate Release: Thursday 20 May 2021

RAHU welcomes the Treasurer’s announcement of marginal tax increases for the wealthiest percentile of property investors, and urgently calls for the Victorian Government to commit to funding Public Housing as part of Victoria’s recovery.

RAHU continues to demand the Victorian State Government: 

  • Improve and Expand Public Housing 
  • Immediately implement measures to waive COVID19 Rental Debt
  • Ensure the regulation and application of Penalties to landlords and agents who breach renters rights

Public funds for the public good: investment in public housing 

As part of the $5.3bn Big Housing Build, Victorians urgently need the government to commit to funding the urgent expansion of Public Housing.  

Since March 2021, there are over 110,000 people on the waiting list and rapidly growing.
With wages stagnant and welfare rates at 30% of minimum wage, the need for public housing is growing more urgent by the day. 

Public housing homes are needed.  

RAHU calls on the Victorian Government to: 

  • Commit 100% of the $5.3bn Big Housing Build to investment in Public Housing
  • Announce the funding allocated to Public Housing new development. 
  • Immediately legislate to equalize rents between public housing and community housing providers to no more than 25% of household incomes

This budget will see 1,110 new homes built on government-owned land: a mix of 619 social housing dwellings, 126 affordable homes and 365 private market rental homes, including 52 specialist disability accommodation dwellings.  Community housing, a more expensive and less regulated type of housing, cannot fill the public housing gap for low-income families.  

Increased tax for land rich

RAHU welcomes the Treasurer’s announcement of marginal tax increases for the wealthiest percentile of property investors. Acting Premier Merlino has noted it’s only fair that those who can do a bit more need to contribute to our COVID recovery. 

RAHU calls on the Victorian Government to: 

  • Immediately implement measures to waive COVID19 Rental Debt
  • Ensure the regulation and application of Penalties to landlords and agents who breach renters rights


RAHU strongly counters any suggestion that this tax increase should be carried by low income renters. In 2017 Over 47% of Australian low income renters were in rental stress, now only 3 houses are affordable for a single renter on Jobseeker.

Quotes attributable to: Eirene Tsolidis Noyce, Secretary, RAHU 

If the Victorian government are truly aware that housing is an integral part of our recovery, we need to see their committed investment into Public housing, for the public good. 

It’s refreshing to see measures where the wealthiest Victorians will be expected to do their part in this COVID recovery. RAHU will continue to make sure these measures won’t force renters to shoulder even more of a financial burden. 

Our members won’t continue to be driven out by a broken housing system. RAHU will challenge rent increases and keep our members in their homes. 

Quotes attributable to: Lucy Cuzzupe, lifelong resident of Braybrook and RAHU member

I live in a private rental that costs $340 per week. After rent, I have $100 per week to live on. I’ve been on the public housing register for over 25 years! I’m angry. I spent 30 years working and paying income tax to spend my 50s living in poverty.

I was born and bred in Braybrook, my mum still lives here in the former public housing house we were raised in. But I can’t afford to stay. The government is turning its back on our community – we’re losing our place.

I don’t understand the mindset of selling off public housing to build social housing. Social housing is high rent, it’s not a long-term option. They’re taking our homes away.

Media contact: Paddy Gordon 0407 712 579 or email [email protected]

The Renters And Housing Union (VIC) is a member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing, formed out of the rent strike as a response to the COVID19 crisis. 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 https://rahu.org.au/

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