The Victorian Greens will today introduce a motion that would establish a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s worsening rental crisis.
Right now, rents are rising four times faster than wages and renters are lining up for blocks just to get into inspections.
The average rent in Melbourne rose to $450 dollars a week in the December quarter, with apartment rentals in the city up by roughly 20 per cent year-on-year.
There is currently no relief in sight, with rents tipped to rise another 11.5 per cent across Victoria over 2023.
If passed, the Greens’ inquiry would investigate things like:
- The drivers and impacts of low rental supply.
- Options to increase the supply of long-term rentals. This could include the regulation of the short-stays industry and strengthening the Vacancy Tax.
- Options to make renting affordable. This could include forms of rent control or rent assistance, and strengthening rental bidding laws.
- How to improve Victoria’s rental standards. This includes energy efficiency standards and disclosure, cooling standards, and privacy standards when applying for a rental.
- Options for legislating longer and perpetual leases.
- Further protections for tenants against notices to vacate during and after the termination of a lease.
They will also ask the Premier to introduce an immediate two-year rent freeze to protect renters while long-term solutions are being investigated.
Victorian Greens’ renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said one in three renters were spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent, the very definition of unaffordable housing.
She said unless the Victorian Labor Government stepped in soon to alleviate the pressures facing renters across the state, things would only get worse.
The Greens will introduce their motion today, before it is debated and voted on in two weeks’ time.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:
“The rental crisis in Victoria is out-of-control.
“We’re seeing young adults stuck in their childhood home, retired women sleeping in cars, and families with school kids living in tents.
“I’ve heard from renters that are struggling with rent hikes of $200 per week.
“It’s clear this Government does not have a plan for renters. Establishing an urgent inquiry into the rental crisis will put the problems and solutions directly in front of the Government who have been ignoring renters for too long.
“We need to take action now to prevent more households from being pushed into financial stress or homelessness.”