Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) welcomes the COVID-19 renter protection package, designed to protect tenants in Queensland, announced earlier today by the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Housing Minister Mick de Brenni.
Highlights from the package include measures to protect tenants from being forced to sell personal assets or draw down superannuation to pay their rent, to allow them to end leases early if they’re experiencing domestic violence or financial hardship, provisions to prevent tenants amassing debt or arrears throughout the six-month period, renegotiating rent payable due to financial hardship, and of course, a six-month moratorium on evictions.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh says these are significant protections that are needed to help keep Queenslanders in their homes.
“We know that renters across Queensland are experiencing severe financial stress right now, and this package by the state government offers certainty in these very uncertain times.
“We look forward to seeing the full details of the package, but we are buoyed by the state government’s commitment to leaving no one behind. We note that these protections must be extended to all renters in Queensland – regardless of visa or residency status.
“The state parliament must come together as soon as possible to implement the changes to legislation. Every extra day without the protections proscribed in law is another day of insecurity for Queensland’s renters.
“QCOSS is a member of the Make Renting Fair Alliance and has been calling for some of these measures for several years. It is encouraging to see the state government acknowledge that these protections are crucial to the wellbeing of Queenslanders, and we urge them to maintain the changes once the current coronavirus crisis is over,” said Ms McVeigh.
For 60 years, QCOSS has been a leading force for social change. We believe that every person in Queensland – regardless of where they come from, who they pray to, their gender, who they love, how or where they live – deserves to live a life of equality, opportunity and wellbeing.