We're in the middle of this pandemic and it's crucial that everyone has a home.
Renters were already under huge stress before this pandemic hit, now they’ve lost their income, don’t know how to pay the rent, and they are being unfairly burdened with trying to individually negotiate from a position of weakness.
Housing is a human right and everyone has the right to a safe, secure and affordable place to live.
We have a plan to protect renters during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We can solve the housing crisis and end homelessnesss. We can get a better deal for renters. It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are clear solutions - there are ways out of this situation, but to get there we need to call on the NSW government to take clear steps to support renters. We need to rethink housing so that it is respected and protected as someone’s home, and not a guaranteed income for investors.
OUR PLAN TO PROTECT RENTERS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
1. FULL MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS
- No loopholes. No evictions during the pandemic
- No grounds evictions shouldn't be allowed ever and especially not at this time
- Banks are offering mortgage freezes and term extensions to property owners but they should not be able to add interest debts to any agreements
2. RENT NEEDS TO BE AFFORDABLE
- Rent relief and negotiated rent reductions should mean that no one has to pay more than 30% of their current income on rent
- No rent increases during the pandemic. The 6 month freeze on rent increases for commercial tenancies should be extended to the private rental market for a period of 12 months
- If landlords are experiencing hardship, we need the government to support them
3. NO RENT DEBT
- How on earth are you going to make up any rental arrears if you’ve lost your job?
- Rental agreements which include large rent debts are not a solution and will mean renters are carrying large debts which they won't be able to pay off
- Renters aren’t responsible for maintaining the viability of an investment and at this time all investors are facing challenges
4. EMERGENCY HOUSING FUND
- People in sharehouses, boarding houses, student accommodation, backpackers and informal housing arrangements need specific protections as their situations are not covered in the NSW Fair Trading guidelines for negotiating rent relief
- Many international students have lost their jobs but are not eligible for any financial assistance in NSW
- Many other visa holders have lost their jobs and are also not eligible for any financial assistance in NSW
- Under the current scheme sharehouses where tenants lose income but the combined household income is not below 25% are not eligible
5. RENTERS NEED TO BE NOTIFIED OF THEIR RIGHTS.
- Health advice and information about restrictions is everywhere, but where’s the communication about what help and protections are available for renters?
- Renters need to know what their rights are and how they can get assistance, by getting direct information from the government.