Centrecare welcomes the State Government’s announcements on rent relief for West Australians in need and reforms to short-term rental accommodation, amid the current housing crisis.
The $24.4million 'WA Rent Relief Program' provides much needed assistance to WA tenants experiencing rental stress and will help financially vulnerable tenants remain in their homes.
Local community service organisations can identify tenants in need through their existing services and networks, to help them apply for relief, which includes an arrears payment and up to 50 per cent of future rent costs for up to three months, capped at $5000.
Community service organisations can also help tenants secure continuation of their tenancy agreements, with the rent relief paid directly to the landlord or via a property manager.
Meanwhile, new regulations for un-hosted Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) in Western Australia and an incentive to return some properties to the long-term rental market to help increase housing supply, is a productive step forward.
These reforms follow a Parliamentary Inquiry into Short-Stay Accommodation, which recommended the establishment of a State-wide registration scheme and updates to planning guidance for STRA properties.
The scheme offers a $10,000 payment to property owners willing to switch their STRA properties to the long-term rental market.
Director of Centrecare, Adj. Prof. Tony Pietropiccolo AM said; “the announcements will assist families struggling to remain housed or looking for somewhere to live. Thousands of individuals and families in WA are experiencing significant anxiety and stress over their housing and desperately need relief. The announced initiatives will make housing easier for many people. We urge the government to continue to do whatever it can to create more housing, reduce homelessness and alleviate distress”.