Some updates have been made to the Rent Relief grant. Here is our break down of the situation.
What is the Rent Relief grant?
Some tenants will be already be aware of, or will have received, the Rent Relief grant that was introduced by the government in response to COVID-19. This grant is designed to provide financial aid to tenants who are facing genuine financial hardship in response to the pandemic.
It has just been announced that the grant has now been increased (from $2000) to $3000, as well as the government extending the application lodgement deadline until the 28th of March 2021.
They have also increased the savings threshold for eligible applicants. Meaning that you can have up to $10,000 in savings and still be eligible; quite an increase from the original $5000 cut-off point.
What does this mean for me as a tenant?
If you are one of our tenants and you have already been approved for the original grant, then you don’t need to do anything. We are already in communication with DHHS to have you approved for the extra $1000. Once approved you will receive correspondence from DHHS, informing you that you will be receiving the extra assistance.
If you are a tenant who is struggling financially and you have not yet applied for the grant, then please get in touch with your property manager. You will then work together with your property manager and landlord to complete the steps required to enable you to apply for the grant.
If you rent privately, then reach out to your landlord and together you can work through the eligibility requirements. This website can assist you with the steps.
Eligibility Criteria for the Rent Relief Grant.
- have a household income of less than $1903 per week
- have had your income impacted by COVID-19 through loss of employment, reduction of at least 20%, or (in the case of a sole trader) had your business suspended or reduced
- have less than $10,000 in savings
- must have registered a revised rental agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria or have gone through mediation, and
- still be paying at least 30% of your income towards rent.
What is the first step?
In order to be considered for this grant you must work together with your property manager or landlord to devise a revised rental agreement (rental reduction). The new agreement must be put in writing and registered here to begin your application. If an agreement cannot be reached, then mediation is available through Consumer Affairs Victoria.
What happens if I’m approved?
Once approved, a direct payment will be made to your agent or landlord to contribute to your rental payments and will be treated as if you had personally made payments towards your rent. It is important to note, that if you remain employed or your income remains relatively unaffected, then rent should be maintained and the conditions of your lease agreement upheld as normal.
Want to know more?
To see support measures that have been put into place in response to COVID-19, in the Greater Geelong Region, see here.
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