Last chance for $2,000 grant to pay your rent
WA tenants and landlords who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have one last chance to apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to go towards paying their rent this Christmas.
Phase two of the WA Government’s Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme (RRRGS) means that tenants who have lost their job as a result of COVID-19 and are suffering financial hardship can apply to have four weeks’ rent, to a maximum of $2,000, paid directly to their landlord. Landlords given the grant must reduce the tenant’s rent by the amount received.
Eligible tenants need to get in quick as applications close at 5pm on 31 December 2020.
Tenants are eligible for the grant if they lost their job on or after 20 March 2020 due to COVID-19 and remain unemployed, or secured employment and then became unemployed due to COVID-19; pay more than 25 per cent of current after-tax income in rent per week and have no more than $10,000 in savings.
Applicants need to live and be permitted to work in WA and be a tenant in a residential property, residential long-stay park or boarding house. Students, casual workers and certain visa holders can apply.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Penny Lipscombe says it is good news that, at the time of year when people are feeling the pinch financially, Consumer Protection is able to help those who need it most.
“Christmas is a tough time when it comes to paying the bills and, after a difficult year, we are very pleased to be able to support those in our community still recovering financially,” Ms Lipscombe said.
“Hopefully we can make 2021 a little brighter and urge anyone who has lost their job as a result of COVID-19 to apply for the rent grant now, before the current scheme ends on New Year’s Eve.”
The scheme complements the introduction of COVID-19 rent laws which include a moratorium on rent increases and some evictions. The extended emergency period ends on 28 March 2021.
Phase three of the RRRGS starts on 4 January 2021, helping tenants facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 pay their rent debt.
It will assist landlords who reduced, deferred or waived rent during the emergency period under the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020. Landlords will be paid direct one-off grants equivalent to 75 per cent, up to $4,000, of the accrued rent arrears incurred during the emergency period.
A key condition for landlords to receive the funding is that a fixed-term tenancy agreement of six months or longer is entered into with the current tenant, from the date the moratorium ends on 28 March 2021. Tenants can get further details and apply for the expanded grant online at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/covidrentgrant.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org