April 23 - For Immediate Release
Renters left in the dark as Tenants Support Policy falls short of protecting tenants
Many questions remain unanswered for millions of Victorian renters as the Victorian Government’s “Support for Tenants and Landlords” policy is expected to pass parliament today, with much uncertainty surrounding the government’s measures to action such policy. While the package provides a $420million windfall for landlords, a mere $80million is expected to support the millions of tenants facing unemployment and homelessness.
Rent & Mortgage Strike Australia has been inundated with renters with and without leases who have been illegally evicted, or sent Notices To Vacate in the last two weeks, and for whom the government policy comes too late, if it were ever going to protect them in the first place.
Renters still hoping to negotiate reductions are left questioning who is deemed eligible for relief, how this relief will be provided, and what accountability measures will be in place for landlords and real estate agents. We are expected to negotiate in good faith, however we are at a demonstrated disadvantage in any negotiations, with most cases already demonstrably unsuccessful.
Under the specific government criteria that must be met to access support, tenants are expected to prove extreme hardship. Even those eligible will still lose at least 30% of their heavily reduced income to rent. For the millions who have lost their jobs or a significant amount of work, this is blatantly unrealistic.
This extraordinary crisis demands extraordinary action. Deferral will only deepen the crisis.
Rent & Mortgage Strike Australia continues to demand:
a rent and mortgage amnesty, including no arrears or debts, and a complete eviction ban.
We will continue to organise and build our movement until these demands are met. The government needs to ensure that agents and landlords are accountable, that everyone has access to safe and secure housing, and that no one is left behind during this crisis.
Rent Strike for Rent Amnesty Now
Quotes attributable to: Paddy, Rent Striker, Maribyrnong Council
Why does the burden of proof fall on the poor, and those who are structurally disadvantaged? The reality for tenants will continue to be uncertain, and the most vulnerable are being offered a few crumbs.
We’re seeing a growing number of renters come to us who have already been illegally evicted and now face homelessness, including many international students and visa holders who have been left behind by the government. What security do they have? They are both being told to stay at home, and to go home, when neither is a realistic option.
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