The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is deeply concerned that the expiration of the rental moratorium at the end of March will push thousands of vulnerable people into debt and poverty.
“The rental moratorium is a ticking time bomb; when it goes off in a few weeks the fallout will have a lasting impact,” said Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul NSW chief executive.
The moratorium was brought in last year to protect tenants suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19.
“We are extremely concerned that months of back-dated rent will condemn people into debt that will follow them for years to come.
“This past year has highlighted the importance of everyone having a safe and secure place to live. If the moratorium is lifted without a transition plan in place to support people, over time there will be an increase in evictions and homelessness throughout the state.
“We ask that the NSW Government extend the rental moratorium for a further 12 months and implement a transition plan to support tenants who experience hardship. Vulnerable people cannot be left behind – the state has a responsibility to its citizens.”
Data collected internally by the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW in the past six months of 2020 highlights the precarious situation vulnerable people have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across NSW, 50 per cent of people seeking assistance were in housing stress – meaning 30 per cent or more of their income was spent on housing – while 53 per cent had a fortnightly income between $500-$1000. Close to a third of people (32 per cent) relied upon JobSeeker as their primary source of income.
Rental moratorium expiration is a ticking time bomb (St Vincent de Paul Society NSW)