Labor welcomes the release of details about the government’s Rent Relief Fund for tenants and landlords affected by the COVID-19 crisis but says bans on evictions and rent increases must be extended.
Shadow Housing Minister Alison Standen said those in genuine hardship from the pandemic will need ongoing relief and reassurance.
“Labor has been calling for a safety net to help struggling renters and landlords,” Ms Standen said.
“Today’s announcement of the establishment of the Rent Relief Fund will go a long way towards supporting tenants and landlords experiencing genuine hardship and uncertainty and they will no doubt be relieved to see help on the way.
“This fund will provide a vital lifeline to our most vulnerable, particularly casual workers, students and temporary visa holders who are ineligible for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments.
“These are the people who have fallen through the gaps of federal assistance programs and need immediate rental relief.
“But we must remember that the effects of this pandemic will not magically disappear when the emergency period is over.
“At least one in five Tasmanian households are in private rentals. Those tenants are more likely to have lower incomes, to be casual workers, and to be employed in industries hardest hit by COVID-19 including hospitality, retail and the service industries.
“They will likely need ongoing support and I again call on the government to extend the moratorium on residential evictions and rent increases to fall into line with other jurisdictions that have committed to a six-month ban.
“We must ensure that no Tasmanians are left behind as the economy starts to regain some of the ground lost over the past few months.
“That means we must extend our compassion for the most vulnerable in our communities and provide them with ongoing support and reassurance.”
Alison Standen MP
Shadow Housing Minister