News today that the Queensland Government will not extend its eviction moratorium is a disgrace, says Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh.
“This decision will threaten the housing security of Queenslanders as unemployment continues to rise, and risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have not been resolved,” Ms McVeigh says.
“The eviction moratorium for commercial tenants has been extended, it does not make sense that they are not extending the same courtesy to the 34 per cent of Queenslanders who rent. The only reasonable explanation for this could be kowtowing to pressure from special interests like those expressed by the REIQ.”
The decision by the state government not to extend the moratorium will coincide with a $300 per fortnight cut to both JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments.
“The eviction moratorium was introduced because people need a place to live if they are required to self-isolate or stay at home. We are not through this pandemic and people still need that security.
“QCOSS is deeply concerned about the potential for hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders to be forced into poverty, with their housing now also more at risk.”
We are continuing to live through a crisis and measures that have been put in place to keep Queenslanders safe in their homes must be maintained.
“This decision flies in the face of the advice provided to government from the majority of the Minister’s Housing Security Subcommittee – three out of five members recommended that the moratorium be extended,” says Ms McVeigh.
With a second wave of COVID-19 still possible and no certainty of when a vaccine may be available, an extension to the moratorium would provide more security and stability for tenants, landlords, the property industry and our state economy.
“That’s why four out of six Australian states – Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania – have already committed to extend their moratoriums. Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have extended theirs until March 2021.
“Everyone has a right to safe, secure and stable housing. This is not the time to pull the rug out from under the feet of Queensland’s renters.”