The Western Australian Council of Social Service has today condemned the new campaign by the Real Estate Institute of WA against the COVID-19 tenancy laws as being completely disconnected from the realities facing tenants in our state.
“To end the emergency residential tenancy laws now would be to place many renters, vulnerable families and their children at risk of becoming homeless,” said Louise Giolitto, Chief Executive Officer.
“The middle of a public health, economic and unemployment crisis is not the time for rents to be increasing and tenants to be evicted.
“The WA Government should be applauded for taking the eminently sensible step of extending the moratorium on rent increases and evictions.
“Where a tenant isn’t in COVID-related financial hardship, they are still required to pay their rent. And the State Government has established a successful conciliation process to assist landlords and tenants who are having difficulty agreeing on the best course forward.
“It is double standards for the real estate lobby to be handwringing about government intervening into the free market, while demanding more subsidies and grants go towards increasing property sales.
“We are two weeks away from the Federal Government slashing the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement and scaling back JobKeeper payments. This is hardly the time to be ripping away the support that is helping families keep a roof over their head.
“Let’s not forget that housing is a fundamental human right.
“With rental vacancies so low, jobs so scarce, and incomes stretched to the limit, we will face a tidal wave of evictions should the moratorium be lifted and rents start being hiked up.
“The pandemic and its consequences, economic and otherwise, are far from over. We need to continue doing what we can to protect the wellbeing of our community.” Louise concluded.
Media contact: Laurene Coller, Communications Officer, [email protected], 0419 316 557