Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson
In a pandemic emergency it’s essential that everyone has a secure and affordable place to call home. The Greens are pleased there are stronger protections in train for residential renters who are struggling to pay their rent, through lost employment or reduced income.
At the moment some landlords are negotiating deferrals with tenants, but at the end of the emergency period, many tenants will be left with huge debts and possible eviction if they can’t pay. It’s vital that support is provided to make sure these Tasmanians aren’t financially crippled for years to come.
We welcome the Premier’s commitment to ease pressure on renters, and introduce a tenant support fund. It’s clear he understands this complex issue, and recognises there is a need for better support for tenants during the emergency period.
As a basic principle in a pandemic, the same level of protection should be available to residential tenants as to commercial tenants. The Greens still believe there should be equal protection, but today we agreed to not move our amendments to the government’s Bill given the Premier’s commitment.
This announcement has come as a result of the tireless work of the Tenants Union and community sector organisations, as well as persistent advocacy from the Greens.
While announcing the tenant support fund in Parliament today, the Premier acknowledged our “constant advocacy” on this issue. We thank the Premier for taking on board our concerns and promising further action.
We’ll keep a very close eye on how this new measure will be rolled out and reach tenants in serious financial strife.
Premier Gutwein moved to freeze evictions and rent increases for residential tenants and now he’s prepared to take further measures. Right now in Tasmania, there are tenants who are slipping through the cracks because there aren’t enough protections in place. Today’s announcement will allow many anxious renters to breathe a sigh of relief.