New Rental Relief Fund to support tenants as eviction moratorium ends

Australian Greens

As the ACT Government’s moratorium on evictions for rent arrears for COVID-19 impacted households ends, struggling Canberrans will still receive financial support during the holiday period through a new Rental Relief Fund.

“This has been a challenging year for Canberra renters, some of whom are struggling to make ends meet,” Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said. “The ACT Government was quick to provide support to tenants and landlords affected the lockdown, providing $5.25 million in emergency support measures.

“During this year’s outbreak, the ACT Government implemented a twelve-week moratorium on evictions for rent arrears for tenants in financial distress due to a loss of income or working hours as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Until 18 February 2022, impacted tenants who fell behind on rent during the moratorium will continue to be protected from eviction, provided they pay rent as it falls due.

“Now that the moratorium has come to an end (25 November), tenants who are struggling to make ends meet can access a new Rent Relief Fund, which will provide grants of up to $1000 to people experiencing rental stress or severe financial hardship.

“Despite lockdown ending and our graduated return to normal life in the ACT, many renters still face pressures, including from financial pressures that built up during the lockdown period.

“The $133,000 ACT Government Rent Relief Fund will provide one-off grants of up to $1,000 to eligible tenants and occupants which will be paid directly to their landlord or grantor on their behalf. This will help tenants and occupants maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation.

“To be eligible for the grant, a household must be experiencing either rental stress or severe financial hardship.”

For the purposes of the Fund, ‘rental stress’ exists where a household pays more than 30 per cent of their income in rent and has cash savings of $5,000 or less, excluding superannuation. ‘Severe financial hardship’ can exist where a household pays less than 30% of their income in rent and has cash savings of less than $3,000. Applicants also need to meet income limits which vary depending on the number of people in the household.

For someone who lives in a share house, they can apply based on their individual circumstances rather than as a household. If eligible, they can receive a grant of up to $500.

The Fund will be administered by Care Financial Counselling Service on behalf of the ACT Government.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.