You are here

Evictions Freeze Order Welcome

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 3 April 2020

Tags: Housing, Homelessness, COVID-19, Evictions

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson

Tasmanian tenants will be spared the fear on eviction in to homelessness during the pandemic emergency.

We welcome the Order, gazetted today, to protect tenants in private or public rental homes from eviction. We are very thankful this was prioritised, as the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic bite deeper.

Many people are anxious about how they will pay their rent and keep their homes in the current circumstances. We hope this anxiety will now be eased.

The Greens’ amendment to the government’s COVID-19 emergency response legislation last week included tenant protection from evictions.

While today's Order only tackles evictions, we hope the government will also move to protect tenants from rent increases at this time of severe economic contraction.

While we trust the vast majority of landlords will do the right thing through this crisis, enacting a freeze on rents will put the minds of all tenants in Tasmania at rest.

Our amendment received tripartisan support and passed through the Upper House unchanged.

The Order that was gazetted today is an example of Tasmania’s elected representatives working together in this pandemic.

This should bring relief to people living in rental homes. It’s also a critical public health response. Insecure housing means more transit and, ultimately, potential community COVID-19.

While today’s measures are a great help to those who already have a home, we remain very concerned about the wellbeing of those who are sleeping rough.

We urge the government to take a proactive and focussed response to ensure homeless Tasmanians have secure accommodation during this crisis.

The lack of tourists in hotels across the state presents an opportunity to easily provide safe shelter to those who would otherwise be exposed to significant risk. In times like this, it’s more important than ever that nobody is left behind.

We also recognise many landlords are doing it tough and support government assistance to take pressure off landlords.

This is a high stress time for all Tasmanians. We’ll get through this by looking out for each other every possible way, from a safe, physical distance.