Protect Our Communities: No Evictions During a Health Crisis

Prime Minister, Premiers, and Chief Ministers

Protect-our-communities-03

The COVID19 epidemic is causing significant economic harm through the cancellation of events, the disruption of supply chains, and a general reduction in public activity and commerce. Many workers, especially contractors and casual workers, will suffer from lost incomes. Many will fall into rent arrears and be at risk of termination and eviction. People facing eviction are less able to take actions required to minimise transmission of COVID19, particularly where they become homeless, and will become more vulnerable to illness.

An eviction into homelessness at this time puts great pressure on families and communities in overcrowded homes, crisis accommodation and people sleeping rough. Support services will already be struggling to deal with increased demand and as a community we cannot afford to make it worse.

We call on the Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to ensure no evictions happen during this crisis.

A temporary eviction moratorium is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of COVID19.
The economic costs will need to be shared across the community. Before the stop on
evictions is lifted, governments must have a plan to ensure the whole community can

recover, and not leave some burdened with debt.

Australia is in crisis.

We need to come together and ensure no one loses their home.

For full joint statement from the Community Coalition: No Evictions During Health Crisis [PDF download]

Current endorsements (as at 24 March, updated daily):

Organisations

Australian Council of Social Services; Anglicare Australia; ACTCOSS; NCOSS; WACOSS; Vinnies NSW; Tenants' Union of NSW; Homelessness NSW; Switchboard Victoria; Council on the Ageing NSW; Better Renting; Tenants' Queensland; Tenants' Union of Tasmania; Darwin Community Legal Service (Tenants Advice Service); Tenants' Union ACT; Tenancy WA; National Shelter; Shelter NSW; ACT Shelter; Shelter SA; Ethnic Communities Council NSW; People with Disabilities Australia; Community Legal Centres Australia; Community Legal Centres NSW; Public Interest Advocacy Centre NSW; Consumer Action Law Centre; Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT; Marrickville Legal Centre; Redfern Legal Centre; Kingsford Legal Centre; Illawarra Legal Centre; The Social Policy Research Centre and the Centre for Social Research in Health; Sydney Community Forum; South Eastern Community Connect; The Deli Women & Children's Centre; Junction Neighbourhood Centre; Churches Housing; St Francis Social Services; Sisters of St Joseph; Community Restorative Centre; FlatOut Inc; Older Women's Network, NSW; Unions ACT; Australian Unemployed Workers Union; National Tertiary Education Union - NSW Division; Maritime Union of Australia; United Workers Union; Aboriginal Resource Unit; New England and Western Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service; Eastern Area Tenants Service; Western Sydney Tenants Service; Hunter Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service; Inner Sydney Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service; Inner West Tenancy Service; Northern Sydney Area Tenants Service; Mid Coast Tenants Advice Service; Northern NSW Aboriginal Tenants Service; Illawarra Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service; Southern Sydney Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, Metro Assist; Justice and Peace Office, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney; Thrive Services; Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre; Blue Mountains Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service; Greater Sydney Aboriginal Tenants Service; Western Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service; Gateway Family Services; Environment Victoria; Catholic Diocese of Parramatta; Solar Citizens; Young Lawyers Australia; Combined Pensioners and Supperannuants Association (CPSA); GetUp!

Academics

Professor Eileen Baldry, UNSW, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and
Professor of Criminology; Professor Nicole Gurran, Professor, Urban Planning and Housing , Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning; Professor Jago Dodson, RMIT University, Urban Planning; Professor Gavin Wood, RMIT University, Emiritus Professor of Housing and Urban Research; Professor Alan Morris, UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance; Professor Libby Porter, RMIT University, Centre for Urban Research / Sustainability and Urban Planning; Professor Tony Dalton, RMIT University, Emeritus Professor at Centre for Urban Research; Assoc. Professor Ben Spies-Butcher, Macquarie University, Department of Sociology; Assoc. Professor Hazel Easthope, UNSW City Futures Research Centre; Dr Adam Craig, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW; Dr Chris Martin, UNSW City Futures Research Centre; Dr Dallas Rogers, University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design and Planning; Dr Sophia Maalsen, University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design and Planning; Dr Kathleen Flanagan, University of Tasmania, Housing & Community Research Unit, School of Social Sciences; Dr Laura Crommelin, UNSW City Futures Research Centre; Dr Ruth McCausland, Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences; Dr Sharon Parkinson, Swinburne University of Technology, Centre for Urban Transitions; Dr Edgar Liu, UNSW City Futures Research Centre; Dr Alistair Sisson, UNSW City Futures Research CentreDr Melanie Andersen, UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine; Dr Kate Hunter, The George Institute for Global Health; Dr Andrea Sharam, RMIT University, School of Property, Construction and Property Management; Dr Ryan van den Nouwelant, Western Sydney University School of Social Sciences; Dr Natalie Osborne, Griffith University, School of Environment and Science; Dr Jess Gerard, Senior Lectuer, Education, Equity and Politics, University of Melbourne; Bronwyn Bates, Urban Research Program, Western Sydney University; Chris Hartley, UNSW Centre for Social Impact; Ania Anderst, The George Institute for Global Health

To: Prime Minister, Premiers, and Chief Ministers
From: [Your Name]

The COVID19 epidemic is a public health crisis that will be made worse by evictions.

The COVID19 epidemic is causing significant economic harm through the cancellation of events, the disruption of supply chains, and a general reduction in public activity and commerce. Many workers, especially contractors and casual workers, will suffer from lost incomes. Many will fall into rent arrears and be at risk of termination and eviction. People facing eviction are less able to take actions required to minimise transmission of COVID19, particularly where they become homeless, and will become more vulnerable to illness.

An eviction into homelessness at this time puts great pressure on families and communities in overcrowded homes, crisis accommodation and people sleeping rough. Support services will already be struggling to deal with increased demand and as a community we cannot afford to make it worse.

We call on the Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to ensure no evictions happen during this crisis.

* Police and court officers should be directed not to carry out or allow any evictions
* Public and community housing providers should immediately cease eviction
proceedings against their tenants
* All relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers should make public
statements calling on landlords not to begin proceedings to evict any tenant and to
offer leniency on arrears
* Housing departments and councils need to work with shared accommodation
providers, including boarding and rooming house operators, to ensure residents are
not evicted into more severe homelessness and that their accommodation is healthy
* This would not apply to individuals removed for perpetrating violence.

A temporary eviction moratorium is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of COVID19. The economic costs will need to be shared across the community. Before the stop on evictions is lifted, governments must have a plan to ensure the whole community can recover, and not leave some burdened with debt.

Australia is in crisis. We need to come together and ensure no one loses their home.

Thank you.