Victorian Parliament must be recalled immediately to pass relief package for renters

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have called on the Andrews Government to urgently recall parliament so that legislation protecting renters from losing their homes can be passed.

A relief package for renters is expected to be announced today, however the Greens have said it is critical that any reforms are legislated in parliament to ensure they are watertight and offer maximum protection to those facing housing stress.

To adequately protect renters during the COVID-19 pandemic, the package itself must include:

  • A ban on evictions and rental increases for at least six months
  • A mechanism to provide rent relief for those who may not be in a position to pay their usual rent, including consideration of rent holidays
  • A guarantee of continued connection for power, water and the internet for everyone

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said that Victoria must follow NSW and Tasmania’s leads in legislating any rental protections in parliament. In both states, amendments by the Greens were passed that enable evictions bans and rent relief to be urgently implemented.

The Greens are drafting legislation to better protect renters, which could be passed as soon as parliament resumes to give Victorian renters in precarious positions peace of mind.

As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:

“The COVID-19 crisis has put a spotlight on our broken housing system. Renters across the state are at serious risk of losing their homes or being unable to afford food and other essentials without urgent support.

“That’s why any kind of rental reform must be legislated in parliament, to ensure it is watertight and to give vulnerable renters much-needed piece of mind.

“Parliament will play a vital role throughout this pandemic and so it is critical that Dan Andrews allows us to urgently sit in Victoria so that we can follow the leads of other states and pass this much needed legislation.”

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