Expansion of rent supplement needed as part of July stimulus
23 July 2020
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
The expansion of rent supplement is needed as part of the July stimulus according to Labour Housing Spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan.
Senator Moynihan said:
“Many of the people availing of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment are in receipt of rent supplement. The Minister needs to expand the criteria for rent supplement to ensure people are given rental supports as they return to work.
“These measures are crucial as we know that tenants are the most vulnerable group to losing their home and need to be protected against falling into rent arrears. Many people who would not typically find themselves in arrears have accumulated a significant amount of rent debt as a result of the pandemic.
“We also seen a significant rise in the number of households in receipt of rent supplement and it is important that the scheme is expanded to reflect the increased need for support for renters. Rent supplement should be available to any tenant who can prove a loss of income related to the pandemic, regardless of the length of their tenancy.
“We know there will be a rental arrears crisis coming down the tracks as a result of the pandemic. The July stimulus needs to address the crisis many renters find themselves in as a result of Covid-19 and expanding the criteria for the rent supplement payment will stop more renters falling into debt and potentially ending up homeless.