Cash for renters as state records 246 cases

September 6, 2021 BY

Ahead of time: Victoria is expected to reach 70 per of first COVID-19 vaccination doses on 18 September. Photo: JAMES ROSS/ AAP IMAGE

Victorians struggling to pay rent because of multiple coronavirus lockdowns will be eligible for a one-off fifteen-hundred-dollar grant.

The State Government announced the grant on Monday, as Victoria recorded 246 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

Housing Minister Richard Wynne said the $1500 grant would be available to renters paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.

Grants will be targeted at those who have lost at least 20 per cent of their income as a result of the pandemic, backdated to May 27.

“This is an important initiative, a targeted initiative that is actually going to make a significant difference to people’s lives,” Mr Wynne said.

He encouraged landlords to show “compassion” to tenants in difficult circumstances.

Casual workers on holiday and working visas, international students, seasonal workers, refugees, temporary protection visa holders and New Zealand citizens will also be eligible for the payment.

An annual income limit of $62,860 for singles and $93,400 for couples will apply.

The government will also spend $45 million to expand its hotels for the homeless program.

More than 2000 homeless Victorians have been put up in hotels by the State Government during the pandemic, with most moving into long-term rental accommodation and other housing solutions.

Of the state’s 246 new cases, 121 are linked to known outbreaks.

There are now a total of 1619 active COVID-19 cases in the state, which will remain under tough lockdown restrictions until at least 70 per cent of eligible Victorians receive their first vaccine dose.

The state achieved 60 per cent first dose coverage on Sunday and is expected to reach the 70 per cent target by about 18 September, sooner than the government anticipated.

Meanwhile, priority vaccination bookings opened for year 12 students, teachers, exam supervisors and assessors on Monday, as part of a 10-day blitz.

The state government wants all year 12 students vaccinated with at least one dose before their final exams.

Several schools, including Gladstone Park Secondary College, Roxburgh College, Point Cook Secondary, Lakeview Senior College and Dandenong High School, will be set up as vaccination hubs.

 

-BY BENITA KOLOVOS/ AAP

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