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Rolling lockdowns and renters

I wanted to share some key research with you as our community continues to navigate the state's extended lockdown.

Tenants Victoria has been documenting how renters are faring during recent rolling lockdowns, this time occurring without the safety net of targeted rental protections that sustained many people’s tenancies last year.

After the fifth lockdown ended we launched our snapshot survey of renters, from 28 July to 3 August. Within 48 hours of the conclusion of this survey, our whole state plunged into its sixth public health lockdown.

As the rise of the Delta variant brings new risks to the community, including for children, we’ve collected new evidence pointing to mounting COVID-19 rent arrears across Melbourne’s suburbs. Some 684 renters responded to our survey, with four-fifths living in Melbourne.

  • 69% reported that they had been financially impacted by lockdown 5
  • Just over half of the overall respondents in the snapshot survey said the lockdown had affected their ability to pay rent
  • The average loss per renter was $108 per day

Using postcodes shared by renters, we’ve also been able to map for the first time local government areas across Melbourne that are rental stress hotspots: Greater Dandenong, Yarra, Hume, Frankston, Moreland, Melbourne, Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Glen Eira, Port Phillip and Darebin all rank on our list.

Our new report, which includes data and the voices of struggling Victorian renters, shows why we need urgent action from the Victorian Government to offer targeted support for residential renters, as they now have for commercial renters. Any policy response to mitigate the financial impacts of lockdowns on people struggling to pay rent for their homes must include the suspension of evictions during a lockdown period and direct support by way of financial grants, along with consideration of other solutions we outline in the report.

Read our new report, Pandemic Pain Victorian Renters in Lockdown.

The ABC covered this urgent issue at the weekend. See their story on Tenants Victoria's work here.

Stay safe and take care, 

Jennifer Beveridge
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Tenants Victoria
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