New eligibility criteria for rent relief is a step in the right direction


The Victorian Greens have welcomed news that the Andrews Government will widen the eligibility criteria for renters seeking financial assistance during COVID-19.

Where previously tenants had to have less than $5,000 in savings to be eligible for a rent relief grant, that threshold will now be raised to $10,000.

The news follows months of campaigning and constructive talks between the Greens and the state government on the importance of protections for renters.

Victorian Greens acting spokesperson for housing, Sam Hibbins, said renters in need simply weren’t getting access to the payments.

He added that they shouldn’t need to run down their savings to access rent relief and that the new criteria would allow many more at-risk Victorians to access it.

In another win, the government has also announced it will extend the ban on evictions beyond the original December 31 expiration date, to the end of March next year.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens acting spokesperson for housing, Sam Hibbins MP:

“The facts are not enough renters are able to access the scheme.

“Renters facing housing insecurity shouldn’t be forced to run down their savings before they can access rent relief during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The widened eligibility criteria will help many more Victorians access the financial support they need to keep a roof over their heads.

“We’ve raised this issue with the government many times, and it’s another example of the Greens working constructively with the government to get good outcomes for people in need.”