Relief for renters impacted by virus
States and territories will work on a relief package for Australians who rent their home to protect them from eviction as the coronavirus crisis worsens, it's been announced.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference in Canberra today where he flagged that help for tenants is coming.
"Further work will be done on identifying how relief can be provided for tenants in both commercial and residential tenancies to ensure that in hardship conditions, there will be relief available," Mr Morrison said.
"That work will be done by states and territories, as it is a state and territory matter, and that work will be led by Western Australia, together with New South Wales, working with all the other states and territories, to bring back some model that can be applied in hardship cases."
That model would work to ensure that Aussies renting their homes aren't turfed out as a result of hardship due to coronavirus, he said.
The government has warned that job losses and business failures are likely as a result of the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Mr Morrison didn't provide detail on what the rent measures would include, saying work is already underway.
"I will allow the states to take the lead on this because they've been doing a lot of the work," he said.
That working group would "define what the hardship triggers are" and what assistance would apply.
Earlier this week, Labor's spokesman for housing and homelessness Jason Clare said it's inevitable many Aussies could struggle to pay their rent.
"No one should lose their home because they, or their family, are affected by the virus," Mr Clare said.
Mr Clare was highlighting the need for housing support as part of coronavirus measures, but also raised the issue of cost of living.
"They (the national cabinet) should also take steps to make sure no one has their power, water, gas or phone cut off because they, or their family, are affected by the virus and can't pay the bill."
The PM conceded that this measure and others implemented in response to the crisis will sting many people.
"Now, I know that will mean something for landlords, just as the decision taken today means something for banks, just like the decisions we have already taken as a Commonwealth Government means things for our balance sheets, and as a people, for the Commonwealth government, as it does for the states," he said.
"It will also mean something for those who sadly might be stood down from their employment and have to look at their annual leave arrangements and sick leave arrangements.
"All Australians are going to be making sacrifices, obviously, in the months ahead.
"And everyone does have that role to play and that will include landlords, at the end of the day, for people who are enduring real hardship."
Originally published as Relief for renters impacted by virus