The one-off grant will be awarded to renters via their landlords, provided they have suffered a loss of income as a result of the pandemic.
“We’re... asking landlords, as they did last year, to show a level of compassion to people who find themselves in sometimes very desperate circumstances,” Victorian housing minister Richard Wynne said.
“I think this is an important initiative that is actually going to make a significant difference to people’s lives.”
Who is eligible for the payment?
To be eligible, renters must show they have lost at least 20 per cent of their income and spend 30 per cent of their income on rent.
Additionally, there is an income limit of $62,860 for singles and $94,300 for couples.
The payment will be made directly to landlords whose renters meet the criteria.
You will need to prove loss of income as a result of the pandemic before or after 27 May 2021 and also have less than $2,000 in savings.
Landlords will then need to provide proof of a rent reduction agreement with the renters that came into effect before or after 27 May.
So, landlords who give their tenants a rent reduction now in order to access the payment will not be eligible.
Other COVID-19 payments
This adds to the many COVID-19 payments available to Australians.
These include the COVID-19 Disaster Payments, which were created as a substitute to last years’ JobKeeper payment and provide support to stood-down Australians of up to $750 per week.
Then there is the Pandemic Leave payment which offers Aussies who can’t work due to mandatory 14-day isolation a one-off $1,500 payment.
Isolation payments have also been rolled out in various states for Aussies who need to isolate after a COVID-19 test.