Renters are on the frontline of this pandemic. Many are losing their incomes, and some are scared of being forced out of their homes.
We believe that nobody should be squeezed out of the market during a downturn. It’s time to make sure that everyone has a place to call home.
» Raising the rate of payments, for good
Welfare increases for people out of work must become permanent. They must be extended to people with disabilities, age pensioners, and everybody who needs them.
This will help people keep a roof over the heads and buy essential supplies – and in a time of crisis, it will stop them from having to make unfair choices.
» More affordable rental homes
Nobody should be squeezed out of the market during a health emergency. We must invest in affordable rentals.
Ending our affordable housing shortfall would be the most powerful way to tackle the rental crisis – and boost our economy.
» A better deal for renters
The moratorium on evictions must be extended, and it must be taken seriously. This may involve providing support to renters, or to their landlords, to avoid a mass-default.
The National Cabinet has agreed to rent relief for commercial tenants and a Code of Conduct, helping them avoid a debt trap. Residential renters trying to keep a roof over their heads deserve the same support. Mounting debts for renters would be a recipe for disaster.
In the wake of unprecedented hardship, we need a real, extended moratorium on evictions and debt relief for renters.
» Help for people sleeping rough
At the beginning of the pandemic, some governments acted to get people sleeping rough off the street using hotels and AirBnBs. Now, those early actions must be matched with funding for shelters, including funds for cleaning and infection control.
Australia does not have a plan to provide accommodation for rough sleepers in the long-term. This pandemic has made a plan urgent. Governments should work with the sector to make accommodation and funding available as soon as possible.