Labor calls for extension of moratorium on evictions

Shadow NSW Minister for Roads, Ms Jody McKay, with Member for Swansea, Ms Yasmin Catley at Carters Rd Lake Munmorah in 2017Opposition leader Ms Jody McKay, with Member for Swansea, Ms Yasmin Catley at Carters Rd Lake Munmorah in 2017

The State Opposition is calling for the NSW Government to extend the current eviction moratorium to the end of the year to protect vulnerable tenants across the State.

Deputy Labor Leader Yasmin Catley said the government had failed renters and mum and dad investors, leaving the vast majority with no support at all.

“Many people are still struggling to find work and pay the bills – they shouldn’t have to also worry that, come October, they’ll be evicted from their home,” Catley said.

“One in three people in NSW rents and it’s crucial we do everything we can to keep a roof over people’s heads during this crisis.

“We want to make sure tenants impacted by COVID-19 can stay in their homes and that landlords aren’t left high and dry.

“We have one of the most expensive rental markets in the world; people are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads.”

Catley is also calling for hardship payments to tenants and landlords, regardless of whether they pay land tax or not.

But Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said Labor is struggling to understand that market forces control the property and rental market, not the NSW Government.

“In April, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSW Government introduced new measures that encourage landlords and tenants to sit down and work out tenancy negotiations,” Crouch said.

“So far, this has given security and certainty to tenants that they’ll continue to have a roof over their heads.

“This has also helped landlords retain tenants at a time when the market is significantly lower,” he said.

Terry Collins