Permanent JobSeeker and rent support increases needed so everybody has a home

News | Jul 21, 2020

National housing and homelessness campaign Everybody’s Home today called on the Federal Government to permanently increase supports for people who have lost jobs so they can afford to pay rent and avoid homelessness during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and as the economy recovers.

The appeal comes after the Government announced it will reduce the COVID-19 supplement for those who have lost their jobs to $250 a week until the end of 2020, with no commitment to permanently maintain the increase to JobSeeker above the pre-pandemic rate.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said many renters who have lost their jobs would struggle to keep a roof over their head in coming months, even if rents have reduced in some areas.

“Right now the median rent for a one bedroom unit in Sydney is $450 a week. Even with $70 in Commonwealth Rent Assistance a job seeker will receive a total payment of $478 a week – which leaves $28 a week to live on.”

Ms Colvin said the current economic climate meant many people would struggle to find work – particularly older workers and workers in areas experiencing a new wave of lock downs.

Everybody’s Home has urged the Morrison Government to focus on those who are homeless and renters at risk of losing their homes in further stimulus spending.

“It will take many months for some industries to recover in many parts of Australia. 

“The Government responded so well to the initial crisis to keep people safe and housed. We need to maintain that sentiment so that everybody has a home beyond the next few months. 

“We’re urging the Government to permanently increase JobSeeker, increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and announce significant new investment in social housing.”

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