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Canberra Today 24°/26° | Tuesday, November 30, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Holiday help for struggling renters

STRUGGLING Canberra renters may be eligible to receive up to $1000 during the holiday period through a new rental relief fund from the ACT government.

It comes as the government’s temporary pause to evictions for renters in COVID-19 impacted households comes to an end.

ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said the $133,000 ACT Government Rent Relief Fund will provide one-off grants of up to $1,000 to eligible tenants and occupants still experiencing “rental stress” or “severe financial hardship” which will be paid directly to their landlord or grantor on their behalf.

According to the fund, “rental stress” exists where a household pays more than 30 per cent of their income in rent and has cash savings of $5,000 or less, excluding superannuation.

“Severe financial hardship” can exist where a household pays less than 30 per cent of their income in rent and has cash savings of less than $3,000.

Applicants also need to meet income limits which vary depending on the number of people in the household.

For someone who lives in a share house, they can apply based on their individual circumstances rather than as a household. If eligible, they can receive a grant of up to $500.

Mr Rattenbury said it has been a challenging year for Canberra renters, some of who are struggling to make ends meet.

“During this year’s outbreak, the ACT Government implemented a twelve-week moratorium on evictions for rent arrears and tenants in financial distress due to a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Until February 18 2022, impacted tenants who fell behind on rent during the moratorium will continue to be protected from eviction, provided they pay rent as it falls due,” said Mr Rattenbury.

More information including eligibility criteria can be found here.

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