Tenants have little support, protections three weeks after endless foreclosure in sight


Sydney tenants are reaching a ‘crisis point’ with soaring demands for food aid as they try to make ends meet with little financial support and inadequate eviction protections three weeks after the start of the year. ‘a city-wide lockdown.

With no end in sight, NSW Labor, the Greens and the New South Wales Tenants Union renewed their urgent appeals to the state government to reinstate a rental assistance program, including a moratorium on evictions and rent reduction or deferral to support tenants as part of the health response.

The effort to contain the highly contagious Delta strain outbreak has left thousands of tenants with no income or reduced wages since the city-wide lockdown began on July 26.

While the NSW government was quick to announce a subsidy program to help businesses, it failed to provide any real measures to help tenants cover their rent if they were forced to stay at home and found themselves without income.

The federal government’s disaster payment of up to $ 500 for those who lost more than 20 hours of work per week, which began last week, does not cover the cost of the rental in Sydney, where the Median asking rent for a house is $ 550, on domain data.

NSW Labor MP and Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said tenants were sacrificing food and other bills in order to pay rent.

“Members of Parliament have reported massive spikes in requests for food aid because people will do almost anything to avoid becoming homeless – not eating being one of them,” Ms. Jackson said.

“Residential tenants and small businesses in NSW are reaching a crisis point as this current foreclosure continues for longer and longer – at this point with no end in sight.

“The NSW government is not doing enough to support them, and this is causing massive anxiety throughout the community.”

She called on the government to implement a series of measures, including a supplement to the federal disaster payment, offering interest-free loans to cover household debt, forcing landlords to negotiate rent relief or payment plans with tenants and a moratorium on evictions.

At the start of the foreclosure, Treasurer Dominic Perottet urged landlords to work with tenants who may be in financial difficulty.

But there is no legal obligation to do so, and NSW Greens MP and Housing and Homelessness spokesperson Jenny Leong has called for immediate protections.

“We need an immediate ban on evictions so that no one is forced to leave their home because they have no income to pay their rent due to stay-at-home orders,” she said .

“At the very least, we need the protections that were in place for the first lockdown restored. Fair Trading NSW must institute regulations by which landlords are required to negotiate with tenants regarding waivers or reductions in rent. “

“At this time, the Liberal-National Government of NSW has no measures in place to support tenants, and all information on the NSW Government’s COVID-19 site is out of date and therefore misleading. “

Homeowners have again benefited from mortgage deferrals, allowing customers to delay repayment month-to-month, the Australian Banking Association said Thursday.

But unlike banks, without clear legal requirements from the state government for landlords to pass on a rent reduction, tenants were at risk, said Leo Patterson Ross, chief executive of the Tenants Union of NSW.

He said three key elements were needed to protect tenants: restricting people forced or pressured to leave their accommodation; a clear focus on what is and is not necessary entry into a person’s home, and a support program to prevent people from taking on unnecessary debt in the household and exacerbating the economic impact of epidemic.

“It’s really important that the restriction of forcing people to move around is seen as part of the health response. It is completely avoidable to prevent people from being evicted or financially desperate and forced by that to move, ”said Mr. Patterson Ross.

Even the state’s main real estate lobby group, the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, had criticized the government’s lack of support, saying it left landlords to provide financial support when that was the role of the government. government.

Field contacted the NSW government for comment, but did not respond in time.

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