The Attorney General must immediately back up the Premier’s commitment to protect residential tenants and issue a clear ban on rent increases.
The Shadow Minister for Housing, Alison Standen, said the government’s failure to uphold its commitment is putting around 40,000 Tasmanian households at risk of massive rent hikes, including hundreds of people living in national rental affordability scheme (NRAS) properties.
“Two weeks ago, the Premier agreed to an amendment to the COVID-19 Emergency Act that would freeze rent increases at a time of emergency, saying he didn’t want people out on the street in the middle of a pandemic,” Ms Standen said.
“But the government has refused to issue a Notice to give effect to this provision, as has been done to protect tenants from eviction, leaving tenants to navigate a complex bureaucratic system to protect themselves.
“The Premier said this morning that the protection was provided for in the legislation. But without issuing a Notice, many people could still face the prospect of rent increases, including around 40,000 households in private rental properties and 1500 NRAS homes.
“With the NRAS scheme coming to an end, these clients face rent hikes of up to 20 per cent.
“The Attorney General must back up the Premier’s comments and issue a Notice giving people living in rental homes the same protections as commercial tenants, including those in NRAS properties.
Ms Standen also urged the government to follow the lead of other states and provide hotel accommodation to shelter the state’s homeless population.
“With shelters already full and the waiting list for public housing blowing out to almost 3,500 households, we need to do all we can to protect our most vulnerable people – and the wider community.
“The Premier has said he doesn’t want people out on the streets in the middle of a pandemic. It’s time this commitment was backed up with clear and decisive action.”
Shadow Minister for Housing