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Government Must Extract Housing From The Too-Hard Basket

Media Release
Mehreen Faruqi 8 Apr 2020

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Housing spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the National Cabinet has manifestly failed to provide any leadership or direction on national housing policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Housing must be put back on the agenda for a national response.

Senator Faruqi said:

“After weeks of promising more information and direction, the National Cabinet has completely dropped the ball on housing. It must be put back on the agenda and dealt with urgently.

“It smacks of gross incompetence to put housing in the too-hard basket by dismissing it as a state or territory issue. Our response to COVID-19 requires a coordinated national effort.

“It’s revealing that while the National Cabinet has acted so quickly on commercial tenancies, vulnerable people who rent their homes have no clarity on whether their landlord will be allowed to increase their rent next month or evict them as soon as the pandemic is over.

“I urge the National Cabinet to support rental and mortgage holidays, an increase to rent assistance, and boost funding for crisis housing.

“Unemployment is increasing dramatically and the Coronavirus Supplement and JobKeeper payments are not due to land in bank accounts for weeks. People urgently need clarity and the assurance that they will have their home to live in during these trying times,” she said.

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