FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/09/2021
Today’s announcement of a rent relief grant program by the Victorian Government comes as lockdown enters its second month. The program would provide a one-off payment of up to $1500 to renters ‘experiencing rental stress’ during lockdown.
In order to be eligible for the grant, renters are required to provide proof of a rent reduction for a period after 27 May 2021. As the Victorian eviction moratorium is no longer in place since 29 March 2021, this would require many Victorians to reenter negotiations with their landlords in order to access a grant payment, without the protections offered in the moratorium. Payments cannot be accessed without a rent reduction.
Eligibility for the grant is subject to means testing, and is only available to renters who have lost income. Without the moratorium on evictions being reinstated, rent increases and notices to vacate are still on the table for Victorian renters.
RAHU urges the Victorian Government to give serious thought to renters ‘experiencing rental stress’ during the extended state lockdown.
You can apply for the Coronavirus rent relief grant on the HousingVIC website.
Quotes attributable to RAHU members
This is a start to what’s needed, but without the Moratorium, this Government is expecting renters to enter back into prolonged negotiation for simple relief without any protection.
Expecting renters to barter with agents who directly profit from keeping rents high is no way to guarantee relief to struggling renters.
We need an eviction ban yesterday. Each day the moratorium isn’t reinstated, is another day we’re at threat of eviction.
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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 https://rahu.org.au/