Media release: Rent grants a good first step to protect renters
6 September 2021
Tenants Victoria welcomes today’s confirmation from the Victorian Government of targeted financial support for renters hard hit by public health restrictions.
The one-off support by way of grants worth up to $1500 to eligible renters will made via a contribution towards the cost of their rent paid directly to their landlord.
‘This is much needed and will help renters in hard hit sectors such as hospitality, retail and entertainment who have been stood down or lost hours due to the ongoing public health lockdown,’ said Tenants Victoria CEO Jennifer Beveridge.
‘It’s both a good first step, and recognition of what renters financially affected by the lockdowns are experiencing – many have told us they are really hurting from the cumulative financial impact of a succession of lockdowns.’
Ms Beveridge said that Tenants Victoria, along with other housing sector organisations, would continue to work with the Andrews Government and key portfolio ministers Richard Wynne (Housing) and Melissa Horne (Consumer Affairs) to seek further support for renters including legislative changes.
‘The policy response from the Victorian Government should include the suspension of evictions during a lockdown period, as well as these welcome financial grants for renters.’
Tenants Victoria’s latest report, Pandemic pain, mapped local government areas identified as lockdown ‘rental stress hotspots’: Greater Dandenong, Yarra, Hume, Frankston, Moreland, Melbourne, Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Glen Eira, Port Phillip and Darebin all rank on the list.
Some 684 renters responded to our snapshot survey, conducted over a week in the wake of the fifth lockdown. Among the key points:
- 69% reported that they had been financially impacted by lockdown
- Just over half said lockdown had affected their ability to pay rent
- The average loss per renter was $108 per day