New South Wales renters struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 lockdown will be protected from being evicted.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet have revealed “a comprehensive economic support package worth billions of dollars aimed at helping businesses and people right across the state fight through the current COVID-19 lockdown”.
Sydney renters will be protected from eviction for the next 60 days if they have lost at least 25 per cent of their income in the latest lockdown.
NSW workers will be able to access federal government support payments of $375 a week if they have lost between 8 to 20 hours of work a week.
That increases up to $600 a week if they have lost more than 20 hours of work a week.
For non-employing sole traders, the payment is set at $1,000 a week.
Landlords have also been offered some relief.
Capped grants of up to $1,500 will be available for residential landlords who reduce rent for tenants where the landlord is not liable to pay land tax.
In an effort to encourage landlords to offer impacted tenants rent relief, the NSW government has set aside $210 million for these grants.
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As explained by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, some landlords may opt for the land tax relief, which has been made available to commercial, retail and residential landlords, and will equal the value of rent reductions.
The extra support and protection come after Sydney entered its third week in lockdown with harsher restrictions.
The NSW government has made a similar announcement for commercial and retail tenants.
“We will be mandating that there will be no lockouts or evictions during this period of time,” said Perrottet.
“We want to encourage retailers right across NSW to work with landlords to make sure that we all get through this difficult time together.”
The announcements came as the NSW government joined with the Commonwealth to reveal a separate package of financial support for those suffering under the Sydney lockdown.
People who lose more than 20 hours of work per week will get a payment of $600 as they enter a fourth week of lockdown, as opposed to $500.
New Jobkeeper-style support for businesses has also been revealed, with those which suffer a 30 per cent decline in turnover to receive payments of between $1500 and $10,000 per week.