No fighting chance: impact of the withdrawal of COVID-19 income and tenancy benefits

Income support Rental affordability Tenancy support Welfare recipients Poverty Rental housing Homelessness

This survey, conducted in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne, sought to hear directly from consumers at Uniting Vic.Tas emergency relief and homelessness entry points about the impact of the withdrawal of COVID-19 payments and benefits on them and their families and children.

The evidence shows that the COVID-19 income and tenancy supports, introduced in 2020 as the pandemic started, had overwhelmingly positive impacts on the lives of people. For the first time, many didn’t have to worry about how they were going to pay the rent, buy medicine or have enough to eat for themselves and their children.

Predictably, as governments cut back these supports, consumers experienced significant negative impacts across many areas of their lives. The withdrawal of these supports impacted people’s resilience and weakened their ability to meet basic needs, keep safe, secure housing, improve their health and care for children and other dependents.

The findings of this report support numerous other studies in the area and strengthens the case for a permanent increase in income and rental support.

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