The Moratorium Working Group is currently mitigating the impact of the end of the moratorium on evictions and rent increases.
In November of 2020, the State Emergency Relief Committee (SERC) requested the Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) convene a group to provide coordination, and advocacy support to providers as they navigate supporting people in the lead up to the ending of the State Emergency Period (evictions and rental increase moratorium) on Sunday, 28 March 2021.
SERC and group members have ongoing concerns for the WA community as they face housing uncertainty during a time of rising rents and low vacancy rates that coincides with an inadequate supply of social, community and affordable housing.
Membership and Scope
Initial group membership was targeted and includes Shelter WA, Circle Green Community Legal, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Uniting Church Social Justice Unit, Anglicare WA, Centre for Asylum Seekers and Detainees, Home Hub, Financial Counselling Network, Financial Counselling Association of WA, Community Legal WA and WACOSS.
The group has focussed on a range of initiatives including,
- Understanding available data to understanding the projected impact of the moratorium’s end on tenants.
- Understanding what support is available for people to maintain current tenancies including the Residential Relief Grants Program, financial counselling, tenancy support and emergency relief provision, with a focus on holistic referral pathways, and how long this support will last.
- Understanding the current tools and resources available, or in development, to enable the government and community sector to support tenants during this period and determining information gaps.
- Developing a coordinated advocacy response in the lead up to the State election aligned with the Unlock Housing Campaign advocacy to government has had two streams:
– An immediate increase in affordable rental supply through spot purchasing vacant homes and
– Support to keep people in their homes by ensuring adequate ER funds for rent arrears and accommodation, and resources for the Residential Relief Grants Scheme, and the coordination of referral pathways. After the election and ending of the moratorium further information on this advocacy and how the sector can partner to drive a government response will ramp up.
If your organisation would like to hear more or be involved with this groups work, contact Leela James via email firstname.lastname@example.org.