Ask the Victorian minister to ban evictions

From GetUp!

Scott Morrison and State Premiers are meeting tonight to decide the fate of people who can’t make their rent or mortgage obligations.

That means we need everyone who can to get on the phone today – and support the strongest possible protections during this crisis.

We’re about to hit a severe recession at the same time as we need to stay indoors – which means we have to guarantee a roof over everyone’s heads – no exceptions.

But with state Ministers making a decision tonight, we need to act right now.

Over the past week, we’ve seen legislation and policy we thought would be impossible under a Liberal Government. But now we must ensure people have guaranteed housing too.

Can you call your State Minister and join the push for no evictions and foreclosures immediately?

We need to make sure State ministers are thinking about policies that are scaled up to the crisis we face. That means:

    • Suspending all evictions: Renters, mortgage holders, social housing tenants, boarders – everyone should have a roof over their head.
    • Rent freezes for all tenants during this crisis – we need to give people financial certainty.
    • Penalise unlawful threats of evictions from landlords (often tenants comply with unlawful requests because they think they have to).
    • Legislate a moratorium on mortgage repayments to help owner-occupiers and landlords weather the storm too. The government should underwrite the banks to ensure the costs of this crisis are shared.
    • Provide bill relief: Many people struggling to pay the rent will also struggle to pay for their essential utilities – hot water, energy, and the internet. The government must regulate and underwrite the providers of essential services to ensure no one is disconnected during this crisis.
  • Listen to the experts: Tenants unions must be consulted as part of the decisions being made about housing.

There’s a lot of policy nuance in housing – but we need to start from a simple premise: everyone deserves a roof over their head, and no one should be evicted for falling behind on their payments.

From there, state governments are empowered to make decisions about the best way to implement policies. Some valid considerations are:

  • How to deal with circumstances of family violence: Violent offenders should be removed from their home, but we need to guarantee emergency housing for survivors of family violence that may lack the financial security to keep a roof over their heads.
  • How to share the costs: Landlords and mortgage holders are going to face difficulties during this crisis too – which is why we need a suspension of mortgage foreclosures to ensure the entire housing market has breathing room. Governments should underwrite the banks’ ability to suspend repayments where necessary – just as they’ve done with small business loans.

The bottom line remains this: the Government should follow the example of countries and cities around the world, and listen to the experts. We need an urgent suspension of evictions and foreclosures during this time of crisis.

Call Your Minister

You can call Marlene Kairouz MP on (03) 8685 1555 – and please let us know if you got through to her office.

(Or you can call her electorate office at (03) 8361 7133)

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