Looking to the horizon for renters
Our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced a home truth that there is an inseparable link between our home, our health, and our wellbeing.
As Victorians look to a post-pandemic horizon, too many tenants are experiencing rental stress amid crises in housing availability and affordability. Those hurting include people on low incomes and even middle-income earners, as well as disadvantaged groups of renters – including people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, renters from multicultural backgrounds and single parents and their children.
At Tenants Victoria, more than a quarter of referrals to our financial counselling service in the past year were people in rental situations that were already deeply unaffordable.
In a silver lining, amid the pandemic upheaval, in March 2021 over 130 welcome reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 came into operation.
But a number of key policy areas can still be improved. Here are our three top priorities for the next Victorian Government to pursue to help renters.