While the pandemic continues, rental protections must also continue

16.02.2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

40 days out from the end of the eviction moratorium, we find ourselves back in Stage 4 lockdown. In six weeks’ time, most rent reductions will expire, rent increases and evictions will again be used against tenants, and agencies who were able to swindle tenants with deferrals instead of rent reductions will come to collect.

Beyond the private rental sector, RAHU has heard that housing access points have been instructed to provide six nights of accommodation to rough sleepers this week, but to “manage expectations” and inform all “clients” that the accommodation will expire this Thursday 18 February. The State Government couldn’t make it clearer that they only care about rough sleepers when they pose a risk to other people and the economy.

The Renters and Housing Union represents all people in precarious housing situations, including renters in private tenancies, public and community housing tenants and rough sleepers. We urge the government to:

  • extend relief measures for renters, including rent reduction agreements, for as long as the pandemic continues
  • protect the 84,000 Victorians in rental debt from a wave of evictions by cancelling rental debt
  • provide what was promised and immediately extend crisis accommodation until safe and secure long term public housing is available to everyone in need

Quotes attributable to RAHU members:

Five days of lockdown is fine for the work-from-home class, but I’ve just had five days of casual work in hospitality cancelled. Coupled with the ever decreasing rate of Jobseeker, I will not be able to make rent if my working situation stays this unstable. – Annaliese, RAHU Member

We know casual workers are a paycheck away from homelessness; now I’m half a paycheck away. – Georgia, RAHU Member

Media contact: Jesse Francis: 0401 164 876 or email [email protected]

The Renters And Housing Union (VIC) is a newly formed, member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing. We organise collectively to fight 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/[email protected] | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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