COVID-19 payments not included in eligibility assessments for social housing
- One-off payments or increases to statutory payments in response to COVID-19 not included in eligibility assessments for social housing
- Also not to be included in 25 per cent of assessable income used for rent calculation purposes
- This applies to all public housing and community housing tenants
Rent relief grants
The state government has in the last few days quietly widened the eligibility for the rent relief scheme- which can pay up to $2000 per tenant. Importantly the grant is now open to all temporary visa holders who have work rights. There is now also no requirement to have entered into a rent repayment agreement.Revised eligibility criteria:
- You are a tenant or sub-tenant in a residential property, or a resident living in a rooming house, or residential park
- You live in Western Australia and you are permitted to live and work in Australia
- If you live in a residential property, you have, or shortly will have, lodged a tenancy bond with the Bond Administrator
- You are in ‘financial hardship’, meaning
- You lost your job on or after 20 March 2020 due to COVID-19; and
- You have less than $10,000 in personal savings; and
- You pay more than 25 per cent of your current after-tax income in rent per week
Great news for people renting with grants up to $2000 available from 1 May 2020! The scheme will be available to tenants or sub-tenants who have lost their job, applied to Centrelink for income support, have less than $10,000 in savings, and are still paying at least 25 per cent of their income in rent. For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit http://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/covidrenting
A six-month moratorium on residential tenancy evictions will now become law, with legislation introduced by the McGowan Government passing the Western Australian Parliament.
The new laws implement the decision of the National Cabinet and are designed to prevent tenants from having to move out or being made homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department of Communities Housing – changes due to COVID-19. All property inspections cancelled and more for remote communities.
Consumer Protection have a frequently asked questions about tenancy issues.
Rental Assistance Options Centrelink support, your rights and information found here.
Tenancy WA is a support service for for tenancy issues with advocacy, advice and education. They currently have staff working remotely from home and attending where possible Court and other appointments by telephone.
If you are unable to book online, please contact them on (08) 9221 0088 (or for country callers 1800 621 888) and leave a message with your name, and best contact details. They will then call you back to arrange an appointment. They ask that you be patient as they are a state-wide service and receive many calls, so it may take a while to call you back.
Assistance can include:
- A deferral of mortgage repayments up to 6 months (some banks up to 3 months)
– Australian Banking Association has links to Covid-19 help for each bank. To go straight to your bank go to the Australian Banking Association’s page here and click on your bank’s logo to find out how they can help you with options for your mortgage repayments.
Keystart customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to defer principal repayments and waive interest costs by up to six months. Assistance will be assessed on a case-by-case basis in line with Keystart’s Hardship Assessment policy. This will mean, for example, a customer borrowing $350,000 over a 30-year loan can defer estimated repayments of $10,690 over six months, or $1,781 per month. The interest saving over a six-month period would be around $7,000 for newly established loans.