Ban on evictions welcomed, but rent relief is needed to avoid debts


The Victorian Greens have welcomed National Cabinet’s decision to place a ban on evictions over the next six months, saying it will help to ensure renters have a safe place to live during the pandemic.

However, the Greens are urging the Andrews Government to ensure there is also a mechanism to provide rent relief as well. Otherwise those who are unable to pay the rent as a result of the pandemic may be faced with insurmountable debt once the eviction ban is lifted.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said that without rent relief for those who find themselves in vulnerable housing situations, many around the state will be forced to choose between buying food or paying their rent over the next six months.

A ban on evictions is a welcome start, but any effective housing package during this time must also include rent relief and a guaranteed connection to essential utilities like power, water and the internet.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:

“Those at risk of losing their homes will be among the hardest hit during this pandemic, and so we welcome the decision to ban evictions during the crisis.

“Everyone deserves a home and for those who have lost their jobs or are struggling to pay their rent as a result of the crisis, it is critical that we help to keep a roof over their heads.

“But unless the Government also introduces some form of rent relief, renters risk accruing significant debts over the coming six months and will be left in a dire situation once the ban has been lifted.

“We must provide renters with some form of rent relief while the ban on evictions is in place, and guarantee that they’ll stay connected to essential utilities.”